Verité is pleased to announce the start of a new contract with the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (JTIP) to further expand the Responsible Sourcing Tool (RST), which was first launched in May 2016. The RST platform provides in-depth information on forced labor and trafficking risks across target sectors globally, as well as tools and guidance for identifying and addressing these risks. Under the new contract, we will be adding new sectors and tool sets, starting with the January launch of a new toolkit for the Facilities Services sector – webinar date to come.
Facilities services include janitorial, maintenance, laundry, cafeteria, waste management, grounds keeping, and other outsourced services. Facilities service jobs are mostly low-skill, low-pay, undesirable positions for which third-party providers commonly contract low-cost migrant labor. Protections are weak, and visibility into terms of employment and working conditions is typically low, raising the likelihood of exploitation and abuse, not just in well-known trafficking hot spots, but in most countries.
The new set of 12 RST tools for this sector covers key due diligence elements such as policy development, risk assessment, supplier screening and contracting, monitoring, labor provider management, worker engagement, and setting up effective grievance channels, among other topics. The set builds out the shelf of open-source resources currently hosted on www.responsiblesourcingtool.org for the seafood, food and beverage, and private security industries.
We also continue to update the RST site’s 43 commodity reports spotlighting trafficking risks in specific commodity sectors. Updates in 2022 include citrus, conflict minerals, diamonds, jewels, melons, nuts, pineapples, shrimp, tomatoes, and wheat. In addition, we are building out a resource library, with new case studies, online trainings, risks maps, and other content to support federal contractors, companies of all sizes, advocates, and consumers to detect, prevent, and combat trafficking in global supply chains. Such resources should help RST become an even more useful hub for companies seeking reliable guidance on labor risks in global supply chains, a need being amplified by a growing body of mandatory due diligence legislation.
Any questions or requests for more information related to the Responsible Sourcing Tool can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.