Roundtable addresses need for improved corporate governance by investors, CEOs & business networks to end slavery in supply chains; incl. contribution by BHRRC

Author: Joanna Radeke and Tammi L. Coles, Corporate Knights, Published on: 14 March 2018

Slavery remains a disturbing reality of the world's labour markets. In the private sector especially, some 16 million people are enslaved – forced to work in sectors as diverse as agriculture, construction and the cosmetics industry. And while cases in India, China and Pakistan top the news reports, modern slavery also exists in the developed economies of the West. [...]

Recently, corporate representatives and leaders from human rights organizations examined the issue of sustainable governance... The executives agreed that improving corporate governance has become vital to addressing a host of human rights concerns, including modern slavery. [...]

"Short-termism is very bad for human rights," said Mauricio Lazala, [...] of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. As he sees it, companies are not giving real attention to what is happening across their value chains... [R]esponsibility for the human rights part of corporate governance should go all the way to top executives and back...

An independent investigation conducted by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in 2017 revealed that only a handful of FTSE 100 companies were meeting the [U.K.'s Modern Slavery] Act’s requirements.

Corporate governance can and should serve a broader purpose. Moreover, the burden of sustainable and humane solutions in corporate governance must be shared by investors, corporate boards, executives and business networks alike.

[Refers to: adidas, Gap, H&M, Lululemon, Aegon, Orange, Siemens and PricewaterhouseCoopers.]

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Related companies: adidas Aegon Gap H&M Lululemon Athletica Orange PricewaterhouseCoopers Siemens