Curbing Human Trafficking with Analytics


Joe Stanganelli, Attorney & Marketer

Joe Stanganelli is founder and principal of Beacon Hill Law, a Boston-based general practice law firm. His expertise on legal topics has been sought for several major publications, including U.S. News and World Report and Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine. He is also a social media maven and marketing consultant. He has been working with social media for many years - even in the days of local BBSs (one of which he served as co-system operator for), well before the term "social media" was invented. From 2003 to 2005, Joe ran Grandpa George Productions, a New England entertainment and media production company. He is a produced playwright and has worked professionally as an actor, a director, and a producer. When he's not lawyering, marketing, or social-media-ing, Joe writes scripts, songs, and stories. He also finds time to lose at bridge a couple of times a month.

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Great use for Analytics
  • 7/12/2016 2:07:17 PM
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This is a great use for analytics. Here in Thailand the issues with slave labor tend to revolve around the shrimp fishing industry. I would be interested to see what impact these could make there. 

Late Night Food Service
  • 7/12/2016 3:50:50 PM
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This is really nice post and this is the best way to analysis !

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/12/2016 5:53:36 PM
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so that they can ... avoid those manufacturers, contractors, or other vendors who may be using forced labor

Anyone else find the word 'may' a little troubling here?

Showing up on this list could hurt companies, who may or may not be guilty of using forced labor. If one were to show up on these lists, how do you go about clearing your name?

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/12/2016 11:02:06 PM
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That's a great point, how does a company go about proving they are not guilty and deal with the bad press. 

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/13/2016 8:42:26 AM
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@Bulk and PC. I actually like that they word it as "may" be using forced labor. If the D&B analysis looks for certain traits or behaviors in the supply chain, it wouldn't be hard proof that a supplier is abusing its workforce. That would only be a red flag for further investigation. The exception would be if the company had admitted poor treatment of workers in the past or if they had been found culpable in court. Even in the latter case you would want to do a follow-up investigation to see how they are treating workers today.

When you think about it, many (most?) analytics applications are intended to highlight exceptions that require a closer look before action can be taken.

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/13/2016 10:04:37 AM
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"May" is fine in most analytics efforts.

If you're on a list of my customers that "may" be a customer for our new cordless drill, I can send you various messages about it. And if I'm wrong, you suffer no harm.

Human trafficking is much more serious. If you're on a list of companies that "may" be involved in slavery or human trafficking, many of the largest and best customers will avoid you. They have worldwide sourcing and plenty of options, so the amount of effort any of your customers will spend to clear you is likely small. For them, it's "better safe than sorry"

For you, it's guilt by association.

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/13/2016 10:20:02 AM
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I agree. You had better be certain before exposing a company ofr human trafiicing practices.

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/13/2016 10:55:44 AM
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I guess it comes down to who D&B makes the list available to, and how (including what due diligence they do before releasing it to even one client). Maybe Joe knows what precautions they take.

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/13/2016 3:18:19 PM
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@James, I agree with your assessment, but I see where PC is coming from that media could jump all over a report that says "may" and then it becomes guilty until proven innocent and the damage is done.

Re: Great use for Analytics
  • 7/13/2016 5:05:54 PM
NO RATINGS

In truth, more than a few companies would be happy to wash their hands of this issue. If there is a public list of the "bad guys" they will quickly avoid doing any business with anyone on that list.

Then, if there is ever the hint of a scandal; you will hear them say "This is part of our policy. We don't buy from anyone on the Trafficking list". Having this fig leaf is very important.

But the list won't be better than your credit report. In other words, it's an indicator but it's not perfect. So woe to the companies who happen to be on the list even though they're innocent.

BTW - there will be companies NOT on the list that do have some issues with slavery or human traficking in the real world. Given the difficulty of avoiding this problem today, I doubt customer companies will put more effort into this problem after this tool is widely availalble.

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