Building on past achievements and driving future impacts
As a CEO-led Coalition of the world’s leading companies, our Human Rights Coalition breaks down silos to take collective, aligned action among peers driven by the highest levels of leadership. With CEO support, our members are able to adopt and realise commitments at scale and can leverage the profile of their CEOs as champions for wider industry actions on human rights. Together as a Coalition, HRC members commit to:
Across our areas of action, we also commit to working collaboratively with stakeholders from different sectors, including governments and civil society organisations, to help address root causes of forced labour in a sustainable manner. Additionally, we also seek to continue driving transparent conversations around forced labour and raise awarness of risks, challenges, and opportunities in our industry.
As part of the CGF’s new global strategy, the Human Rights Coalition (HRC) is formed to accelerate the efforts of CGF members in their fight against forced labour. The HRC seeks to uphold the consumer goods industry’s first-ever Social Resolution Against Forced Labour, which the CGF Board of Directors launched in 2015, and implement the Priority Industry Principles, developed by CGF members in 2016.
The new Coalition is led at the Board level by Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO, Danone, and Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board, METRO AG. At the operational committee-level, the Coalition Co-Chairs are Brent Wilton, The Coca-Cola Company, and Veronika Pountcheva, METRO AG.
Members of the CGF Board of Directors published a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General Mr António Guterres, calling him to encourage governments to take immediate action to ensure consumer goods companies can continue to serve their customers with the essential goods they need and to recognise seafarers as “key workers”. This is in response to new regulatory restrictions designed to contain the spread of Covid-19 that have had a major impact on maritime supply chains and seafarers’ wellbeing.
The HRC publishes its Forced Labour-focused Human Rights Due Diligence in Own Operations Maturity Journey Framework, the first strategic document from the HRC laying out the aligned actions members will take in their ongoing efforts to fight forced labour. The Framework maps out how HRC members will implement and improve human rights due diligence (HRDD) systems in their own operations to root out and remedy actual and potential risks for forced labour.
Paul Lalli, Global VP, Human Rights, at The Coca-Cola Company, joins the HRC as Manufacturer Co-chair, after the retirement of his predecessor, Brent Wilton.
The HRC, in collaboration with AIM-Progress, publishes Guidance on the Repayment of Worker-Paid Recruitment Fees and Related Costs at the seventh annual Sustainable Retail Summit in Amsterdam.
For Human Rights Day 2022, the HRC launches its #CloserThanYouThink campaign to increase awareness of the prevalence of forced labour risks in the consumer goods industry, the value for businesses in taking action, and – importantly – offer practical solutions for how to effectively remedy actual and potential impacts.
The HRC renews its collaboration with AIM-Progress as both initiatives work to advance due diligence and ensure the responsible recruitment of workers throughout consumer goods value chains.
The HRC held the first HRDD Learning Series workshop of the People Positive Palm Project in Kuala Lumpur with participation from 35 organisations, including palm oil suppliers and local civil society organisations. The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Minister of Plantation and Commodities, YAB Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah Yusof, offered opening remarks and welcomed the project as a key driver of sustainable impact in Malaysia.
The HRC builds on the legacy of the CGF’s previous work on social sustainability in which the CEOs of CGF member companies led historic efforts around human rights and forced labour. This history started in 2015 with the industry’s first-ever Social Resolution Against Forced Labour. This resolution is a groundbreaking commitment from the CGF’s CEO Board of Directors which sent a strong message from our industry that forced labour must be a top priority for any sustainable business. It was followed by the development of the Priority Industry Principles (PIPs), which, in identifying three of the most common, yet problematic, employment practices that can lead to forced labour, helped businesses prioritise their actions in addressing forced labour risks. The development of the PIPs was led by The Coca-Cola Company, Tesco, Mars, Inc., and Walmart.
Both of these milestones were accompanied by a global call to action from our Board urging all businesses to play their part in eradicating forced labour, which was presented by then-CEO of Mars, Inc., Grant F. Reid, at IHRB’s 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment.
To read the Social Resolution on Forced Labour, the Priority Industry Principles, and the Global Call to Action, click here.
Prior to the launch of the HRC, CGF members initiated collaborations with several global organisations, such as the International Labour Organization, US Department of Labor, International Organization for Migration, Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and its Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, Fair Labor Association, Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB), Responsible Labor Initiative, International Tourism Partnership, BTeam, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Seafood Task Force, and the Responsible Business Alliance.
The CGF also coordinated several key dialogues in regions strongly impacted by forced labour, including a responsible operations and sourcing event in Bangkok with AIM-Progress & ELEVATE; the Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment in Singapore with IHRB; and several regional roundtables on responsible recruitment in Southeast Asia with IHRB and other key stakeholders, including one in Myanmar and two in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in 2017 and 2019.
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, the International Organization for Migration, and with the support of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, 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.