A startup is building a specialist AI-powered index for child labour that updates in real time
Spotted: According to UNICEF, nearly one in ten children around the world are involved in child labour. And despite growing awareness among the public and policymakers of the prevalence of this issue, a joint report from UNICEF and the International Labour Organization shows that progress on tackling child labour has stagnated since 2016.
Manchester-based startup HACE highlights that child labour exists in nearly every supply chain in every country in the world. This, first and foremost, harms the well-being of children, but it also poses major reputational and financial risks to brands and their investors.
Progress on the issue is limited by its sheer complexity, and the fact that multinational companies have limited visibility in their supply chains, which leads to child labour ‘blind spots.’
To tackle this, HACE has developed the Child Labour Index, which it claims is the only quantitative metric in the world for child labour performance at a company and group level. This metric, which is updated daily, is based on the startup’s bespoke artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which generates accurate scores based on billions of data points.
For investors and financial institutions, the Child Labour Index provides quantitative, comparable, and reliable up-to-date monitoring of company performance on child labour. And for companies being rated, the metric provides transparency and clarity on their score compared to peers, which can help them take effective actions to improve their performance on the issue.
HACE is also building a ‘Corporate Engagement Package,’ which will encourage companies to disclose further information to ensure their score is as accurate as possible and create a constructive dialogue between companies and their stakeholders.
Whether it’s tracking the mental well-being of workers across the supply chain or making product manufacturing transparent, in the archive Springwise has spotted other technologies working to build resilience and traceability across global supply chains.
Written By: Matthew Hempstead