The world is increasingly interconnected through global supply chains. Trillions of dollars a year of merchandise travel across oceans and continents linking low cost manufacturers from developing countries to large discount-driven consumer markets. While the benefits of these supply chains are clear – jobs, goods and commerce – the costs are largely hidden from the public.
Millions of people are victims of forced labour around the world. Corruption costs countries, businesses and consumers trillions of dollars. The environmental and climate effects of global trade are growing. Hidden Costs brings together journalists and scholars to research and report on the complexities of global trade.
Incidents such as slave labour and harmful materials in consumer products have drawn international attention and given rise to critical questions about where our products come from and how they are made. Calls for supply chain accountability are increasing, including the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (slavery and human trafficking) and the U.S. Lacey Act amendments to address illegal timber in trade.
The Hidden Costs of Global supply Chains (HCGSC) cluster aims to reveal the consequences of global supply chains. Our investigative team includes seasoned award-winning journalists, who are partnering with leading scholars and students to embark on ambitious research and reporting projects.