New report argues for coordinated legislative response to modern slavery from governments

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18 October 2017

Commentary: Governments have the tools, now they must deliver an international agreement on modern slavery

Author: Phil Bloomer & Sharan Burrow on Equal Times (Belgium)

...Last month, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRCC) published a report, "Modern slavery in company operations and supply chains: mandatory transparency, mandatory due diligence and public procurement due diligence". The report highlights all the leading legislation in mandatory transparency, mandatory due diligence and public procurement incentives intended to drive corporate action on modern slavery in supply chains.

Individual governments are developing powerful tools to eradicate modern slavery, but without coordination. So each piece of national legislation is currently only strong in parts, and leading companies are beginning to fear a ‘spaghetti soup’ of incoherent national legislations, each with their own unique reporting requirements. Victims of trafficking and slavery will be best served if like-minded governments now come together to combine the best of their legislation and incentives and create a harmonised, high standard for national legislations…

Our report sets out a clear pathway for governments to deliver harmonised national legislations, regulation and corporate incentives. The ILO Protocol on Forced Labour provides a strong legal framework on which to base these efforts. Together they would provide an international level playing field for business and facilitate their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains.

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19 September 2017

'Modern slavery in company operations & supply chains', a review of current legislations towards an intl. framework

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre for Intl. Trade Union Confederation

This paper sets out what leading governments are already doing to insist global business does more to eradicate modern slavery. It draws from this experience to set out how these uncoordinated actions could become a robust, and harmonised international standard for national legislations. Acting in concert, governments would have far greater impact on modern slavery and workers’ rights, and raise the floor of minimum corporate behaviour. Acting together, governments would also avoid a ‘spaghetti soup’ of incoherent national legislations, and instead create the international predictability that global business seeks...

This report reviews existing or emerging legislation that addresses modern slavery in companies’ operations and supply chains. It focuses on three related areas of legislation: mandatory transparency; mandatory due diligence; and public procurement.

Download the full document here