Summary of Results
Commitment and governance was the highest scoring theme of the benchmark. Companies made strong statements of commitment to address forced labor in their supply chains, with 35 out of 40 companies publishing such a commitment. Similarly, most companies engage with multi-stakeholder initiatives on forced labor and have training programs in place on forced labor risks.
Thirty-six out of 40 companies disclose having a supply chain standard that prohibits forced labor; twenty-nine of them explain how they communicate that standard to their suppliers. These results show an improvement since KnowTheChain's 2016 ICT benchmark: ASML, Canon, Keyence, Murata, and SK Hynix have since published a supply chain standard that requires suppliers to adhere to international standards prohibiting forced labor. Amphenol, BOE, Largan Precision, and Microchip Technology have not yet disclosed a publicly available supply chain standard.
Disclosure on oversight and implementation of policies on forced labor was relatively strong. Twenty-eight out of 40 companies described a team, program, or officer that is responsible for supply chain standards on forced labor or other anti-trafficking policies. Detail on board-level oversight, however, was rarely disclosed; six out of 40 companies gave some information on a board member or committee that has oversight of policies and standards on forced labor.
The majority of companies disclose training for their employees on their policies relating to human trafficking and forced labor. More than half of companies (22 out of 40) also report delivering training to their suppliers on their policies on forced labor. Some companies refer to training carried out in collaboration with other companies in the sector, or with expert organizations such as the human rights non-governmental organization, Shift. Only seven companies provided supplier training across different supply chain contexts (tiers or countries). Leading companies are training both suppliers and labor agents in their supply chains, in high-risk countries or where suppliers are known to hire vulnerable groups of workers such as students or migrant workers.
Disclosure on stakeholder engagement on the issue of human trafficking and forced labor was poor. Only eight out of 40 companies disclosed any engagement on the issue forced labor with stakeholders such as policy-makers, workers' rights organizations, or local non-governmental organizations in countries in which their suppliers operate. However, ICT companies more commonly reported membership of multi-stakeholder or industry initiatives which focus on forced labor, such as the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). Twenty-six out of 40 disclosed participating in initiatives including the Responsible Labor Initiative, the Global Business Coalition against Human Trafficking and the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment.