We build corporate leadership on human rights and modern slavery issues.  We undertake innovative research and programming for donors. We help businesses and donors address victims' needs by providing effective local remedy through alternative dispute resolution. 



Businesses are being asked to do more to respect human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles.  The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark has created a race to the top and governments are enacting domestic legislation like the Modern Slavery Act and the Non Financial Reporting Regulations to force businesses to make changes. Investors, NGOs and millennial are holding businesses to account.   We help you navigate these poly-centric governance requirements so you obtain external credit for your actions and are seen as a leader in your peer group.



We undertake innovate research and programming for donors.   Donors have increased their focus on how to improve policy and programming to achieve better results.  This is because of the rise of migration as an international issue, the inclusion of modern slavery as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, and the prioritisation of modern slavery and trafficking as national issues of concern across the globe. We draw on our development expertise combined with our understanding of the challenges businesses face to innovate practical solutions.  

Provision of remedy is the 'forgotten third pillar' of the UN Guiding Principles.  It is a priority focus in Cerno, because many of us are ADR experts.   We know that providing communities and workers with effective remedy is not only right, but good business practice.  It leads to a stronger social licence to operate and a more content workforce.  This makes for more secure and profitable supply chains.  We know how to achieve mediated and facilitated solutions to community grievances and the establishment of stakeholder operational grievance mechanisms in supply chains. 


Leadership strategy:  We advise you how to become a leader when evaluated against your peers.  We do this by helping you navigate poly-centric human rights and modern slavery governance requirements so you can decide what strategic response is right for your company.

Risk Assessments:  Once your strategy is in place, our experts know how to map country and sectoral risks of human rights/modern slavery against your business model, policies, and processes so you have an accurate understanding of your risks.  We don't impose our systems, instead we adjust our risk assessment methodology to your needs so it is proportionate and aligns with your existing risk systems.  

Changing business practice: Based on the results of your risk assessment we help you design an ‘adaptive programme’ so your business practices change over time and you can measure progress.  Effective measurement lets you easily justify your actions internally, for example, to the finance department, and externally, for example, to the government and NGOs.   

Due diligence: We do not undertake 'audits'. Instead our due diligence team take a 360 degree approach to due diligence by relying on a multi-disciplinary investigator team, interaction with local stakeholders, and feedback directly from workers through technology. 

Problem solving:  When due diligence finds problems we help solve them.  This might include designing a remediation programme; helping to design stakeholder operational grievance mechanisms; mediating and facilitating ad-hoc grievance issues; linking business up with donor interventions to ensure systemic responses to generic issues, e.g. lack of alternate livelihoods, or vulnerability of migrant workers.  

Communication:  We help you communicate with your internal and external stakeholders on issues of human rights and modern slavery to ensure approval and enhance your reputation.



Research:  We undertake innovative research for donors. We forge solutions to modern slavery by linking experts from areas such as labour rights and modern slavery, rule of law, security sector reform, corruption and bribery, social development, violence against women and girls, child rights, economic empowerment and trade facilitation. 

Programme Design and Delivery:  Programming to combat modern slavery and human trafficking requires pursue, prevent and protect interventions focussed on the drivers of slavery – marginalisation, vulnerability, poverty, and weak rule of law.  We design innovative, cross-sectoral programmes mainly focussed on:
o    Advising and drafting model laws
o    Training of criminal justice actors on law/enforcement/victim support  
o    Awareness raising, e.g. stakeholder dialogue, surveying, media campaigns
o    Empowerment of local stakeholders, including NGOs.  
o    Joint donor and business programmes to achieve common goals.  

Monitoring and Evaluation:  We develop the evidence base of what works and what doesn’t work through all our programming. Monitoring and evaluation is a specific output in all our programmes.