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Hong Kong – The anti-slavery NGO Mekong Club and Intertek, a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide, have developed the “Risk Assessment Matrix (RAM).”
According to estimates by the Walk Free Foundation, an anti-slavery NGO, and the International Labour Organisation, 40.3 million people are trapped in modern slavery worldwide, with around 16 million linked to the private sector. Companies are undertaking considerable efforts to tackle this issue in supply chains – namely through auditing. The RAM represents an effort to utilize audit data in a collaborative way to address this issue.
The unique tool uses a series of standardized indicators to provide details of the labour violations associated with supply chain processes by product, tier, and geographical region and is designed help companies prioritize their actions to identify, address and investigate forced labour risk within their supply chains. The RAM is currently based on the analysis of 70,000 data points and 14,000 audits on more than 10,000 factories in 54 countries and 405 regions. Databases on NGO reports and anti-slavery initiatives are also available.
Intertek is one partner organisation providing audit data for the tool’s pilot phase. The user has immediate access to multiple sources of information for risk investigations. Using this risk information, companies can prioritise risk investigations and reduce potential biases and missing data resulting from single data collection or risk assessment processes.
“The Mekong Club’s mission is to offer a collaborative, supportive and non-competitive space for companies to work together and share information,” said Silvia Mera, Program Director at the Mekong Club. “The RAM is a practical example of this and Intertek’s involvement was instrumental for the development of this project.”
"Combating Modern Slavery and Forced Labour around the world is an issue that effects us all. Governments and consumers alike are demanding organisations take a proactive approach to these issues and ensure Ethical Sourcing practices through transparency in all tiers of the supply chain," says Calin Moldovean, President, Intertek Business Assurance. "Intertek has more than 2 decades of responsible sourcing expertise and insight from the factories and fields most effected by unethical sourcing behaviour. This partnership with The Mekong Club allows us to use this knowledge to effect real change in global supply chains."
While the Risk Assessment Matrix currently focuses on the apparel and footwear industry, its model is applicable to any commodity where social audit data is presently collected. The RAM has been launched with a selected group of companies for testing and feedback collection.
Intertek is a leader in the supply chain industry’s responsible sourcing initiatives and audit programs, and works with the world’s leading textile, apparel and footwear brands, retailers and manufacturers to support their quality and safety testing, inspection and certification needs.
Intertek Business Assurance
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Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Our network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 44,000 people in more than 100 countries, delivers innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for our customers’ operations and supply chains. Intertek Total Quality Assurance expertise, delivered consistently with precision, pace and passion, enabling our customers to power ahead safely.