Chris Kemp, Senior Operations Manager, Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative shares his insights ahead of Third Party & Supply Chain Risk USA

Human trafficking and exploitation risk exposure

Christopher Kemp, Senior Operations Manager, Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative

Below is an insight into what can be expected from Christopher’s session at Third Party & Supply Chain Risk USA 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the thought leader as an individual, and are not attributed to CeFPro or any particular organization.

How does human trafficking and exploitation risk come into play when dealing with third parties and supply chains?

Human trafficking is the efforts of one individual or organization to enslave others through fraud, force, or coercion.  It is estimated that between 40 and 50 million people are exploited through these means across the globe.  Their lives are owned, the parameters in which they live, where they go, money they have access to, and almost every decision they make in their lives is not their own.  They are a part of the supply chain ecosystem; therefore, anyone who applies a supply chain to their business or a part of their lives has an opportunity to act responsibly and apply due diligence through a compliance program that applies lessons learned to avoid supporting exploitation.

If you hire third parties to support your operation, do your homework and take a closer look at those organizations.  What are their hiring procedures? Do they know where their employees come from? Are they operating in high-risk areas for exploitation? Are they located in a destabilized region or country? Are they in a country known for human rights violations? Is the region a zone or location supporting terrorism? Is there a high amount of tourism centered around a high volume of offerings of commercial sex? Are children a part of the workforce in that area? These are just a few questions that should be answered through research in the part of the operation.

How can data provided through public-private partnerships be used to mitigate such risks?

External data that focuses on industries that employ exploitation as a means of acquiring their workforce will help us to detect and disrupt exploitation as with any business model, supply is fueled by demand.  Industries like textiles, clothing (manufacturing and production), agriculture, and many others within areas that are not stable, for a plethora of reasons, are ripe for exploitation to occur.  The list of questions provided above are all the root causes for exploitation to be ongoing.  While not everyone in those places is exploiting their workforce, the probability is much higher in those areas.  Data allows you to understand where these possible risks live and take appropriate measures to detect and deter them through your interactions.

Why should organizations be monitoring social and political unrest and failed nation-states? How will this minimize exploitation?

When an area becomes unstable because of any of the above circumstances, whatever government structure becomes vulnerable to corruption through blackmail and bribery and offers a haven circumstance for commercial exploitation to occur.  When that same area includes a resource like children, organs, or raw materials that have a value on the open market that can be multiplied using a low or no-cost workforce, the probability becomes much higher for exploitation to occur to meet the demand for those things.

What is ‘pig butchering’? How is this relevant to organizations around the world?

Pig butchering, otherwise known as financial grooming, is a tactic employed on a large scale to target people across the globe in a scam that uses the cryptocurrency space as a means of transferring large quantities of value in a fraudulent manner. It promises a large ROI; after the value has been provided, the crypto is moved, and movement obfuscated across the blockchain until, at some point, it is off-ramped and further laundered until it is returned to a beneficial party. The one major difference in pig butchering is who is scamming the victim. in this case, those people are exploited through overpromised job ads. They are drawn in and then forced to scam and, in some occasions, on a large scale.  The importance to those in the supply chain is the number of companies included in this type of scam. Sometimes, the network is huge and spans multiple industries.  So, while you may not be directly supporting the operation, you are, by doing business with one of these companies, on most occasions, unintentionally doing so.