Digital technology for Unmasking Labour Exploitation in Supply Chains

Hannah Thinyane, Francisca Sassetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper aims to understand how digital technology can support businesses in unmasking labour exploitation in supply chains towards more effective remediation. It presents a case study using empirical evidence collected through expert interviews, document analysis, and a survey. Our findings illustrate that digital technology has the potential to support businesses in identifying cases of labour exploitation in supply chains during social compliance audits if tools are used within enabling environments. This research constitutes an original analysis of the intersection between corporate social responsibility and social compliance auditing, digital technology, and the critical issue of labour exploitation in supply chains. It identifies a flawed logic in expecting workers to use technology to report on exploitation without providing necessary scaffolding or support structures. We identify the role of intermediaries or surrogate accountability as critical in assisting workers and transforming working conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Digital Work: The Challenge of Inequality
EditorsRajendra K. Bandi, Ranjini C. R., Stefan Klein, Shirin Madon, Eric Monteiro
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages280
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Publication series

NameIFIPJWC 2020. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology

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