We build leadership on human rights and modern slavery issues.  We undertake innovative research and programming. We help address victims' needs by improving their access to remedy.  We encourage our clients to work in a collaborative manner with other stakeholders, as we believe collaborative solutions have more endurance for modern slavery and human rights issues.  



We make business and donors leaders in addressing modern slavery and human rights issues. The SDGs have made combatting slavery a priority. The UN Guiding Principles require action.  The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark has created a race to the top.  Jurisdictional creep of legislation like the Modern Slavery Act and the Non Financial Reporting Regulations are to forcing businesses to make changes. Investors, NGOs and millennial are holding businesses to account.   We help donors and businesses respond to these challenges as LEADERS at pace they can manage. 



We undertake innovate research and programming to help donors and business respond to quickly changing demands in addressing modern slavery and human rights issues.   Donors have increased their focus on combatting modern slavery and are improving policy and programming to achieve better results.   Businesses are stepping up to meet their responsibility to address human rights and expectations to combat modern slavery, and they want to know how to do so ethically.   We innovate practical solutions that actually work, not papers that build up dust.  

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 have mediated major disputes and designed grievance mechanisms in complex contexts. 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.  We can help improve the state justice system and design corporate remedy strategies and operational grievance mechanisms. 


Leadership strategy:  We know how to help when you are trying to work out how to respond to increased pressure to improve your company's response to modern slavery and human rights.  We can ensure you end up with a strategic response is right for your company and that lets you become a leader alongside your peers. 

Policies, Procedures, Contracting: You will need to ensure that these are all slavery/human rights sensitive. We can help you do this and introduce you to trusted law firms we work with if you want detailed legal advice. 

Risk Assessments:  You should start by doing a risk assessment to work out if there is a risk of modern slavery/human rights abuses in your business or supply chain.  We 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: Once you know where the risks of modern slavery/human rights are, you need to take action to try and mitigate risk.  This might require you to change existing business practices. We can help you do this by working with you to design an ‘adaptive programme’ so your business practices change over time at a pace you can handle and so that you can MEASURE PROGRESS.  

Monitoring and evaluating impact of your actions: One of the key findings of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark is that very few businesses are measuring and evaluating progress properly. You should as this lets you not only account for monies spent on human rights and modern slavery issues to your Finance Department and Board, but also tell a good story to demanding external stakeholders. And just to be efficient and do a good job. Our monitoring and evaluation experts have d many years experience assessing multi-year, multi-million pound development programmes in the development sector.   We can help you do this well. 

Due diligence: Part of monitoring and evaluating is doing due diligence, ultimately you should go out into your business and see whether what you've tried to change is happening. Not by sending out questionnaires to factory owners from your desk. We do not undertake 'audits'. Instead we take 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. This need not be expensive, we find solutions to meet your needs. 

Problem solving / Remedies:  When due diligence finds problems we help you remedy them.  This might include designing a remediation programme taking grievance holders views into account.  Sometimes mediating conflict that has arisen.  At a systemic level we can help you design a remedy strategy which will include an operational grievance mechanism that is right for the context in which you're working.

Stakeholder engagement / Donor community: We help you engage better with your stakeholders, including local NGOS, Trade Unions and governments.  We understand well how the development sector works and look for where development actors are working on overlapping issue of relevance to your supply chain, e.g. anti-trafficking or gender empowerment programmes affecting women in your supply chain.  Collaborating with these programme can lessen the burden on your company. 

Innovative Research: We like to think outside the box to come up with new and better solutions to addressing modern slavery and human rights issues. We work closely with tech companies and foundations deriving new solutions to obtaining worker feedback and seeking to eradicate modern slavery from supply chains. 

Communication:  We have a partnership with a trusted strategic communication company, which can 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.