Tradeshift is expanding its supply chain platform with a tool that helps businesses detect and address human trafficking in their global supply chains.

The firm announced today a partnership with software company FRDM (formerly Made In A Free World), which has built the app. The tool is designed to analyse purchase data, break up risks and protect corporate values while ensuring compliance with international regulations. It does so by combining a comprehensive forced labour database with supplier and purchase level details, allowing users to trace and monitor social risks at every level of their supply chain.

Tradeshift is a cloud-based platform that connects companies globally and helps them digitalise and manage their supply chains. It hosts a network of more than 1.5 million firms including the likes of Air France-KLM, DHL, Fujitsu, Siemens, Unilever and Volvo, who will now be able to use the app directly on Tradeshift’s platform.

Tradeshift writes in a statement that the new tool “makes it far easier for internal stakeholders like chief sustainability officers to persuade CIOs, CPOs and CMOs to start treating supply chain slavery as an essential corporate medicine to take for the health of their entire supply chain”.

Also commenting on the partnership, Justin Dillon, CEO of FRDM, says it will help businesses and consumers to “buy better”.

An estimated 16 million people were in forced labour in the private economy in 2016, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). To address this problem, governments around the world, including the US, UK and Australia, have introduced legislation that requires businesses to report on the actions taken to tackle modern slavery issues in their operations and supply chains.

“No company ever says that slavery-based revenue is OK,” says Christian Lanng, Tradeshift’s CEO. “But companies still don’t take action because it’s just too complicated to marry the analytics with the purchasing decisions. We believe that making this step frictionless is not just a compliance question from a business operations perspective, but, more importantly, a fundamental moral issue. And it’s one that must be resolved.”

The move forms part of Tradeshift’s transformation from being an invoicing platform to covering a full range of supply chain management, financing, payments and compliance services.

Supply chain finance and payments have been a core focus area for the company since it partnered with HSBC and Santander in 2017, and then launched Tradeshift Pay last year.

Tradeshift is also working to expand its more than 200-app-large marketplace of solutions developed by third-party providers, which basically allow Tradeshift users to easily access new services without having to integrate the apps with their own systems. The FRDM partnership is one such example.

It follows Tradeshift’s announcement in October that it would integrate a risk indicator service into its platform after entering a partnership with global credit insurer Coface. The Coface app helps businesses better assess and monitor counterparty risk and protect them against the risk of non-payment.