Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts today accepted the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Stop Slavery Award on behalf of Apple at the Trust Conference, an annual human rights gathering.

Apple received the award for its efforts to stop forced labor in its supply chain. Apple has long banned suppliers from requiring workers to pay off debt or withholding passports.



Ahrendts told attendees that Apple is teaming up with the UN’s International Organization for Migration for an initiative that may eventually help victims of human trafficking to get jobs behind-the-scenes at Apple retail locations.

Apple will not know which individuals are being hired through the program, with participating people set to be hired by Apple suppliers rather than Apple directly to start with.



Apple will, however, monitor the initiative, and the company may eventually extend the program to allow human trafficking victims to be hired in Apple retail locations, according to the BBC.

“Though we have only just started, we see huge opportunity to be a beacon of hope for trafficking survivors integrating them into our retail team,” Ms Ahrendts said in her acceptance speech.

“These efforts are just a part of a broader set of initiatives to eliminate modern slavery from every part of our company, in every part of the world.”

Apple conducts ongoing audits of its supply chain partners and punishes those who are found to be defying the protections put in place for workers. Suppliers who repay fees are put on probation, and those that do not are banned.

More information on Apple’s human rights efforts can be found on the company’s Supplier Responsibility website.

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