The Global Sustainability Network Forum
March 18 2016. Casina Pio IV. Vatican City. Rome
The Story Leading Up To The Vatican Forum
Under the leadership of Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences organized a Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders signed on 2 December 2014. This was followed by the Recommendations that came out of its April 2015 Plenary Session on Human Trafficking: Issues beyond Criminalization
A Strategic Planning Session was held at Lambeth Palace 14 December 2015.
It was hosted by the Church of England in conjunction with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and Mr. Raza Jafar — here the mandate was broadened to include global sustainability and recognize the significance of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’ which spells out the relationship between the two emergencies of climate change and modern slavery.
In synergy with these efforts of the religious leaders and the Encyclical Laudato si’, the United Nations recently implemented the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 8.
These Global Goals are now a moral imperative for the 193 UN member states. The story continues
The Emerging Ideas
These are the observations, suggestions, ideas and possible ways forward that evolved from our recent meeting.
Visit The GSN Summary Website:
Firstly there are real principles emerging:
1. We Need To Unify To Succeed — We need collaboration not competition. Our focus must be on the UN’s SDG Goal 8. We need to design a systemic business plan on unlimited growth — using solutions that already exist — we need a genuine coalition of the right people for this to happen.
2. A Strategy Built On Clarity & Coherence — We need to identify clear priorities. We should not try and reinvent the wheel — we need to create a place where everything can be listed, shared and working together in collaboration.
3. A Central Hub — A fixed place where we can join all the dots — we can learn from each other. Transparency must be at the core and we need accurate data as a result — what is happening and who is doing what to whom
4. Systemic Thinking — We need to take a holistic approach to the problem. We have to see this as ‘our’ problem — not ‘their’ problem — it takes two to tango (developed world versus the developing world).
5. Focus. Focus. Focus — Tactically and strategically we need to focus on a core issue — one that we can focus on and show how it implicates everything. We need absolute clarity of that mission and we need to measure progress
Some Practical Ideas
We need to interact with multilateral organisations like the UN
Create a 10 point system that puts forward a clear unified global message on ending slavery — one that will be handed to presidents, government officials, educators, media, NGOs to collectively endorse — translated in all languages.
Future meetings need to include the trade unionists, civil society, and mass movements — we need to build an inclusive campaign mentality from the ground upwards.
We should aim for the Rome Olympics 2024 to be totally Goal 8 compliant — no slavery and focused on climate change.
Open invitation to participate in Trust Women conference.
A New Perspective For Business
It’s becoming clear that we need conscious consumerism.
This means we need to provide people with ways in which to purchase products they love and allowing them to do good at the same time.
We need to enable and encourage consumers to demand more from the businesses and brands they adopt in their lives. In turn businesses and practices must reflect brand values which properly align with consumer values.
We need corporate social responsibility and this goes with basic principles that businesses should extend to their supply chains:
ONE: No fees charged to workers
TWO: Clear and transparent contracts
THREE: Inclusiveness in both policy and procedures: making sure the laws in the country and the protections are fully applied to those workers.
FOUR: No holding of passports and ID’s
FIVE: The wages are paid directly to them in cash with all benefits
SIX: There is a right to representation
SEVEN: The working and living conditions are safe
EIGHT: Access to freedom in change of employment — so they are not locked into their contract
NINE: Guaranteed freedom of movement
Emerging Ideas & Innovations
We might work with corporations — educating them and providing them the information they need in order to transform or adapt their supply chains.
We could link and partner investment companies with the research organisations who are undertaking to support companies who are already doing well in transparency/anti — slavery challenges.
We could launch a series of ETFs or mutual funds (Investment products) that would give investors the opportunity to invest in products that promote the end of slavery.
We should develop practical tools to help businesses create genuine transparency into their supply chain — if transparency came first then this real measurement will generate the solutions
Make corporation’s responsible — make them aware that this is an issue they have to address. This has to become legally binding and demanded by consumers. Companies need to know how human trafficking is (will be) affecting their business.
Initiatives Already Underway:
The Tronie Foundation’s Freedom seal (USA) is a stamp of approval that provides evidence to regulatory authorities. The Foundation educates, guides and provides resources and assistance towards a shared goal.
It assists companies with transparency, supply chain visibility, evaluates risks in their chains. The Tronie Foundation pledge their intent and support and endorse this freedom seal as global standard for organisations and business.
Trust Women launching stop slavery awards — which companies have taken steps to eradicate slavery from their supply chains.
A Fresh Start For Government
The reality is that the legal system is failing — human trafficking is illegal everywhere but it is growing everywhere.
As a consequence something has to change — we need new laws — Governments are obliged to protect their citizens.
The leaders of the world need to truly own this problem. We need to get good local lawyers working with good politicians — to find a law that is suitable for purpose in that country’s legal system — as every legal system is different.
The legal system can be the driver for change — so let’s use the instruments already in place — the law firms that are willing to drive change. Initiate any new laws/programmes not as a marketing add-on but a business norm and a business imperative. We need rule of law and safety of citizens in place — civilised society cannot exist without the rule of law in place.
We have to be fully inclusive and holistic. We need to look at the rural areas. Currently nobody really cares about people in rural areas because they exert less pressure on central government. We need to lobby or solve the resource allocation issue that prosecutors’ have by giving them money.
As an example the Californian Transparency Law & Supply Chain Act has never had one single enforcement!
We must lobby respective governments to actually enforce the laws we have on the books — both disclosure and criminal law. There is a gap between the law and the way we live. Where is the funding for law enforcement?
Root causes of the problem are poor governance, poor leadership and weak economies.
An Emerging Strategic Mantra:
Create awareness. Mobilize civil society. Recognising the global problem not just one from the developing countries. Mobilize the leaders — reward them and praise them if they act, shame them if they don’t
A Case In Point — Netherland’s has three policies to aid anti- slavery — firstly at the border there are trained police ready to identify potential victims of modern day slavery. Secondly potential victims will receive a tag so that government officials can monitor their situations.
Thirdly the Netherlands has a special reporter on modern slavery that operates independently — they have the right to conduct inspections without prior warning and they train the police and municipality on detection and actions that can be taken.
Some Laws Are Now In Place:
ONE: USA new laws — the Federal Acquisitions Registry — no taint of trafficking allowed
TWO: UK Modern Slavery Act 2015
THREE: Markus Funk successfully set up within his law firm a Corporate Social Responsibility supply chain programme for businesses and the California transparency and supply chain Act.
Redefining Media & The Landscape
Proof — We have to have an evidence based approach — we have to show the proof. So we need reliable updated data to work out strategy to tackle issues. If we don’t have data it is going to be impossible/very difficult to tackle the challenge.
Story — It is the way we tell our story that will change the mentality of the global population. We need to first help people that understand the issue of human trafficking. We need to standardize the message — We have to get everybody saying the same thing.
Plan — Construct a plan from the highest level down to community level. Use victim’s stories to create awareness. With the lack of knowledge and education — we will achieve nothing
Voice — We need figureheads and champions. We have to have a face/faces for our story. It takes charisma to lead a movement. We need our story to be fully defendable — common sense, both in the ‘scenes’ and ‘cents’ — it has to make common sense, rational sense and financial sense.
Industry Leverage — We need the media industry on side — we need to engage the mainstream majority on mass media. We need them to help us tell the story — a winning story. So let’s put a price on it — let’s put a cost on it. We have to share best practice, lessons learned and solutions
Intel — Not just Big Data — Life & Death Data. Data tells us where to start and an inspiring story tells us to keep going. Every consumer, business, government, organisation should know their own footprint — and as we get inside that data we create yet more public support through the right media — name and shame.
Educate — Establish decent education system for all — especially for girls. Eradicate the caste based system. Protect vulnerable workers. Man is not perfect — we all deal with sin. One of the biggest problems is ignorance — coming out of business schools — what is good for the economy? We lack true education.
The death of God in society– we are starting to live a life of emptiness and lack of purpose — we replace this with trifle science and technology. We are a society that thinks it can fix everything. People have lost their identity.
Reignite ‘Right’ — Because the quest for wisdom has gone — there are no values, no ethics — we have lost our morality. Demolish the business schools and create schools for civilisations. We need to start listening to the victims. We need to get information out there to enable people to make choices.
Take profit out of business and let the people know.
Make Slavery History.
Media appears to be only interested in readership not the story — how can we change that? If we want to end slavery we need to make “doing the right thing fashionable” — we need to change the incentive of what is respectable.
As everybody has a voice we have to be careful not to simply create a noise! — Our voice needs to be presented accurately and intelligently.
Visit The GSN Summary Website: