On January 31, 1865 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. It abolished slavery in America with the statement that read; “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Prior to that time, Britain abolished slavery throughout the British Empire with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 and the French colonies abolished it in 1848.
In the 21st Century, with focus on brand reputation and transparency, we are beginning to recognize injustices and social issues that have been ignored for decades or centuries. Ethical values of any corporation becomes the drivers for all employees. And if the corporation extends beyond the territorial boundaries of their corporate headquarters, what those values mean need to clearly be communicated and embraced in host country affiliates, too.
Unfortunately, many companies are still accepting these practices through their supply chains. The acceptance of slavery, child labor and other labor issues are becoming visible to organizations as Apple, HP and Cisco. However, some of these multinational corporations are beginning to enact policies of change while other contemporary companies are still ignoring controversies relating to employee grievances or treatment solely for economic purpose, not humanitarian.
As the article indicates: “Obtaining reliable estimates of the extent of the problem of modern slavery is only the first step in eradicating it. Modern slavery will only end after the systematic causes and consequences of the problem are dealt with. First, victims must be identified and get the support they need to leave their situation. Criminal justice mechanisms need to be reinforced and coordinated to successfully prosecute perpetrators. Global supply chains need to be carefully monitored to avoid labor abuses by contractors and subcontractors.
Through its global surveys, Gallup will continue to partner with Walk Free in its mission to give a voice to the millions of people enslaved around the world.”