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New assessment tool uses data to help companies take control of supply chain risks

Slavery is still rife in the apparel industry, but new legislation in the U.K. puts the onus on big companies to put an end to forced labor or risk losing out on business...The Modern Slavery Act, which came into effect on Apr. 1, mandates that all British companies with a turnover of at least 36 million pounds ($50.9 million) publish evidence of steps taken to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking in their supply chain...Historic Futures recently launched String3, an online tool that fills in the blanks for brands and retailers by asking questions of their suppliers (and their suppliers’ suppliers, and so on) about where and how their products are made...This helps companies to take control of the data in order to map their supply chain and develop a risk framework...“By assessing the inherent risk exposure of their supply chain—based on the country of operation and sector of activity—they can prioritize and target interventions,” [Sarah Kerrigan, senior human rights analyst at global risk advisor Verisk Maplecroft] wrote, continuing, “By evaluating existing management systems, organizations can look to strengthen their supplier relationships and find new ways to define and share responsibility throughout the supply chain.”...

...Last week, Primark announced it would increase factory inspections in Turkey to ensure Syrian refugees who don’t have a legal right to work aren’t being exploited, after a Business and Human Rights Resource Center report revealed the fast-fashion chain was employing illegal workers.