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August 31, 2022

Arendalsuka 2022: Equipping businesses to combat modern slavery

Businesses were given the opportunity to explore how they might use and develop technological solutions to contribute to the fight against modern slavery.

 

Specialists from Hope for Justice in Norway presented at a major panel event, which we co-hosted at Arendalsuka 2022. The in-person and live-streamed conference was dedicated to civic and political engagement and ideas. You can watch our contribution below:

 

In addition to the focus on technology, the event looked at human rights and child labour in supply chains. Exploitation in supply chains is currently a major topic in Norway due to the new Transparency Act, which came into force on 1st July. Under this law, larger businesses are required to map and assess actual and potential risks around forced labour, human rights and working conditions, including risks affecting subcontractors and partners.

 

Among the panellists at the conference were Ida Ryen, who leads our Hope for Justice Hub team in Oslo, and Jeanette Schultz Årvik, our Senior Advisor on Human Rights in Supply Chains for Slave-Free Alliance, our social enterprise which supports businesses to protect themselves from modern slavery. Slave-Free Alliance has recently launched in Norway.

 

From left: Marie Nordby, Jeanette Arvik and Ida Ryen from Hope for Justice and Slave-Free Alliance
From left: Marie Nordby, Jeanette Årvik and Ida Ryen from Hope for Justice and Slave-Free Alliance

 

Jeanette Schultz Årvik spoke about how Slave-Free Alliance is planning to use a new technology solution to make it easier for businesses to assess risks in their operations and supply chains. She also explained how Slave-Free Alliance works with businesses to identify modern slavery and potential risks. She said: “Hopefully, the event was an eye opener for Norwegian businesses on the issues they may face and potentially how technology, and Slave-Free Alliance, can help solve them.”

 

The conversation took place at Impact Hub Agder in Arendal, Norway, on Thursday 18th August. Our team members were joined for the panel discussion by colleagues from BDO Norge, Dataunitor and Save the Children Norway.

 

We were invited to participate in the discussion by Oslo-based consulting agency BDO Norge, who hosted the panel. The firm is involved in two collaborations with Hope for Justice; one around support for survivors of modern slavery and the other regarding SC3, a tool to help businesses assess modern slavery risks in their supply chains.

 

Ida Ryen, Team Leader of Hope for Justice’s Norway Programme shared about Hope for Justice’s work with vulnerable people who are at risk of (or who have been) exploited. She explained how the complex nature of modern slavery, coupled with the challenges survivors face in accessing support, make it vital for organisations and agencies to work collaboratively. She said: “I see this collaboration as making history with how we approach modern slavery in supply chains. This could really help set the bar for how businesses tackle their anti-slavery work. As more and more countries develop legislation on modern slavery and meet demands around due diligence in supply chains, SC3 will be a tool that makes this work for businesses more tangibly and easily.”

 

She continued: “We really hope we can see the different industries sharing more and more knowledge and best practice in order to tackle the challenges together. And we hope to see more and more stakeholders engage with this movement.”

 

Arendalsuka is the biggest conference in Norway dedicated to civic and political engagement and ideas
Arendalsuka is the biggest conference in Norway dedicated to civic and political engagement and ideas