Read our blog on how worker-driven approaches to mandatory due diligence in Europe are most effective
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.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre published a survey on the approach of Qatar’s luxury World Cup hotels to the protection of migrant workers’ rights. Worker testimony reveals the suppression of worker voice in the absence of legally permitted unions, extortionate recruitment fees, discrimination, and being trapped in a job through fear of reprisal and intimidation.
The Asia Floor Wage Alliance released a report on wage theft, citing Asian garment worker perspectives on the recession ensuing from the Covid-19 pandemic. In conjunction with this report, the organization launched a legal strategy using the concept of “joint employer liability” to hold global apparel brands legally liable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.
A new report highlights the prevalence of forced labor in Malaysian medical gloves supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic, and their supply to the UK’s National Health Service. The report includes a survey of 1,491 workers who report experiencing physical or sexual violence, intimidation and threats from recruitment agencies to prevent workers from speaking about recruitment fees, and passport retention.
Read our blog on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence in the EU in which we highlight the findings of our 2021 Apparel and Footwear benchmark. The blog builds on company support for the introduction of legislation and stresses the importance of worker-driven approaches to due diligence over social auditing.
Forced Labor: The Latest Developments
The Responsible Business Alliance, an industry initiative for electronics, auto, and toy companies, has launched a fund, allocating US$500,000 for direct worker-worker relief and for initiatives supporting migrant workers suffering from negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
NGOs published key considerations for an EU instrument to control the importation of products produced using forced labor into the EU. The briefing highlights that such a mechanism must be developed in tandem with mandatory human rights due diligence legislation for their mutual enforcement, to focus on remedy for victims, and the need to ensure improved public access to customs data.
A group of almost 30 organizations have joined together to call for a structure for UK corporate accountability laws to require companies to undertake human rights and environmental due diligence across their supply chains.
The US Senate passed a bill to ban imports from Xinjiang due to alleged forced labor of the predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority group, unless products can be proven to have been produced otherwise.
For further news on forced labor in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
A report by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre presents empirical data on the implications of Covid-19 for the management of forced labor risks in supply chains. The study looks at how company responses to the pandemic have affected commitments to address forced labor risks in supply chains, and how company practice as well as government responses impact workers.
The EU launched due diligence guidance to advise companies on how to address forced labor risks in their own operations and their supply chains in line with international standards. The guidance has been published ahead of the introduction of legislation which is planned to include mandatory human rights due diligence requirements for EU companies.
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