New toolkit released as part of the FLOW project to help companies prevent labour exploitation and trafficking

The EU-funded project FLOW has published a new toolkit and guide to help companies prevent the exploitation and trafficking of people in their subcontracting chains. The project aims to improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate trafficking in human beings (THB) and to raise awareness among businesses of the risks of THB in supply chains and their ability to prevent THB.

According to Anna Markina, a Research Fellow of Criminology at the School of Law of the University of Tartu and the project manager of the FLOW project in Estonia, cases of labour exploitation in supply/subcontracting chains have been uncovered around the world, as well as in Europe, in recent years. “In order to protect the rights of migrant workers and to promote fair competition and decent work, businesses have a responsibility to address the risk of labour exploitation and human trafficking in their subcontracting or supply chains,” said Markina.

The toolkit “Navigating through your supply chain – Toolkit for prevention of labour exploitation and trafficking” was developed in the EU-funded FLOW project by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI) together with partners.

To supplement the toolkit, the Normative Framework Guide is published. Both the toolkit and the guide are specifically meant for businesses and organisations that use low-skilled migrant workers through e.g. subcontracting or labour intermediaries, and businesses operating in risk sectors where exploitation and trafficking have been identified. It is also aimed at public procurement units, as well as corporate social responsibility experts and networks.

The toolkit will assist companies prevent labour exploitation and trafficking by demonstrating the associated risks and suggesting tools that help effectively avoid involvement in such scenarios. The hands-on tools focus on the implementation of due diligence processes and provide concrete measures to navigate and control complex supply chain networks especially in local, national and intra-European contexts.

These measures include conducting a risk assessment, drafting an anti-trafficking strategy, screening contractual partners, incorporating specific contractual clauses and organising workplace assessments to prevent and address the risks of labour exploitation and trafficking.

The complementary guide summarises the existing legal frameworks outlining companies’ human rights responsibilities with a focus on labour exploitation and trafficking.

The Toolkit and the Normative Framework Guide are available as electronic publications in English here. Different language versions (in the FLOW project members’ languages Bulgarian, Estonian, Finnish and Latvian) as well as physical copies will be published later in 2020.

The Estonian version of the toolkit is currently available in PDF format.

More information about the project.

The project partners are the University of Tartu School of Law, European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI) from Finland, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) from Bulgaria and Ministry of Interior of Latvia.

Further information: Anna Markina, Research Fellow of Criminology, School of Law, University of Tartu, +372 5557 3302,