In order to help companies achieve better visibility into the multiple layers of their supply chain to mitigate hazards, achieve compliance, and enable the ethical procurement of goods and services, Dun & Bradstreet, earlier this month, released the Human Trafficking Risk (HTR) index.

“Companies want to be responsible corporate citizens, but we hear time and again that they are underprepared and overwhelmed to meet supply chain due diligence requirements,” said Greg Iaquinto, leader in Global Supply & Risk Solutions, Dun & Bradstreet.

“The rising importance of responsible business practices has added to the challenges faced by procurement and supply chain professionals who are eager for a multi-perspective view into their supply chains but don’t know where to begin.”

Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labor across the world – and 68% of those victims are estimated to support company supply chains. In fact, it is estimated that $150 billion in legal profits are generated by forced labor every year. The most common form of human trafficking is forced labor in domestic work, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing.

Companies may unknowingly be using forced labor in their procurement of commodities since, to date, a view into the full chain of vendors and suppliers has been difficult to attain.

Recent domestic and global regulations - including the US Federal Acquisition Regulations guidelines around Human Trafficking (2015); Modern Slavery Act (United Kingdom, 2015); and Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (2016) - have instilled mandatory audits and reporting of supply chains including fines and in some instances, barring of goods from entering certain countries, in a global attempt to eradicate human trafficking.

Dun & Bradstreet’s HTR index uses proprietary data from its global database of 250 million business records, along with public data from the U.S. Department of State1 and the U.S. Department of Labor, to analyze conditions surrounding areas where goods are produced and assign a score to that region and commodity.