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Social Innovation Podcast – Episode 15 – Mark Blick – Diginex – The Question Used to Be, “Do You Employ Slaves?”

I had a great conversation with Mark Blick, the Head of Government, Blockchain Technology at Diginex.  Diginex is a global blockchain solutions company based in Hong Kong.  They really focus on two broad themes, Financial Services and a Solutions and Advisory Business.  Mark focuses on the intersection of where regulatory change and policy frameworks meet with private sector implementation.

Mark and I spent a lot of time talking about a project he and the team have been working on for the past year, modern slavery and forced labor…hence the title of this episode.  We start with the fact that modern slavery is not new, but regulation seems to be catching up with this issue.  The statistics around modern slavery will actually shock you…I know they surprised me.  In terms of money size, it is second only to the illicit drug trade and only a minuscule fraction of the people impacted here are actually getting any kind of help.

Secondly, there are changing consumer behaviors…with consumers becoming much more cognizant of ethically how the companies whose products they buy actually operate.  More specifically, modern slavery affects the products that consumers most commonly purchase and this awareness is forcing companies to take notice along with the changes in the global regulatory environment.  These are not obscure companies….

To help combat the problem of modern slavery, Diginex worked on a project with the Mekong Club to pilot eMin in Thailand. eMin is a blockchain-based application designed to take a significant step towards improving the lives of migrant workers and to reduce the chances of exploitation, by engaging both the private and public sectors.

eMin was developed by Diginex, in partnership with the Mekong Club, and is designed to protect migrant workers and increase supply chain transparency. eMin enhances trust, transparency and security in the worker recruitment process by storing an immutable copy of employment contracts and employment terms on the Ethereum blockchain.