SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership for Freedom announced today Sustainability Incubator and Trace Register as the grand prize winning team in Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Fight Labor Trafficking, an innovation competition seeking technological solutions to help identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains for goods and services.
Labor trafficking in global seafood supply chains has been well-documented in recent years. Sustainability Incubator, an advisory firm that helps seafood companies advance sustainability and solve human rights challenges, and Trace Register, a traceability software company, have teamed up to develop a solution to help companies better understand and address the risks of labor trafficking.
The team will receive a $250,000 grant to support the Labor Safe Digital Certificate, a digital risk assessment tool that will be integrated into Trace Register's widely used traceability software to help seafood suppliers and major retailers better screen for risks of forced labor and address high-risk zones within their supply chains.
"The presence of forced labor in corporate supply chains is a systemic problem that has been difficult to address," said Catherine Chen, director of investments of Humanity United, which coordinates the Partnership for Freedom. "It is our hope that these technologies will give businesses, workers, and governments helpful tools for greater transparency and visibility."
"This support from Humanity United will make it possible to help combat modern slavery and suffering around the world," said Phil Werdal, CEO of Trace Register. "We look forward to working with Humanity United and Sustainability Incubator, as well as many producers, suppliers, and retailers who are committed to eliminating forced labor from the seafood supply chain."
"The challenge has validated our efforts to rethink the opportunities for traceability to help combat modern slavery in seafood supply chains," said Katrina Nakamura of Sustainability Incubator. "We now have the resources needed to develop the technology to combine product tracking and slavery risk identification."
Good World Solutions was named the runner-up winner and will receive a $50,000 grant to advance their LaborLink mobile technology for improving visibility of trafficked workers by capturing and analyzing worker feedback.
"The Rethink Supply Chains" competition has catalyzed our Laborlink team around the issue of trafficking and offered invaluable insights on how to adapt our tools to help companies surface risk of forced labor within their supply chains," said Heather Franzese, co-founder and Executive Director of Good World Solutions. "Funding from the challenge will enable us to launch a dedicated survey and new community-based methodology to survey workers."
The winners will spend the next year developing their proposed solutions, and will deploy the solutions and share associated learnings by mid-2017.
The challenge, which launched in October 2015, called on innovators to submit technological solutions to help combat labor trafficking in global supply chains. After the open call for submissions, Sustainability Incubator and Trace Register and Good World Solutions, along with three additional teams, were selected as finalists to participate in an accelerator program.
In addition, each finalist received $20,000 and support from subject matter experts to further develop their solutions. The five finalists convened in Washington, D.C. for a "boot camp" in February 2016 where they participated in expert sessions, user-testing and prototyping exercises, and discussion panels to gain additional insights.
To learn more about the challenge and the winning ideas, please visit www.rethinksupplychains.org.
The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership led by Humanity United, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of State, the Department of Labor, Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, and the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund.
Learn more at www.partnershipforfreedom.org or follow #RethinkSupplyChains on Facebook and Twitter.
About Humanity United
Humanity United is a foundation dedicated to bringing new approaches to global problems that have long been considered intractable. We build, lead, and support efforts to change the systems that contribute to problems like human trafficking, mass atrocities, and violent conflict. HU is part of the Omidyar Group, which represents the philanthropic, personal, and professional interests of the Omidyar family.
Tania Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-478-6174
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SOURCE Partnership for Freedom