Keynote Address: When Doing Something Is Worse Than Doing Nothing

Monday, November 14 from 1:00-2:15 pm ET

While the cases of forced labor and human trafficking documented on fishing vessels constitute egregious human rights violations, the rush to voluntary solutions risks hindering worker-driven efforts to eliminate these atrocities. This session will explore how an overemphasis on identifying risks of extremely bad practices (e.g., forced labor) through voluntary tools can inhibit the supply chain transformations needed. Dr. Jess Sparks’ talk will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Jack Kittinger and Cecilia Blasco and a question and answer session with the audience.

Dr. Jessica Sparks

Research Assistant Professor at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham Rights Lab

Dr. Jess Sparks’ research focuses on conceptualizing and quantifying the processes and interconnections that facilitate a modern slavery-environmental degradation-climate change nexus, specifically looking at the spectrum of working conditions ranging from decent work to labor exploitation to forced labor and human trafficking in marine capture fisheries. She has worked in the labor and human rights field for over 15 years, first as a social worker and now as a researcher.