The Social Sustainability initiative is uniquely positioned to drive the sustainability conversation forward. We work to achieve decent working conditions and sustainable supply chains across the consumer goods industry and worldwide. To accomplish this aim, we set voluntary industry commitments such as our resolution on the eradication of forced labour and provide guidance to key actors on sustainable supply chain practices through our Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative and our Reference Tools.
Our mission is to provide and promote an international reference and common understanding of best practices for sustainable supply chain management while driving social sustainability improvements throughout the value chain of the consumer goods industry, ultimately improving the lives of workers.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines forced labour as situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities. This includes forced child labour, forced migrant labour and human trafficking. The ILO estimates that today more than 25 million people are in forced labour, including 16 million in the private sector, which includes domestic work, construction or agriculture. This is an unacceptable situation that the consumer goods industry firmly intends to fight, both through its ground-breaking 2016 Board-approved Resolution on Forced Labour and through the continued support of the post-2015 development agenda.
More specifically, our work to eradicate forced labour has been designed to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
End Poverty in all its forms
Provide decent work for all
Create mechanisms and partnerships
To help ensure implementation across our wider membership, we will harness the power of collective action as an industry group to identify and address issues and geographies of shared concern, enhancing the efficiency of any individual company initiatives in this area. In areas of shared concern, we will jointly develop specific action plans supporting the eradication of forced labour, in alignment with the widely embraced guidance provided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we will work closely with other industries, with governments and with civil society. We recognise that progress will require meaningful advances in enforcement of relevant national laws, international frameworks and increased support for and protection of victims and vulnerable populations. Going forward, and beginning in 2016, our members will collaborate in advancing the following workstreams:
In June 2018, we called upon businesses around the world to play their part in the fight to end all forms of forced labour. Issued during the 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Business and Recruitment, the call to action was made alongside the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and with the support of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), and is a strong affirmation of our members’ commitment to strive to eradicate forced labour from global supply chains and continue not to tolerate forced labour within own operations.
Following his session at the 2018 Global Summit, we interviewed Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) who shared further thoughts on the future of work, the protection of workers in this future landscape, Thailand’s recent ratification of the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, and the CGF’s business call to action just launched at the Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment. Watch the full video: