The UN Forum is highlighting concerns around human rights abuses in supply chains.
The Forum is covering topics such as blockchain’s ability to highlight unethical practices in supply chains and children’s rights in the supply chain process. The ethics and sustainability of corporate supply chains is attracting attention in the wider consumer sphere. Child labour, poor workplace conditions and corruption are ever-present issues that demand a solution.
Vulnerable Children in Supply Chains
According to UNICEF, one in four children are engaged in child labour in the least developed countries. Additionally, a World Vision report in 2013 found that 40 percent of workers in artisanal small mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are children. Child miners are some of the biggest victims of inhumane labour conditions.
Child labourers are not the only ones affected by corporate supply chains. Mining operations often affect children’s communities, households and the way children receive messages and communicate with the wider community. Even if children are not directly forced or coerced into working in the mines, these mining operations have a strong impact on their local areas.
Human Rights Abuse
Not only children, but also adult workers, are exploited by supply chains. Supply chain tracking needs to be comprehensive to identify financial and political corruption, labour abuse and risks to workers. Inattention to supply chain movements targets vulnerable people: those in economically, physically or socially poor situations.
The sourcing of cobalt and 3TG (tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold) has risen concerns in recent years. These minerals face unethical mining, from small mines and in conflict conditions. For this reason, they have earned the name ‘conflict minerals’. Mining of these minerals often puts workers in unethical, unsafe working conditions.
Customers want to know that they are not engaging in human rights abuse by purchasing a product. But how is it possible to trace opaque supply chains?
That’s where blockchain comes in.
Blockchain for Better Supply Chain Management
Blockchain is a decentralised digital ledger that is resistant to change. It provides a permanent, reliable way of tracking supply chains, and offers insight into responsible sourcing. It’s a reliable way to track mining, food, wine, energy and a multitude of other supply chains.
Blockhead Technologies’ STAMP™ does exactly this.
STAMP™ is a platform that uses blockchain technology to record supply chains. It is Blockhead Technologies’ flagship product, designed to provide end-to-end stewardship. STAMP™ brings transparency and traceability into supply chains by identifying inefficient practices, reducing costs and easily integrating with pre-existing supply chains.
STAMP™ means knowing where the materials you source come from, always.
Blockchain is not the only disruptive technology featured in the UN Forum. Other segments include the role of automation and AI in supply chains, and how they can support human rights due diligence.
Disruptive technology has the potential to revolutionise supply chains. Blockchain, for one, provides a decentralised, reliable way of monitoring the movements of the supply chain.
If every supply chain could become transparent on the blockchain, it has the potential to save the lives and livelihoods of children, workers and communities.
You can find out more about STAMP™ here.
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