Searching for Accountability and Remedy for Supply Chain Workers
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.
Featuring Accountability and Remedy for Workers in Global Supply Chains
The ILAW Network compiles essays and interviews on strategies for accountability and remedy for workers in global supply chains. The anthology focuses on considerations for workers and unions to seek justice in global supply chains, including practical lessons from collective bargaining in supply chains, litigation strategies, and challenges of union action in globalised supply chains.
Forced Labour: The Latest Developments
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) imposed a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on fresh tomatoes produced by Mexican companies, Agropecuarios, Horticola, and their subsidiaries based on an investigation that reasonably indicates the use of forced labour on farms. CBP also imposed a WRO on imports from Malaysian rubber glove manufacturer Supermax and its subsidiaries based on an investigation that detected ten out of 11 of the ILO’s forced labour indicators.
In Ecuador, a court ruled in favour of farm workers in Japanese company Furukawa’s forced labour case, obliging the company to repair serious human rights violations committed on its farms. The court determined that the company subjected 123 people to discriminatory and racist treatment, housing entire families in precarious camps without basic services or sanitation, and forced labour.
For further news on forced labour in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
Join Electronics Watch for an upcoming webinar on Delivering Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence in Public Procurement and its Freedom of Association Virtual Summit.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre focuses on ensuring that due diligence legislation effectively amplifies the voices of affected stakeholders in a policy brief to influence mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation (mHREDD) at the European level. The briefing is based on regional workshops in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including 60 participants from civil society organisations and communities to gather information about meaningful stakeholder engagement.
A further policy brief released by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre this month provides EU policymakers and legislators with baseline requirements for effective due diligence and ensuring that legislation drives action beyond compliance-based approaches such as social auditing.
A Transparentem report details audit deception in apparel supply chains and underlines the need for reform. The report compiles evidence from the organisation’s past investigations in the apparel sector in India, Malaysia, and Myanmar, as well as from peer organisations. Accounts from interviewed workers reveal tactics such as falsifying documents, coaching workers to lie, and hiding workers who appear to be employed unlawfully from social auditors.
The IOM highlights qualitative research on the vulnerabilities and risks of exploitation faced by Vietnamese migrant workers in natural rubber supply chains during recruitment, employment, and return. The research includes interviews from 87 farm workers, farmers, latex collectors, and latex processing unit workers. It also calls for an understanding of migrant worker journeys and destinations and provides recommendations to strengthen protections for Vietnamese migrant workers from exploitative recruitment and employment practices.
A report by NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights evaluates the “S” in ESG investing and asserts that funds do not adequately integrate social factors into their investment decisions. The report suggests that asset owners and managers, ESG ratings providers, and governments should refine social metrics to provide a fuller picture of companies’ operations and outsourcing.
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