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Shareholder campaign to eradicate forced labour yields multiple corporate commitments
Author: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Published on: 14 August 2017
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of faith and values investors...announced [on 9 August 2017] breakthroughs with five companies they have been engaging to promote ethical labor recruitment policies throughout their global supply chains. The labor recruitment process, particularly the recruitment of migrant workers across borders, has proven to be a significant risk factor for forced labor and other workplace human rights violations. Cross-border job seekers may be charged high fees and asked to surrender travel documents by unethical labor brokers who then entrap them in bonded labor, a form of modern-day slavery. ICCR’s “No Fees” initiative aims to drive the adoption of company policies which specifically stipulate that employees never pay recruitment fees for jobs, have a clear written contract, and do not lose access to their identity documents. Changes to supplier codes were announced by Ford, General Motors, Hormel Foods, Marriott Hotels and Michael Kors, all of which committed to adopt public-facing “no fees” recruitment policies throughout their supply chains. The companies represent several sectors considered at high risk for unethical recruitment practices including food / agriculture, hospitality, apparel, and automotive… Valentina Gurney, who leads the [ICCR’s] “No Fees” initiative [said] “Brands are waking up to the fact that controlling labor recruitment at all levels of the supply chain is a corporate responsibility. With these new commitments, we see real momentum building and we congratulate these five companies for stepping out on this important issue.”...