In this blog Richard Branson expresses his and his company’s support to end modern slavery as well as gender-based violence (GBV) and explains why modern slavery and GBV are connected issues. Within the blog there is also a link to Virgin’s Anti-Slavery Policy and The B Team at Virgin whose mission is ‘to build momentum and action around this important responsibility in the private sector’. Richard emphasises the power of business and business leaders to end modern slavery and GBV.
Read the blog here: http://news.trust.org/item/20180516114812-ky9xe/
In this report KnowTheChain looked at this question,’are the largest information and communications technology companies in the world doing enough to eradicate forced labor from their supply chains?’ Each company received an overall benchmark score, ranging from zero to 100 which was determined with regard to weighing seven themes equally: commitment and governance, traceability and risk assessment, purchasing practises, recruitment, worker voice, monitoring and remedy. In this study KnowTheChain evaluated 40 companies and the average benchmark score was 32 out of 100. Further, the two areas that were thought in this report to have the most impact on workers’ lives, worker voice and recruitment, were the lowest scoring themes.
Read the report here: https://knowthechain.org/wp-content/plugins/ktc-benchmark/app/public/images/benchmark_reports/KTC-ICT-May2018-Final.pdf
This article centres around a report from the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) , a non-profit company, that have ranked corporate performance on human rights. Steve Waygood, chair of the CHRB Board and chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, says that issues such as modern slavery are correlated with financial performance and that companies that don’t engage in solving this issue ‘may risk restricted access to capital due to repetitional damage and regulatory backlash’.
Overall, however the report notes increased human rights reporting and commitment to transparency by companies and a “race to the top” culture on the issue of human rights.
Read the article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2018/05/21/business-starts-to-take-human-rights-seriously-as-laws-and-benchmarks-start-to-bite/#8ce84907f5db
This paper examines the human rights issues in supermarket supply chains, shining a light on how worker and small-scale farmer inequality and suffering correlates with the power and financial reward of big business. The paper also highlights the correlation between supermarket’s power and governments pursuing ‘an agenda of trade liberalisation and deregulation of agricultural and labour markets’ before going on to identify actions that can be pursued to tackle human rights abuses in supermarket supply chains.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International says in her foreword, ‘We all enjoy good food. Cooking our favourite ingredients or sharing a meal are among our simplest pleasures. But too often the food we savour comes at an unacceptable price: the suffering of the people who produced it.’
Read the paper here: https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/620418/cr-ripe-for-change-supermarket-supply-chains-210618-summ-en.pdf?sequence=5
This blog post is written by the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE. This is an incredibly powerful, informative and inspirational read. The closing sentence states, ’We have incumbent upon us a moral duty to stop privileging price and profit over the basic wellbeing and rights of people who are just like you and me, but happen to have been born into different circumstances.’ Kevin Hyland focuses in particular on the role of the private sector in this blog post. He states, ‘too often in my role as Commissioner, I have been told that solving forced labour in the private sector is ‘impossible’, particularly with regard to the Global South. It is not; rather, this is wilful blindness to the solutions needed’.
Read blog here: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/tackling-modern-slavery-global-supply-chains
This report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) builds upon a previous report from the ILO published in 2011 called ‘Children in hazardous work: What we know, what we need to do (ILO-IPEC, 2011)’. This new report is said to be based on new evidence ‘aiding better understanding of why this worst form of child labour persists and uncovering new interventions that might have more chance of eliminating it’. It was estimated by the ILO in 2017 that there were 152 million children in child labour and that almost 73 million of these were engaged in hazardous work.
Read the report here: https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_30315/lang–en/index.htm?mc_cid=01c926b680&mc_eid=4743844cbe
Thai Union realised they had slavery in their chain of supply – mainly, but not exclusively in the fishing boats. They have been working at changing the culture and the supply chain traceability and transparency. This 2016 Sustainability Report tells what they have been aiming to do and how. Key areas in their Safe and Legal Labour section include:
Thai Union Business Ethics And Labour Code Of Conduct
Human Rights And Ethical Labour Practices
Supplier Approval Process
Migrant Worker Recruitment Policy
Opting For Zero-Recruitment Fees Policy
Continues Its Transition To Digital Payments Worldwide
The full report can be read or downloaded