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16 Apr 2019


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

"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.