In a notable development, the US State Department and Coca-Cola are partnering up to launch a blockchain project to fight forced labor. This blockchain will henceforth create a global, secure and transparent registry to verify employees.
Reuters reported that two other companies namely Bitfury and Emercoin will join the project. Accordingly, the state Department confirmed the news through an emailed statement. In fact, this will be the first project it has taken up that involves distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The beverage giant said that it had put to the test several blockchain uses for more than a year. The head of workplace rights, Brent Wilton, spoke to Reuters:
“We are partnering with the pilot of this project to further increase transparency and efficiency of the verification process related to labor policies within our supply chain.”
Blockchain and Know the Chain (KTC) Initiative
Forced labor is a certainly serious offense as per the modern international law regime. It cannot be overlooked that this practice is still prevalent in some areas where Coca-Cola sources its sugar. The Know the Chain (KTC) initiative, affiliated to US based Humanity United, reported that most beverage companies ignored this problem.
Besides, the study which covered ten multinationals stated that Coca-Cola planned to conduct an additional 28 studies by 2020.In doing so, extracting information on practices such as involuntary and child labor and child labor in the supply chain is possible.
According to the International Labor Organization, about 25 million people are currently trapped in forced labor situations. Noteworthy also is that the Asia pacific-region accounts for a significant minority at about 47% of the total.
The State Department likewise expressed its enthusiasm in a statement to Reuters. The Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby said:
“The Department of State is excited to work on this innovative blockchain pilot”
Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) is another non-profit that works on a similar project. BTA lauded this project as it would create a secure registry based on DLT validation and digital notary features. It goes without saying that a secure registry that records employee data is essential. It can track labor and financial practices of subsidiary branches.
In summary, the Blockchain is more than a utility limited to cryptocurrency. This is yet another example of the novel invention solving real life problems. The world is definitely a better place with Blockchain technology.