Apparel companies under the spotlight as the Bangladesh Accord expiry date looms
KnowTheChain’s monthly newsletter shares worker perspectives, the latest from the KnowTheChain team, and updates and resources on forced labor in supply chains in the business and human rights sphere.
A report on exploitation in cotton production in Gujarat, India, includes the perspectives of fourteen households involved in cotton seed production. It reveals conditions of forced labor, sexual exploitation, underpayment, and degrading working conditions for many workers in the sector.
Forced Labor: The Latest Developments
A group of Spanish civil society organizations launched a campaign to call for human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, adding to the growing momentum for the adoption of such legislation by national governments in Europe.
A report by Amnesty International reveals that the ten largest venture capital firms globally are failing to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights by having adequate human rights due diligence policies in place. The report states that the firms fail to establish whether the technology companies they are investing in meet baseline requirements to ensure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited companies to respond to a report released by Above Ground, which identifies a high risk of forced labor in Canadian supply chains and highlights the need for the Customs Tariff ban on importing goods produced by forced labor to be properly enforced. Five out of seven companies did not respond.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre sought responses from 46 companies implicated in a university report on the prevalence of alleged forced labor in Xinjiang throughout the supply chains of the solar industry.
Reports scrutinising company responses to the Australian Modern Slavery Act, following the closure of the first reporting period, are now becoming available. See for example, a report from ACSI which reveals that most follow a “race to the middle” approach, seeking to satisfy the legal requirements of the MSA without disclosing more than key peers.
For further news on forced labor in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
Clean Clothes Campaign has established a tracker to monitor the commitments of companies towards a renewed Bangladesh Accord with strong provisions, as well as those that reneged on their promises and stalled negotiations. The Accord is due to expire on 31 August.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, a Japanese civil society organization, published a paper on the business and human rights record of Japanese companies and their supply chains originating in Thailand. The study focuses on grievance mechanisms. It examines the systemic and structural impacts of human rights risks and abuses and identifies trends in the human rights performance of Japanese companies sourcing from Thailand.
The recently released Fashion Transparency Index 2021 measures the level of disclosure of social and environmental policies, processes, and impacts by 250 of the largest global apparel and footwear companies in their own operations and supply chains.
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