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5 Apr 2017

UK Parliament committee calls for prosecution of parent companies linked to supply chain abuse

The Joint Committee for Human Rights (JCHR) has released the report of its second inquiry on Business and Human Rights - a previous inquiry took place in 2009. Eight years on, the JCHR finds that stronger legislation and enforcement to protect workers' human rights is needed, as well as clearer routes to justice for victims of corporate-related human rights harms.

The Chair of the Committee, Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP commented:

"No one wants to be wearing clothes made by child labour, or slave labour. UK companies need to have high standards abroad as well as here at home and they must ensure that there are not human rights abuses in their supply chain. More can be done by the UK Government to ensure that human rights are respected by UK companies in their operations outside the UK. The Government must toughen up the law with a new legal duty on businesses to respect human rights when they are operating abroad. Victims of human rights abuses must have access to the courts...

...When high street retailers spoke to the Committee they told us that maintaining human rights in their supply chain was high up on their agenda, and it is becoming more important to consumers as well. However, serious concerns remain about the lack of speed and ineffectiveness of the action that some companies take when problems emerge. We must guard against any negative impact of the demand for quick, cheap fashion."