HONG KONG, Aug. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Diginex, a global blockchain solutions company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with anti-slavery business association The Mekong Club, to create a blockchain-based system to protect workers from being exploited.
Of the 40 million people trapped in what is known as “modern slavery”, more than half are trapped in forced labour situations with unsafe working conditions. Diginex and The Mekong Club will work together to create tools for the private sector to identify and eradicate forced labour from their supply chains.
The Mekong Club runs a 32-member strong anti-slavery business association and has to date trained over 8,000 organisations and delivered over 15 innovative tools such as a multi-language e-learning, interactive maps and smartphone apps.
Diginex will work with The Mekong Club and its partner organisations, large multinational companies to create a pilot project that uses migration data to help companies track the migration of workers (and the associated costs) on a transparent and immutable ledger. The project will also create a mobile app for workers to ensure all contracts and documentation are maintained in their original form to stop migrants from becoming trapped in forced labour situations.
Mr. Mark Blick, Head of Government Projects, said: “We know blockchain has the potential to transform the lives of migrant workers and we are honoured to be part of this project. The Mekong Club is a well respected and trusted organisation that works hand in hand with the business community. We see this MOU as the beginning of a long relationship with The Mekong Club and a firm commitment by Diginex to support the eradication of modern slavery.”
Mr. Jose Perez, Chief Innovation Officer at Diginex, said: “Using a blockchain-based system to ensure protection of migrant workers is the perfect example of the power of decentralised technology. Blockchain was born out of a desire to reduce the need of expensive and opaque intermediaries, a prevalence of which we see currently with migrant workers.”
The Mekong Club’s CEO, Mr. Matt Friedman, added: “Every day we hear the same tricks being applied to migrant workers to ensnare them into forced labour situations. Employment contracts get changed as a worker moves from one country to another and extortionate fees are added for transportation, accommodation and recruitment. This means that once a worker arrives at their destination, they owe more than their salary to their employee, leaving them with little reprieve. We hope this project with Diginex will help companies spot where the biggest vulnerabilities are in their supply chain and dramatically reduce the abuse in the system.”
 According to International Labour Office, 2017 link
 Forced labour amounts to 60% of modern slavery, forced marriage amounts to 40%