Modern Slavery in the Global Supply Chain: An Analysis of Published Preventative Statements and Frameworks to Protect Businesses and Individuals

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Laurel Elise Buck, Class of 2019


Modern slavery generates an estimated $150 billion in revenue annually. Derived from the exploited labor 40.3 million victims, this is one of the most profitable illicit industries. Of the estimated 24.9 million slaves institutionalized in forced labor, 16 million are exploited in the private sector. These 16 million are oppressed within corporate supply chains. This paper addresses the need for a common tool and set of criteria governing organizations’ actions. Such a tool and set of criteria are essential in not only combating modern slavery within corporations, but also throughout global supply chain tiers. Application of consistent tools and criteria will move the private sector forward in eradicating modern slavery by ensuring transparent reporting and effective action. The final deliverable consists of recommendations for adoption of publications and individual criterion—adaptable for all supply chain levels—for corporations to use in implementing, expanding, and improving their modern slavery and transparency initiatives.

Comments from Mentors

Laurel is an inspiration to others!  I first met Laurel when she wanted to study abroad in Berlin, which is not the norm for TCU students, and through hard work and perseverance she was able to not only study in Berlin but also complete an internship.  Laurel was also one of five supply chain seniors selected to be on an academic supply chain team and worked on various global projects with a partner company.  However, Laurel's work on her honors thesis truly showed her passion and interest in sustainability and corporate social responsibility.  Again, persevering through the difficulty of navigating a complex thesis where data collection shifted from her original focal company to a complex review of a plethora of resources, Laurel completed an amazing contribution to the field.  I had the joy and pleasure of working with Laurel and always appreciate her talents and creative thinking.  I look forward to seeing what all Laurel will accomplish in her career.  

 —Laura Meade

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Neeley School of Business