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26 Mär 2018

KnowTheChain - Analysis of modern slavery statements in the electronics sector

To mark the third anniversary of the passage of the UK Modern Slavery Act in March 2018, KnowTheChain preport - "Eradicating forced labor in electronics: What do company statements under the UK Modern Slavery Act tell us?" - analysed to what extent the ICT sector is aware of and responding to the UK Modern Slavery Act, the most far-reaching global legislation on forced labour and human trafficking currently in effect.

We identified 102 ICT companies from Asia, Europe, and the United States required to report under the Modern Slavery Act. Most of them were aware of their obligation under this legislation and had published a statement; we reached out to 23 of those companies that had not published a statement.* Eight companies published a statement following our outreach.**

However, compliance with the minimum requirements of the legislation was low. We believe only 18% of the statements (14 out of 79) analysed are compliant with the three minimum requirements of the Act (board approval, director signature, link on homepage). Further, a majority of the companies assessed did not address forced labour risks specific to ICT, even though exploitation of migrant workers through recruitment agencies are well documented in the sector.

Below is a list of ICT companies which the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre believes are required to report under UK Modern Slavery Act, but have not yet published a statement:

  • Axis (Sweden)
  • Broadcom (USA/Singapore)
  • Delta Electronics (Taiwan)
  • Hirose Electric (Japan)
  • Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology (China)***
  • Fanuc Corporation (Japan)
  • MediaTek Inc (Taiwan)
  • Seagate Technology (USA)
  • SK Hynix (South Korea)
  • Stanley Electric Co Ltd (Japan)

* A few companies pointed us to statements published on less obvious places on their websites (i.e., not on the homepage, on in sections such as sustainability or supply chain responsibility). One company responded noting they believe they are not required to report under the legislation. 

** One additional company included a reference to the UK Modern Slavery Act and subsequent actions taken on their website.

***Hikvision have shared a confidential draft commitment with us, which includes a reference to their support of the UK Modern Slavery Act. This document is not yet publicly available.