Human Rights in the Supply Chain

Human Rights in the Supply Chain

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Woman-in-FieldCoalition members seek to promote respect for human rights throughout corporate operations, including in owned and operated facilities and throughout their global supply chains.  This work includes encouraging companies to assess human rights risks that are relevant to their operations and to adopt a Human Rights Policy that applies throughout their operations and is included in Supplier Codes of Conduct or in supplier contracts.  These policies should incorporate the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and International Labor Organization’s core labor conventions.  Investors encourage companies to implement these policies through robust communications and training initiatives and then to monitor implementation through independent monitoring. We encourage companies to be transparent about these efforts and to publish updates in reports to shareholders, communities, and the public.

These important policies are important to address issues related to forced labor; child labor; unjust working conditions; living conditions; quality of life in the environment within and surrounding the factory and patterns of work migration.

A key priority of this work includes encouraging companies to adopt a “No Fees” policy to reduce the risks of forced labor through recruitment processes. The key pillars of a No Fees policy include (1) not charging fees to workers and/or reimbursing workers for fees, (2) not withholding identity documents and (3) providing workers with a contract in a language which they can read. Learn more here.

We encourage companies to:
  1. Assess risks of human rights violations throughout their operations, including with suppliers
  2. Adopt and implement comprehensive human rights policies
  3. Agree to internal and independent monitoring of the policies
  4. Demonstrate compliance and remediation actions
  5. Report on the results of the implementation of human rights policies to all stakeholders
Companies that we engage in this area include:
  • ADM
  • The Hershey Company
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • Kroger Co.
  • Tyson Foods

Impact Story:
Corporate Actions to Address Child Labor in Cocoa Production: Case Study – The Hershey Company

In addition, Coalition members also engage with relevant companies in the travel and tourism sector so that their employees  may be prepared to identify and properly respond to the red flags associated with sex trafficking. Investors encourage companies to become signatories to the ECPAT Code and to monitor their implementation related to the code.

In 2014, Tri-State CRI supported efforts to raise awareness of the risks of human trafficking associated with major sporting events during the Super Bowl, hosted at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.  See more about these efforts here.  Other groups that would like to organize outreach related to major sporting events, political conventions, or other high profile activities that may be linked to increased risk of human trafficking are encouraged to use the training and outreach materials available in our “Human Trafficking Toolkit

Human Rights/Trafficking Resources:

ICCR’s Statement of Principles & Recommended Practices for Confronting Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery.
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
Corporate Human Rights Benchmark
Human Rights Impact Assessments
Building Sustainable Communities through Multi-Party Collaboration: ICCR Social Sustainability Resource Guide
Verite Analysis of Forced Labor in Commodity Supply Chains
ICCR Letter to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations on ILAB Funding
Human Rights Watch Report on Human Rights in Supply Chains
Human Rights Watch Report on Transparency in the Garment Sector
Responsible Sourcing Tool
“Modern Slavery in Our Lives” Panel Discussion hosted by the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NJCAHT)

Child Labor Resources:

Bureau Of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) – Child Labor, Forced Labor & Human Trafficking
Tulane Report on Child Labor in West African Cocoa Production
OECD Guidance on Addressing Child Labor in the Mining Sector
GES Investor Guidance for Children’s Rights Integration
ILO Webpage on Ending Child Labor in Supply Chains
UNICEF Child Labor Page