Treaty on business & human rights is the “only realistic way” to stop labour abuse in supply chain, says Human Rights Watch

Author: Reuters, Published on: 3 June 2016

'Global treaty 'only realistic way' to stop supply chain abuse', 1 Jun 2016

A new international treaty is needed to compel businesses to stamp out abuses such as child labor and modern-day slavery in their supply chains, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday at the start of a global labor summit in Geneva...

"Legally binding rules are the only realistic way to ensure that companies don't exploit workers or contribute to labor abuses," Kippenberg [associate children's rights director at HRW] said in a statement. International norms aimed at preventing abuses are not legally binding, allowing businesses to ignore them, HRW said. "Voluntary standards on human rights and business are not enough," she said...

HRW said initiatives such as the Dodd Frank Act in the United States or Britain's Modern Slavery Act, which require companies to disclose information about their supply chains, have improved supply chain transparency...

"A binding agreement between governments sends the right message that safer, fairer and more humane workplaces are a human right, not a business choice," [said Elizabeth George, an employment lawyer]...

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