Our members understand the role they need to play to eradicate forced labour
Our members have been long committed to promoting decent working conditions worldwide but recognise that the eradication of forced labour remains a key challenge.
This journey began in 2016 with our retailer and manufacturer members coming together to drive collaboration globally and thereby address forced labour as one of the most pressing social issues of our time. This commitment was confirmed with the January 2016 announcement of a new, Board-approved Social Resolution on Forced Labour. The resolution is the first industry commitment of its kind.
This was followed up later in 2016 with the introduction of the Forced Labour Priority Industry Principles, which look to address three of the most problematic, yet often common, employment practices across the world that can lead to cases of forced labour.
Today, as part of the Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour, our members have committed to a series of steps that will support the implementation of our resolution and adoption of the Priority Industry Principles.
Coalition members commit to activate and implement the following objectives targeting the eradication of forced labour:
The CGF Board approves new Priority Industry Principles; and CGF attends an event at the Vatican to discuss forced labour challenges.
CGF co-hosts an event with the International Labour Organization and the US Department of Labor entitled “Partnerships to End Forced Labour in Supply Chains”, ahead of the CGF’s annual flagship event, the Global Summit 2017 in Berlin.
Business Actions Against Forced Labour, a case study booklet showcasing members’ best practices on how they are tackling forced labour, is published for the first time.
Alongside IHRB, the CGF hosts two regional roundtables on responsible recruitment in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Brands, suppliers and recruitment agencies come together to discuss transitioning to an ethical recruitment model.
CGF publishes “Guidance on the Priority Industry Principles”, a booklet which provides concrete guidance for the implementation of the Priority Industry Principles, as well as a complete glossary of related terminology.
CGF co-hosts the 2018 Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment in Singapore alongside IHRB and launched a call to action, asking businesses worldwide to play their part in ending forced labour and unethical recruitment. The call to action is made alongside the International Labour Organization, the International Organization for Migration, and with the support of the Institute for Human Rights and Business.
The CGF commissions a report from the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The report seeks to understand the forced labour risks across the sector in Malaysia and Indonesia and examines the role that consumer goods companies can play in bringing an end to the issue.
The CGF was pleased to return to Malaysia and Thailand to co-host a regional roundtable and two sets of governmental dialogue sessions on responsible recruitment in the respective countries, along with a regional roundtable on the subject in Yangon, Myanmar. These events were hosted alongside the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB)‘s Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB), the Responsible Labor Initiative, and the International Tourism Partnership.
Part of the CGF’s new global strategy, the Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour is officially announced. 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.
The CGF team revamps the Business Actions Against Forced Labour Booklet and publishes the booklet with new content under the Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour brand.
Taking an important step in the HRC’s development, the HRC launches two, six-week stakeholder consultations on its key strategies to eradicate forced labour: a framework for the implementation of Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) systems in members’ own operations, and its Palm Oil Roadmap, to address forced labour in the sector. The HRC also opens a call for proposals from third-party organisations to help support Coalition members in the implementation of these two strategies on-the-ground.
To mark annual Human Rights Day, the CGF officially launches the Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour (HRC) with a message from the Coalition members saying #SilenceIsUnacceptable in the fight against forced labour and its CEO Co-sponsors introducing the Coalition’s objectives.
The CGF’s Sustainability Director, Didier Bergeret, who oversees the HRC and the Forest Positive Coalition, issues a statement on behalf of both Coalitions about their collective commitment to improving the status of human rights in the palm oil sector.
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.
Building on momentum from our ground-breaking Forced Labour Resolution, the three Priority Industry Principles will help to prioritise action to address the primary drivers of forced labour within the consumer goods industry and beyond.
While certain employment and recruitment practices may not initially appear problematic, in aggregate or combined with other forms of leverage, they can result in forced labour, particularly among vulnerable workers.
We will take active measures to apply these Principles across our global value chains and own operations, to cases where such practices may lead to forced labour. We will seek to apply these Principles to all workers regardless of their employment status, location, contractual arrangements or role. We will do this as part of our collective journey to advance the human rights of workers and positively shape global labour markets.