Assessing Human Rights Risks and Measuring Social Performance: Emergent Tools for Companies

Created on Thursday, 14 December 2017

The seafood sector faces increasing pressure to prevent human rights and labor abuses within industry supply chains. As companies turn their attention to strengthening their policies and practices, emerging tools can help companies assess risk and measure social performance. This blog highlights five examples of useful tools currently offered for businesses. Some are available publicly, while others are add-on modules connected to existing certification schemes.

These tools compliment the long standing efforts and expertise of certifications such as Fair Trade USA, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Global Aquaculture Alliance, and Seafish’s Responsible Fishing Scheme. These certifications all incorporate social responsibility elements within their programs, and often involve risk assessment procedures and performance measurements to assess human and labor rights conditions. Risk assessments within certification programs help businesses understand what is occurring on the ground at a fishery or farm level or at a processing facility that is within the scope of the certificate. In this way, certifications with social components themselves serve as tools for understanding risk and social performance.

We encourage you to explore each of the tools below. Each link provides a deep dive into the resource.

You will gain answers to questions including:

  • What is the tool?
  • How does it work?
  • What benefits does it offer companies?
  • How does it apply to seafood?
  • How can companies get involved with the tool?

The tools highlighted are examples of existing tools. For a comprehensive list of social responsibility resources, visit Seafish’s Tools for Ethical Seafood Sourcing (TESS). This blog is intended to inform seafood stakeholders about human rights related risk assessment tools, social performance measures, and the benefits these tools can offer the industry.

Publicly Available Tools:

The Seafood Slavery Risk Tool, developed through a partnership between the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, Liberty Asia, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch identifies and assesses the risk of human rights abuses in fisheries worldwide. Specifically, the tool analyzes the risk of forced labor, slavery, and child labor occurring in selected fisheries around the world. It provides fishery profiles indicating risk ratings of human rights abuses by both country and fishery. The HRRTS has been in development since 2016, and a website currently is being established to house the tool and database. The HRRTS will ultimately be an open access tool, available publicly online at no cost to users.


The Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) (formerly known as the Human Trafficking Risk Template) is a free, open-source, industry standard template used to assist companies in their compliance, due diligence, and reporting efforts related to anti-human trafficking and slavery. The STRT was developed in response to companies’ requests for a tool to collect and share slavery and human trafficking related data across supply chains. As a risk screening tool, it assists companies seeking to gain visibility into their suppliers’ exposure to slavery and human trafficking risks and understand how well suppliers are controlling for this risk through their policies, practices, and procedures.

Additional Tools:

GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) is an add-on module developed to assess social practices on farms and address specific aspects of workers’ health, safety, and welfare. GRASP is designed to produce information on the level of risk a producer faces in regards to best practices and objectives for social responsibility categories. It is structured as an add-on to the GLOBALG.A.P. standard offering producers more opportunity to emphasize continuous improvements and progress rather than capacity to meet pass/fail criteria. The assessment outcome identifies and reports on the level of risk the producer has in regards to these categories.

The Labor Safe Screen is a fee-for-service software, developed by the Sustainability Incubator, that companies can use internally to build social accountability into their products’ supply chains. Large food companies can use this tool to screen products for risk of forced or child labor and reduce risk where indicated by adopting verifiable practices. Beyond traceability, the Labor Safe Screen is an interactive improvement program where suppliers may lower a product’s labor risk in a number of concrete ways.

Social Accountability International’s Social Fingerprint program helps companies measure and continually improve their social performance, and can be used to complement any social standard or code. Applicable across industries and countries, SAI customizes Social Fingerprint for the specific needs of each actor in the supply chain, helping them to effectively measure and improve their management system for social performance. Companies can use Social Fingerprint in a variety of ways, including capacity building, risk assessment, and supply chain segmentation.