Firms are being urged to use their $80 trillion spending power to fight slavery.
During a discussion at the Trust Women Conference, Jean Baderschneider, former vice president of procurement at ExxonMobil, said businesses should purchase more wisely to tackle the plight of the 36 million people currently estimated as being trapped in slavery.
Baderschneider stated that RFQs and such documents should have clauses which ensure that there is no forced labour in the supply chain.
“Every single company should have a robust supplier qualification process, including site visits, so they know what’s going on.
“Track your spend by product location, map it against data to see where there’s a high probability of slavery in the supply chain.”
The ex-VP went on to say that it was also necessary for other work to be found for those who have escaped slavery. “We can end slavery, but what happens then?
“We have to effectively build a conjunction between business and government [to build] replacement economies so workers who come out of slavery have fair working conditions and wages. We need global standards on that.”