KnowTheChain report shows companies are failing to introduce effective due diligence to address forced labour risks
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.
Out now: KnowTheChain’s latest report, “Closing the gap: Evidence for effective human rights due diligence from five years measuring company efforts to address forced labour” exposes the glacial rate of progress on due diligence by the world’s largest companies over the last five years and highlights a lack of preparedness for upcoming legislation. On average, the 129 companies benchmarked by KnowTheChain score a mere 29% for their human rights due diligence efforts:
- Over a third of benchmarked companies (36%) do not show any evidence they are carrying out human rights risk assessments of their supply chains;
- Only 1 in 5 companies demonstrate responsible purchasing practices; and
- 29% of benchmarked companies do not provide evidence a grievance mechanism is made available for suppliers’ workers to report labour rights abuses.
Our report provides recommendations to legislators, and others seeking to drive change, on essential elements for an effective approach to human rights due diligence – one which is centred on engagement with key stakeholders including workers and communities.
Striking garment workers in El Salvador manufacturing “Grey’s Anatomy” medical scrubs win $1 million in back pay and severance following an eight-month-long dispute. While the sum falls short of the estimated $1.3 million owed to workers, it provides severance and backpay to a degree, to each of the factory’s former workers.
Forced labour: The latest developments
U.S. Congressmen call for an investigation into the Dominican Republic’s sugar sector amid allegations of exploitation and forced labour in sugarcane production for US consumption.
The UK government faces legal action for approving a UK subsidiary of Supermax, the Malaysian company accused of using forced labour, as a PPE supplier in a new £6bn contract for disposable gloves.
For further news on forced labour in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
SOMO released a report examining how legislators can turn the principle-based, normative standards for human rights due diligence, contained in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the OECD Guidelines, into binding, hard-law obligations. The report considers how the standards can be translated to ensure corporate respect of human rights and access to justice and remedy across jurisdictions and legal traditions.
The Danish Institute for Human Rights published a report interpreting and providing an overview of the array of EU regulatory initiatives, both in force and under development, related to business and human rights, including an assessment of how they align with international frameworks such as the UNGPs.
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