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Coca Cola & US State Department Use Blockchain to Fight Child Labor
According to the statistics provided by International Labor Organization, nearly 25 million people work in forced-labor conditions worldwide, with 47% of them in Asia-Pacific region. Over last decade, there have been multiple initiatives across the globe to counter forced child labor. Regulators have placed stringent rules to counter the forced labor menace. As a result, many industries are feeling the heat. Food & Beverage industry too are under pressure to address the issue of forced labor in countries where they obtain sugarcane.
A study released last year by KnowTheChain (KTC), a partnership founded by US-based Humanity United, showed that most food and beverage companies fall short in their efforts to solve the problem. - The study said Coca-Cola, one of 10 global companies looked at by KTC, has committed to conduct 28 country-level studies on child labor, forced labor, and land rights for its sugar supply chains by 2020. Taking this on a serious note, Coca Cola, the US State Department and two other companies have teamed together to launch a project which will use blockchain’s digital ledger technology to create a secure registry of worldwide workers to fight the use of forced labor.
As per Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA), one of the members of the consortium,
“The new venture is intended to create a secure registry for workers and their contracts using blockchain’s validation and digital notary capabilities.”
Coca Cola’s global head of workplace, ‘Brent Wilton’ was ecstatic about the initiative and on the occasion said,
“We are partnering with the pilot of this project to further increase transparency and efficiency of the verification process related to labour policies within our supply chain.”
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of State, ‘Scot Busby’ was very positive about the project and on the occasion of the announcement stated that, while the Blockchain cannot compel companies to respect contracts and implement ethical labor practices, it can create a chain of evidence that will encourage compliance. As per the Reuters, the fourth partner ‘Bitfury Group’ will build the blockchain platform for this project, while Emercoin will help with Blockchain services.
The tide seems to be tilting towards mass adoption of Blockchain technology, as more and more industries start to adopt it. Below are some of the other examples: