November 13, 2023
Chief Executive Officer, Traffik Analysis Hub
Partner and Shareholder, Evidencity, Inc.
For decades, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and law enforcement agencies have been at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking and exploitation. At the Combating Forced Labor in Supply Chains event hosted by the U.S. Chamber, David Niccolini, partner and shareholder at Evidencity, interviewed Neil Giles, CEO at Traffik Analysis Hub, about the scale of forced labor globally and ways to reduce and prevent this crime.
Evidencity Launched the Modern Slavery Product to Address Risks
As of 2021, approximately 27.6 million people were in forced labor due to political conflict, poverty, and migration, according to WalkFree’s Global Slavery Index.
On behalf of Evidencity, Niccolini launched the Modern Slavery product. This product enables compliance officers, investigative journalists, due diligence investigators, researchers, and key stakeholders to proactively identify and address modern slavery risks in supply chains, distribution channels, and other business networks across various sectors, including mining, retail, manufacturing, and agriculture.
Bad Actors in Business Play a Large Role in Human Trafficking
Bad actors engage in illegal conduct, such as bribery, malfeasance, and other methods that compromise the integrity of business operations.
Giles provided an example of a palm oil company in Malaysia that was engaged knowingly in the trafficking of persons. In this circumstance, refugees were lured to plantations with the promise of a well-paying job only to bear witness that their terms and conditions of employment had been made under false pretenses.
Giles said, “A palm oil producing corporation, a supplier to most of the consumer packaged goods companies that we know as big brands in the U.S. and around the world, they had labor exploitation in their plantations and mills."
Based on this information, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized palm oil goods and derivatives from entering the U.S. from Malaysia.
The Malaysian company worked with major consumer goods packaged businesses for remediation, and in February 2023, CBP lifted its detention order.
Ending Human Trafficking Will Require Coordination
Stop The Traffik is a coalition that aims to bring an end to human trafficking worldwide. Effective solutions to ending trafficking require coordinated actions from NGOs and law enforcement and applying artificial intelligence to track financial transactions. Stop The Traffik collaborated with the Bank of Payments Federation in Ireland to thwart criminal activity in the financial sector by leveraging big data.
According to Giles, “law enforcement cannot solve this crime alone. It needs the widest possible partnership to make change.”
Evidencity and Traffik Analysis Hub provide businesses and NGOs with the tools and information to recognize trafficking indicators and understand the potential impact on their operations. By using technology to assist companies in mapping their supply chains, firms can better understand their susceptibility to forced labor and how best to address it.