Monique Villa and Anish Kapoor launch Stop Slavery Award at Trust Women Conference

by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 9 December 2015 17:15 GMT
New initiative will honor corporations who go above and beyond in ensuring their supply chains are free from bonded and forced labor.

Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa and Turner-Prize Winner Sculptor Anish Kapoor launched the Stop Slavery Award, highlighting the need for cross-sector private sector engagement in the fight against modern-day slavery.

The brand new initiative, launched at the conclusion of the Trust Women Conference, will honor corporations who are ‘best in class’, going above and beyond in ensuring their supply chains are free from bonded and forced labor.

“With this Award we want to create a virtuous circle in the fight against slavery, says Monique Villa. Once a corporation has received this award, competitors will want it too because it matters to consumers. Today, if you compare state GDP to net profits, global corporations are bigger and more powerful than some nation states. It’s a no brainer: if we want to succeed in the fight against slavery, we need big business on board, and empower consumers to vote with their money, awarding those brands which are taking real action against slavery”

Designed by Anish Kapoor, the inaugural Stop Slavery Award will be presented at the next Trust Women Conference, on November 30, 2016 in London.

Corporations will nominate themselves for the Award, and will be asked to respond to a series of questions designed in collaboration with global law firm Baker & McKenzie and leading actors in the anti-slavery space. The criterias are based on transparency and behavior and on the leadership role that the corporation plays in the fight against forced labour. Winners, by industry, will be given the right to use the Stop Slavery Award logo to position themselves as thought leaders in the fight against slavery, and to engage consumers in a global campaign towards ethical buying.

Other big actions were taken at the conference, one of them proposed by Thomson Reuters F&R business: a global data platform to fight slavery in supply chains. Others actions included  the creation of a litigation center to defend pro bono human trafficking victims; an initiative to boost literacy for 5 million women through mobile phones. You can read all Trust Women actions here.     

Organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Trust Women event is the world’s most prominent anti-slavery forum, and a global platform to take innovative solutions to empower women to know and defend their rights.

This year’s event brought together 550 delegates from 60 countries, including government representatives, business leaders and frontline NGOs.

Speakers and participants included: Blackstone Vice-Chairman John Studzinski, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s issues Cathy Russell; Her Majesty Queen Noor; Lawyer and Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Cherie Blair; President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation Kathy Calvin; UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland OBE; Chair of Girls not Brides Mabel van Oranje; Eco Age Creative Director Livia Firth; WorldReader CEO David Risher; Unilever Global Chief Information Officer Jane Moran; Senior Vice President and CPO of Nestlé Marco Gonçalves; CEO of the Global Fund to End Slavery Jean Baderschneider; and Mekong Club CEO Matt Friedman.

Trust Women reached 6.3 million people on social media, generating more than 1.9K twitter interactions, 593 mentions and 760 re-tweets.

You can catch up with Trust Women online. Watch the videos and check out the pictures.

You can read an op-ed on slavery and data by Monique Villa on the South China Morning Post; and op-ed by Monique Villa and Cherie Blair on women in leadership on The Times.