European mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence on hold
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 by Asia Floor Wage Alliance documents women garment workers’ experiences of gender-based violence and harassment and economic harm, including wage theft, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It highlights how the business models and actions of global apparel companies exacerbate workers’ vulnerability to gender-based violence and harassment.
A new documentary exposes the realities faced by Nepali migrant workers who travel to the Gulf. The documentary chronicles the economic forces propelling workers to travel to seek employment, and provides insight into the motivations and personal lives of workers making the journey.
Forced Labour: The Latest Developments
Mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (mHREDD) developments at the European level have been put on hold. Business and human rights experts and leaders have banded together to decry the delay and issue a statement to petition Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commission to ensure that the proposal is passed and includes ambitious standards for effective corporate mHREDD.
The Dutch government announces its plans to develop a national due diligence law following the delay to the EU proposal. Tom de Bruijn, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation cited three reasons for accelerating the development of legislation at a national level:
- To increase the pressure on the European Commission.
- If the EC does come up with a proposal next spring, then we will have not lost any time.
- The Child Labour (Duty of Care) Act. I find it no longer tenable that a law that has been passed by the Parliament is not being implemented by the government.
Civil society organisation, the European Center for Constitutional Rights, submitted a criminal complaint against a number of Dutch and US apparel companies with European headquarters in the Netherlands. The claim alleges that C&A, Nike, Patagonia, and State of Art may be directly or indirectly complicit in forced labour of Uyghur people in Xinjiang.
The Canadian government has halted imports from Malaysian rubber glove manufacturer Supermax due to allegations of forced labour, awaiting an investigation into the company’s practices. This action follows the US Customs and Border Protection’s decision to issue a “Withhold Release Order”, prohibiting imports from the company.
The Malaysian government reported that it will investigate Dyson’s decision to cut ties with its supplier ATA in Malaysia following allegations of excessive overtime and worker-paid recruitment fees at the supplier, amounting to conditions of forced labour.
For further news on forced labour in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
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The KnowTheChain team wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season and start of the new year.