Many company’s forced labor, human trafficking, or ‘modern day slavery’ disclosures – whether mandated by transparency regulations or part of broader sustainability, corporate social responsibility, or human rights reporting – do not reflect a credible understanding of how specific practices of value chain partners and recruitment intermediaries in their supply chains expose vulnerable workers to the risk of forced labor. Consequently, many of the detection and prevention efforts outlined in these disclosures are not sufficiently targeted to effectively address the root causes of these insidious and deeply entrenched abuses.
Despite a weakening of conflict minerals due diligence requirements in the U.S., legislation continues to advance in other countries. Leading brands are committed to working towards eliminating minerals and metals linked to conflict, criminality, environmental degradation, and human trafficking and other labor abuses from their supply chains.
Last month, ASOS, a London-based online clothing, shoe, accessory, gift, and beauty marketplace that sells to consumers in 231 countries and territories released a public statement detailing the efforts they have undertaken to comply with the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act.
From ground-breaking research and new technological tools to advocacy and addressing the changing regulatory landscape in 2016, Verité continues to be at the forefront of fighting forced labor, human trafficking, and unsafe labor conditions worldwide. Read below for some highlights from 2016 in five crucial areas.
The emergence of new laws, including the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, requires that companies raise the internal awareness and skills needed to address the risk of forced labor. Verité conducted two highly successful trainings – for buyers and for auditors – with that objective in Hong Kong in September.