A spotlight on mandatory due diligence requirements
KnowTheChain’s monthly newsletter shares worker perspectives, the latest from the KnowTheChain team, and updates and insights on forced labour in supply chains in the business and human rights sphere.
A report by the Freedom and Labor Activists Group details the life of workers in Myanmar under the coup and the third-wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over half of the workers interviewed reported facing discrimination and punishment for refusing overtime. Since the coup, it is reported that bonuses are no longer paid to workers, pay cuts are made without reason, and salaries are paid late. The report states that workers who took part in protests against the coup received reduced wages, were informed on to the military council, and threatened. About 85% of workers reported that there is no payment for overtime following the coup and over half report that salaries are cut, or workers are fired if they contract Covid-19 and are unable to work.
Forced labour: The latest developments
Migrant workers on UK fishing vessels report being “exploited and beaten.” A third of migrant workers who responded to a survey report working 20-hour shifts for £3.50 an hour and 35% report regular physical violence.
The Australian Labour Party makes election promises to establish an anti-slavery commissioner and publish an annual list of countries, regions, and industries with high levels of slavery. “Companies importing from these places would be required to prove goods are not made with forced labour,” an opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman said.
Researchers say that they have detected traces of Xinjiang cotton in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss shirts and t-shirts despite promises by the German companies to revise their supply chains following allegations of widespread forced labour in the region.
For further news on forced labour in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
The World Benchmarking Alliance and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre release a policy note on Japanese companies’ performance on human rights due diligence featuring KnowTheChain data. The note provides recommendations for the proposed human rights due diligence guidelines by the Japanese government based on evidence from Japanese companies’ performance on relevant indicators.
A policy briefing by the Modern Slavery & Human Rights Policy & Evidence Centre analyses the effectiveness of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence, considering the existing evidence on the background to developments across Europe and their relevance to the UK modern slavery framework.
Anti-Slavery International releases an analysis addressing the draft due diligence proposal’s shortcomings with specific recommendations for the European Parliament and the European Council to strengthen it. Recommendations include addressing potential loopholes in liability and limitations on responsibilities of the financial sector.
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