On 29th October, CGF Social Sustainability Manager Nadia Bunce joined a virtual discussion at the annual India and Sustainability Standards International Dialogues and Conference for a panel titled, “Responsible Recruitment: A Post Covid-19 Agenda Across Supply Chains.” 

The panel focused on the role of responsible recruitment both specifically in India and globally. Nadia spoke about why responsible recruitment is relevant in the Covid-19 season, and gave some insight on some of the challenges that businesses face during this time and the lessons they have learned. First, she introduced the CGF and its Coalitions of Action, including the Human Rights Coalition — Working to End Forced Labour, as well as the CGF’s history of work on the topic of forced labour. Particularly, she spoke about the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles which identify the three most common employment practices which can lead to forced labour. She gave examples of how recruitment and employment practices which do not respect these principles can lead to cases of indebted, coerced or forced labour. 

She also explained why responsible recruitment is important from the business perspective. For CGF and Coalition members, this issue is important because from an ethical standpoint, no company wants anyone in their supply chain to work in conditions of forced labour. Companies also want to adhere to national and international guidelines and legislation, and also increase the sustainability of their supply chains which, in turn, drives financial gain. Ultimately, building sustainable supply chains through responsible recruitment helps bring stability to businesses in times of uncertainty.

Nadia also shared some examples of national, regional and international regulations that are emerging which help support responsible recruitment efforts, including putting into place formalised channels for intervention, grievance mechanisms and victim support. The CGF has played an active role in understanding the specific concerns and challenges in different regions, which in turn aids its engagement with government bodies, by hosting and participating in roundtable discussions and dialogues. 

The panel took place during the annual ISS Conference held from 26th to 30th October; Fellow panellists were Dr. Tina Kuriakose Jacob, Head, Central Government Partnerships – International Justice Mission; Neil Giles, CEO, Traffik Analysis Hub; Nandini Sharma, Director, Centre for Responsible Business; Surajit Day, Registrar, NHRC; and Hannah Newcomb, Managing Director, Responsible Recruitment Toolkit. The session was sponsored by the International Justice Mission.