KnowTheChain: Ranking companies' efforts to address forced labour in their supply chains


KnowTheChain is a resource for businesses and investors who need to understand and address forced labor risks within their supply chains.

Read the latest briefing here. 

In 2018 KnowTheChain benchmarked over 120 global companies across the three sectors.  

In 2017, KnowTheChain undertook an analysis across the three sectors, reviewed its benchmark methodology, and evaluated to what extent companies address forced labor risks specifically in sugarcane and leather supply chains. 

In 2016, KnowTheChain has ranked 60 of the largest global companies in three high risks sectors on their efforts to address forced labor and human trafficking risks in their supply chains. Each sector benchmark includes individual company scorecards, a findings report and resource and action guide for the sector:

For more information, contact Felicitas Weber at [email protected].

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16 April 2019

KnowTheChain: 2019 cross-sector report highlights progress and gaps in the fight against forced labour

Author: KnowTheChain

"Three Sectors, Three Years Later: Progress and Gaps in the Fight Against Forced Labour"

In 2016, KnowTheChain evaluated 60 companies in three high-risk sectors—information and communications technology (ICT), food and beverage, and apparel and footwear—on their efforts to address forced labor in their supply chains. In 2018, this effort was repeated and expanded to 119 companies. 

KnowTheChain views its role as both providing an evidence-based barometer for assessing corporate practice and as a resource to companies and investors for improved policy and action to address forced labor risks in global supply chains. This report presents findings from KnowTheChain's benchmarks on the progress in corporate efforts to address forced labor in high-risk sectors...and the most severe gaps in action that persist....Section 4 of this report offers recommendations for companies in any sector...The accompanying Excel tool in Appendix 1 offers guidance on how to get started...

KnowTheChain has identified areas where progress has been made but also where corporate practice continues to fall short on addressing forced labor:

• Companies take little action to address exploitative recruitment practices...

• Companies show limited efforts to support and enable supply chain workers to exercise their rights...

• Buyers score higher than their suppliers, even though most buyers require their suppliers to cascade their standards to the next tier...

• Companies based in Asia score lower than those based in Europe and North America across sectors and themes.

Read the full post here

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Author: 了解供应链


“三年后对三种行业的再次评估: 打击强迫劳动的进展与不足”

2016年,「了解供应链」评估了信息和通信技术(ICT)、食品和饮料、服装和鞋履三个高风险行业的60间公司在解决其供应链中强迫劳动问题的表现。 2018年,评估再次进行,并扩大到119间公司。

「了解供应链」把自己的角色定为既是评估企业实践的循证晴雨表,又是公司与投资者应对供应链中强迫劳动问题的资源库。本报告呈现了「了解供应链」基准评估的一些发现,包括涉及高危行业的企业在处理强迫劳 动问题上取得的进展,及存在的最大不足和问题…报告的第 4 章为各个行业的公司提供了一些建议… 附录 1 中 Excel 工具用于指导如何启动相关领域的工作…


  • 公司很少采取措施纠正剥削性的招聘行为

• 公司只采取了有限的措施来支持和促成供应链内的工人行使自身权利

• 买家的得分高于供应商,即使大部分买家要求供应商逐级传达标准。

• 亚洲公司按行业和主题分类的评分都低于欧洲和北美的公司

Download the full document here

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Author: 了解供應鏈


“三年後對三種行業的再次評估: 打擊強迫勞動的進展與不足”

2016年,「了解供應鏈」評估了信息和通信技術(ICT)、食品和飲料、服裝和鞋履三個高風險行業的60間公司在解決其供應鏈中強迫勞動問題的表現。 2018年,評估再次進行,並擴大到119間公司。

「了解供應鏈」把自己的角色定為既是評估企業實踐的循證晴雨表,又是公司與投資者應對供應鏈中強迫勞動問題的資源庫。本報告呈現了「了解供應鏈」基準評估的一些發現,包括涉及高危行業的企業在處理強迫勞動問題上取得的進展,及存在的最大不足和問題…報告的第4 章為各個行業的公司提供了一些建議… 附錄1 中Excel 工具用於指導如何啟動相關領域的工作…


  • 公司很少採取措施糾正剝削性的招聘行為

• 公司只採取了有限的措施來支持和促成供應鏈內的工人行使自身權利

• 買家的得分高於供應商,即使大部分買家要求供應商逐級傳達標準。

• 亞洲公司按行業和主題分類的評分都低於歐洲和北美的公司

4 February 2019

Investors Commend Top Apparel & Footwear Companies in 2018 KnowtheChain Benchmarking Report on Efforts to Eradicate Forced Labor in Supply Chains

Author: Julie Wokaty, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

28 Janurary, 2019

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, The Church Investors Group, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, and Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), commend Adidas AG, Lululemon Athletica Inc., Gap Inc., Primark Limited (Associated British Foods Group), Industria de Diseño Textil S.A. and PVH Corp. for their leadership in protecting workers in the apparel and footwear supply chain from forced labor and human trafficking. [The] organizations collectively represent institutional investors with over $450 billion in assets under management.

…KnowTheChain has been publishing benchmarking reports since 2016 across various sectors, assessing companies’ actions to eradicate forced labor from their supply chains based on corporate disclosures.

...As we celebrate US National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, [the organisations] recognize these leading companies for receiving the highest scores in the 2018 KnowTheChain Apparel & Footwear Benchmark Findings Report and for their efforts to eradicate forced labor in their supply chains...Letters of commendation were sent by [the investors] to these top scoring companies for exhibiting best practices…[The investors] will be writing to the companies that scored poorly in this Report urging them to adopt these practices.

Read the full post here

4 December 2018

KnowTheChain: Ranking of 43 apparel and footwear on efforts to address forced labour in supply chains

Author: KnowTheChain

  Read our findings   Compare companies  Explore theme findings

KnowTheChain ranked the top 43 global apparel and footwear companies on how they address forced labour risks in their supply chains. Adidas (92/100) remains the top-scoring company in the benchmark, while Lululemon (89/100) overtook Gap Inc. (75/100) to secure second place. The average benchmark score was low, at 37 out of 100 possible points... 

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1 October 2018

KnowTheChain: Ranking of 38 food and beverage companies on efforts to address forced labour in supply chains

Author: KnowTheChain

 Read our findings   Compare companies  Explore theme findings

KnowTheChain ranked the top 38 global food and beverage companies on how they address forced labour risks in their supply chains. Unilever remains the top-scoring company (69/100), while Kellogg (66/100) overtook both Coca-Cola (62/100) and Nestlé (58/100) to secure the second-highest score. The average benchmark score was 30 out of 100 possible points... 

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15 June 2018

KnowTheChain: Ranking of 40 ICT companies on efforts to address forced labour in supply chains

Author: KnowTheChain

Read our findings   Compare companies  Explore theme findings

KnowTheChain ranked the top 40 global ICT companies—with a combined market capitalization of $4.7 trillion—on how they address forced labor in their supply chains. Intel, the leader of the benchmark, overtook both Apple and HP since 2016. The average benchmark score was 32 out of 100 possible points, with Intel scoring highest (75/100) and Largan Precision scoring lowest (0/100)... 

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26 March 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. 

15 November 2017

KnowTheChain announces 125 companies to be benchmarked in 2018

KnowTheChain announced the names of the 125 companies with combined assets under management of over USD 6.6 trillion it will be benchmarking  in 2018 on their efforts to address forced labour in their supply chains. KnowTheChain will cover global companies across three sectors: Information Communication & Technology (ICT), Food & Beverage, and Apparel & Footwear. Companies include US retail giants Amazon and Walmart, the French luxury brands LVMH and Hermès, the Asian mega suppliers Li & Fung and Yue Yuen, and the Australian food retailers Woolworths and Wesfarmers/Coles.

KnowTheChain has also published its revised methodology for the ICT sector. The revised methodology includes feedback from stakeholders including previously benchmarked companies, the investor community, and civil society organizations. KnowTheChain intends to update the methodology after each benchmarking series to account for the evolving nature of the field. Changes to the 2018 methodology include the inclusion of forced labour allegations, a stronger focus on corporate action below the first tier of supply chains, and alignment of the worker voices and recruitment themes with leading practices in the field.

Further, KnowTheChain announced it will be joining forces with the Thomson Reuters Foundation to increase the number of companies to be benchmarked over the next three years. Through this partnership these benchmarking efforts will become the KnowTheChain – Stop Slavery Index.

Read the full post here

30 August 2017

Cereal, drinks companies often overlook risk of forced labor in sugarcane: study

Author: Reuters

Food and beverage companies face the risk of forced labor in countries where they obtain sugarcane but most fall short in efforts to tackle the problem that threatens millions of workers, according to a study [by KnowTheChain (KTC)]...Sugarcane...can be found in a list of household foods and beverages...and is often harvested by rural migrant workers with machetes who work long hours for low wages in hazardous conditions...

The companies studied were Coca-Cola Co., Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B de C.V (FEMSA), Monster Beverage Corp., PepsiCo Inc., The Hershey Co., Mondelēz International Inc., Nestlé S.A., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Associated British Foods plc plc (ABF) and Wilmar International Ltd. PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and ABF were the only four companies to undertake forced labor risk assessments of sugarcane supply chains in specific countries, the study said.

Read the full post here