Humanity United, U.S. Government Agencies, and Private Donors Launch Competition to Combat Labor Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 28, 2015 – Today, the Partnership for Freedom launched Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Fight Labor Trafficking, an innovation challenge that calls for technological solutions that identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains for goods and services. The Challenge will award $500,000 in prizes and services.

The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that aims to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges. The Partnership is led by Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of State, and the Department of Labor. Private efforts are supported by Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, and the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund.

Around the world, tens of millions of people are estimated to be in modern slavery.  The ILO estimates that 14.2 million people are victims of forced labor in private economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing. Goods produced with forced labor, a form of modern slavery, often make their way into the global economy, and into our lives, through complex and opaque supply chains. The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge seeks new ideas, tools, and efforts that use technology to combat and prevent this problem in global supply chains.

“The scope of this issue is enormous,” said Randy Newcomb, President and CEO of Humanity United. “We need new actors, new skills, new data, new ideas and new energy to improve anti-trafficking efforts around the world.”

“Forced labor has no place in our global supply chains nor in the goods and services we buy every day. We look forward to the innovative ideas and designs we anticipate from this Challenge as we seek to eliminate human trafficking from the global marketplace,” said Ambassador Susan Coppedge of the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Rethink Supply Chains encourages solvers to focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Workers’ Voices: Tools that help workers to share information and foster community, access resources, and report labor violations to businesses, governments, NGOs, or each other in the most safe and secure ways possible.
  • Recruitment: Tools to improve the transparency and accountability of the labor recruitment process, encourage responsible practices for employers and recruiters, and empower workers to more safely navigate the recruitment process.
  • Traceability: Technologies that enable businesses, workers, governments, and NGOs to track, map, and/or share information on commodities, products, and labor conditions in supply chains at high risk of forced labor.

Initial submissions for Rethink Supply Chains will be accepted until December 13, 2015. Up to five teams or organizations will be selected to advance as finalists. Finalists will each be awarded a prize package of $20,000 in cash as well as supporting services, which include admission to a Finalist Accelerator, with an in-person Finalist Boot Camp and access to expert mentorship to further develop their concept. One grand-prize winner and one runner-up winner will be announced in April 2016 and awarded $250,000 and $50,000, respectively.

The Challenge is the second in a series of three competitions dedicated to spurring innovative solutions to end human trafficking, and follows the Reimagine: Opportunity challenge, which focused on solutions to support victims of human trafficking in the United States.

For Challenge rules and to submit a concept, visit: http://www.partnershipforfreedom.org

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About Humanity United

Established in 2005, Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead, support, and collaborate with a broad network of efforts, ideas, and organizations that share our vision of a world free of conflict and injustice. Humanity United is part of the Omidyar Group, which represents the philanthropic, personal, and professional interests of Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Learn more at www.humanityunited.org, @HumanityUnited and Facebook.com/humanityunited. Humanity United is part of The Omidyar Group: www.omidyargroup.com.