Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Many (non-UK) Slaves Work for YOU?

How did come up with the total number of slaves working for me?

MY TOTAL SLAVERY FOOTPRINT represents the number of forced labourers that were likely to be involved in creating and manufacturing the products I buy.

This is determined based on information regarding the processes used to create these products as well as investigations of the countries in which these stages of production take place for known slave labour (within these specific processes.)

This number is compiled from multiple individual product scores (see below).

To create individual scores, SlaveryFootprint first chose to investigate slave labour usage in the supply chains of more than 400 of the most popular consumer products. SlaveryFootprint used the following definitions of slave labour:

How do we define Slavery? (Forced Labour):

Anyone who is forced to work without pay, being economically exploited, and is unable to walk away.

Note: Forced Labour, also known as involuntary servitude, may result when unscrupulous employers exploit workers made more vulnerable by high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict, or cultural acceptance of the practice.

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, but individuals also may be forced into labour in their own countries. Female victims of forced or bonded labour, especially women and girls in domestic servitude, are often sexually exploited as well.

After investigating the slavery usage in individual product components, based on the most common places in which they are mined, grown or made, we assigned scores to each of these 400+ products.

These scores were based on a complex algorithm that determines the minimum number of slaves (forced laborers) used to produce each product. This algorithm is graphically represented in the diagram below:
Our Slavery Algorithm

Product Score

Represents the likely number of forced labourers that have been involved in creating the product at some stage in the process of production. Slavery must be known to exist to a significant degree in some stage of production.

Source Score

Represents the probability that each source is produced in a country using slave labour in its production to a significant degree.

Manufacturing/Assembly Score

Represents the probability that the final product is manufactured in a country using slave labour to a significant degree.

Weights, Measurements, and Reports

Each score therefore represents the likelihood of slavery used in production. This likelihood was developed from investigations and research drawn from the following sources:
The five main reports used were:
Additionally, SlaveryFootprint utilised published data pertaining to forced labour issues. This included vetted data drawn from a variety of international sources. The following inclusion criteria were used:
Note: This data set will continue to be expanded based on emerging research and the results of further investigations that meet the aforementioned inclusion criteria.


To ensure peer review and confirmation of these data sets and their sources, methodology, and results, SlaveryFootprint convened experts on the issue from government, academia, non-government organizations, leading think tanks as well as independent experts.

Creating a Composite Score

To combine individual product scores into one composite score assigned to an individual, a survey was developed to assess and quantify an individual’s consumption.

To make this survey both meaningful and time-effective, iterative processes of inherent assumptions were utilised based on focus group assessments.

Assumptions were based on defining factors inclusive of, but not limited to, age, sex, domicile, and family size. Composite scores were quantified based conservative estimates.

Note: Slavery Footprint 1.0 is not based on specific brands or manufacturers.

For more information about SlaveryFootprint's methodology, scoring or organisation email or visit the SlaveryFootprint website.

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