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A compilation of articles, highlighting the depth and complexity of this world wide problem. 

A compilation of articles, highlighting the depth and complexity of this world wide problem. 


A compilation of articles, highlighting the depth and complexity of this world wide problem. 

The Unseen Connection Between Corruption and Modern Slavery

Imagine a busy international port, where goods from around the world flow in and out, driving global trade. Amid this bustling commerce, there exists a less conspicuous but vital issue – the complex interplay of corruption and modern slavery. In a recent episode of the Ethics Exchange Podcast, we explored this deep-rooted connection with Abigail McGregor, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, and discussed practical insights for companies to address it. In its September 2021 report, the United Nations underscored a significant revelation that the most corrupt countries are often the least committed to combating modern slavery. This correlation is not a mere coincidence but a compelling truth that should put companies on notice for modern slavery violations in their supply chains and encourage them to take meaningful actions to address the issue, McGregor said. How Corruption Breeds Modern Slavery To understand this connection, we must dissect the intricate process by which corruption fuels modern slavery:
  • Creating vulnerability – corruption starts by creating vulnerable communities in locations where corruption runs rampant. These communities become ripe for exploitation.
  • Cultivating officials – perpetrators of modern slavery rely on corrupt officials to facilitate their illicit activities, especially in cases involving migration and transportation. Bribes are the currency of choice to gain official cooperation.
  • Targeting victims – once individuals are trafficked and forced into slavery, they become a new source of income for corrupt officials. Victims are coerced into paying bribes to avoid harsher conditions or legal consequences.
  • Extortion and mutual support – the corrupt officials themselves become vulnerable to extortion by the traffickers. A record of their complicity in modern slavery becomes a weapon in the hands of those seeking to continue their operations.
This vicious cycle of corruption and modern slavery feeds on itself, creating a deeply entrenched problem. The Role of Businesses in Breaking the Chain Companies hold a critical position in the surveillance and management of third parties to combat and eradicate modern slavery. As global supply chains become increasingly intricate, businesses have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that their products and services are not tainted by human rights violations. By meticulously scrutinizing their third-party partners and suppliers, companies can enforce stringent ethical standards, trace the origin of their products, and evaluate the labor practices of those involved in their supply chains. According to McGregor, there are a series of actionable steps that companies can take:
  1. Conduct Comprehensive Risk Assessments: Understand the corruption risks within your organization and your supplier network. Identify high-risk countries and sectors.
  2. Empower Your Workforce: Educate your employees about the red flags associated with both corruption and modern slavery. Knowledge is the first line of defense.
  3. Collaborate for Impact: Join industry or regional initiatives to combat corruption collectively. A united front amplifies your influence.
  4. Support Victims: Depending on your industry, consider providing support to organizations aiding trafficked individuals. Legal assistance and financial contributions to relevant charities can make a difference.
  5. Due Diligence on Third Parties: Implement robust due diligence procedures for your third-party relationships. Assess not only modern slavery but also corruption risks.
  6. Scrutinize Certifications: Be cautious when dealing with certifications claiming a business is free from modern slavery. These certifications can be corrupted, so verify their credibility.
  7. Embed Ethical Clauses: Incorporate modern slavery and anti-corruption clauses into supplier agreements and requests for tender. Ensure your partners adhere to ethical standards.
A Call to Action The United Nations’ findings highlight a crucial aspect in the fight against modern slavery: the pivotal role that reducing corruption plays in this battle. Corruption, with its insidious web of bribery, embezzlement, and illicit practices, can perpetuate and even exacerbate conditions conducive to modern slavery. When corrupt officials or institutions turn a blind eye to exploitation, human trafficking, and forced labor, perpetrators are emboldened, and victims are left without recourse. Addressing corruption serves as a linchpin in dismantling the modern slavery ecosystem. Businesses, therefore, bear a significant responsibility in this endeavor. By adopting these strategies, companies can safeguard their operations while contributing to a more just and humane world. At Ethixbase360, our mission is to promote ethical business practices and empower organizations to navigate the complex landscape of corporate governance. Together, we can drive positive change and create a more sustainable and equitable world. Stay tuned for more thought-provoking insights as we continue to explore the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in today’s ever-evolving business world. Your feedback and topic suggestions are invaluable to us; please share your thoughts at [email protected]. Together, we can make a difference. About Ethics Exchange Podcast Ethics Exchange Podcast is a new podcast from Ethixbase360 dedicated to empowering professionals in risk, compliance, procurement, human rights, and corporate governance. In each episode, we engage in dynamic discussions with subject matter experts and industry leaders to delve into the present issues surrounding modern business practices. Our aim is to shed light on the complex landscape of ethics, transparency, and responsibility, with a particular focus on topics such as modern slavery, human rights, ESG, bribery, and corruption. Through insightful interviews, deep dives, and lively debates, we explore the challenges faced by organizations in meeting ethical standards, complying with regulations, and fostering sustainability.    

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Modern Slavery & Forced Labor: A Global Perspective’ 

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