Today KnowTheChain welcomes the support of investors representing over $3 trillion in assets who have recognized the importance of KTC’s work to identify the risks of forced labor that they may be exposed to through their investments. The KnowTheChain Investor Statement, which is co-sponsored by the newly launched Investor Alliance on Human Rights, provides an additional tool to help investors engage in human rights due diligence. The statement includes investors across Europe, North America, and Australia, and lays out expectations for how companies should address forced labor risks in line with international standards and existing human rights due diligence tools.
Large global companies in sectors such as apparel, food, and electronics indirectly employ thousands or even millions of workers in their extended supply chains. Through responsible purchasing practices, strategic collaborations, and extended standards on issues such as ethical recruitment to lower-tier suppliers, companies can positively impact working conditions across their supply chains. Investors in turn should ensure their investee companies are working toward eliminating egregious practices such as forced labor, a situation in which 24.9 million people are trapped in globally.
By providing transparency and comparability, the KnowTheChain benchmarks support investors in their investment decision-making and active ownership practices. Investor support for KnowTheChain is timely, as the first benchmark covering the 40 largest information and communications technology (ICT) companies will be launched in June. This will be followed by two additional benchmarks that will cover the food and beverage and apparel and footwear sectors.