UK: ITF warns retailers & distributors of voluntary certification mechanisms' "spin" without "meaningful" workers' voice in due diligence
"Don't buy voluntary 'standards' spin if you want to end fisher exploitation, UK supermarkets told,"
UK supermarkets are being advised to steer clear of voluntary standards, tools and certifications when it comes to clearing their seafood supply chains of labour exploitation and modern slavery.
ITF fishers’ rights expert Chris Williams told seafood retail and distribution leaders gathered in Manchester today that while increasingly popular, voluntary mechanisms could not be relied upon when conducting human rights due diligence and modern slavery checks.
“The labour and human rights abuses exposed in the fisheries sector in recent years quite rightly led to calls for action, but the proliferation of voluntary tools built on unenforceable labour standards has brought us no closer to ridding the industry of systemic exploitation. They may have made things worse,” he said.
“Each one of these tools claims to give retailers and their customers at home reliable assurances that their dinner was caught free from forced labour and labour exploitation. The reality is that without workers’ voices, missing as they are from these tools’ development and in their implementation frameworks, then there is little prospect voluntary certifications are worth the paper they’re written on.”...