News / Modern Slavery

Artificial Intelligence used to tackle modern slavery

By ellie pipe, Friday Jul 19, 2019

Advanced technology is being used to drive out labour exploitation across the UK, thanks to the work of a Bristol company.

Transparency in Supply Chains Report (TISCreport), a Broad Street-based social enterprise committed to ending modern slavery, launched a live transparency map that collates real-time information for British cities, councils, districts and boroughs last year.

The largest of its kind in the country, the register can identify the organisations with no locatable modern slavery statements – currently 26.7 per cent – and is now able to automatically assess compliance using specially developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

It reveals that compliance is low, with only 8.7 per cent of modern slavery statements meeting minimum requirements, but TISCreport CEO Jaya Chakrabarti MBE, says figures are changing rapidly as work to raise awareness takes effect.

Jaya Chakrabarti says new technology is already working to influence behaviour

“The technology to drive out labour exploitation in supply chains is evolving. We’ve started modestly with our use of AI, but it is already influencing behaviour,” says Chakrabarti.

“Quality of modern slavery statements overall is incredibly poor, but at least we have a handle on how bad it is, and companies are now starting to make an effort.

“We have a number of councils, including Bristol, wanting to collaborate on making improvements for their own supply chains at least. Bristol continues to be a shining light and leading the way.

“You can proudly say that the race to the top for companies tackling modern slavery in supply chains started right here, in Bristol.”

The TISCreport is a certified open data register that’s free to join and is continually being updated. There are just under 1000 UK public bodies tracking supply chains in the system.

Since TISCreport sent out system alerts, a significant number of members have updated statements to bring them within compliance.

Chakrabarti says the beauty of using AI for auditing statements is that the basic criteria can be identified without requiring human resource, enabling more focus on assessing the impact rather than just tickbox compliance.

Read more: The pioneering Bristol initiative tackling modern slavery

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