Forced labour is an endemic social problem riddled throughout supply chains globally. 25 million individuals are victims of forced labour today. It is one of the most profitable global crimes and a problem of this magnitude cannot be solved by one person, company or industry acting alone.
The Human Rights Coalition – Working to End Forced Labour is uniquely positioned to drive the social sustainability conversation forward and help implement actions that lead to positive impacts. CEO-led, we work to achieve decent working conditions across the consumer goods industry and worldwide. To help us accomplish this aim we have set voluntary industry commitments such as our resolution on the eradication of forced labour. We also developed the Priority Industry Principles which highlight the three key standards the industry must adopt to respect the rights of workers: that all workers should have freedom of movement, no one should have to pay for a job, and no one should be indebted or coerced to work.
Today, our work is focused on advancing our Forced Labour Resolution and its Priority Industry Principles in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We will drive individual and collective action in our businesses and supply chains to:
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 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To help ensure implementation across the Coalition, and in support of wider industry progress, 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 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
More specifically, Coalition members commit to certain actions that will drive support for the protection of victims and vulnerable populations and help eradicate forced labour from own operations and supply chains. These include:
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: