Forced Labour

Key takeaways

  1. Unfortunately, some companies take advantage of slave and/or child labour. A company can directly or indirectly (through their suppliers) be partaking in forced labour.

  2. In your analysis, ensure to include information on how the people are treated and how many.

  3. If a company’s supplier indulges in forced labour, then disclose how many products they are purchasing and/or information that shows how much the company is indirectly responsible by funding this supplier.

What is it?

Forced labour is described as work performed involuntarily and under coercion, such as violence, intimidation, or through more subtle means such as bonded labour, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.

Children worldwide participate in paid and unpaid work. They are classified as child labourers when they are either too young to work or are involved in hazardous activities that may compromise their physical, mental, social or educational development. In the least developed countries, slightly more than one in four children (ages 5 to 17) are engaged in labour that is considered detrimental to their health and development.”

KnowTheChain evaluated the 49 largest ICT companies globally on their initiatives to address forced labour and human trafficking in their supply chains. The results were straightforward. The majority of companies scored poorly, with more than three-quarters scoring less than 50%, and with an average score of 30%.


Sources

http://www.ilo.ch/global/topics/forced-labour/definition/lang--en/index.htm

https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-protection/child-labour/

https://knowthechain.org/wp-content/uploads/2020-KTC-ICT-Benchmark-Report-1.pdf


SDG choice

SDG 8



Impact assessment

In your analysis, analyse the company’s treatment of employees and suppliers. Use the IMP framework to describe the what, how much, and who.

Ensure to include information on how the people are treated and how many. When determining how many employees are impacted and consider their entire supply chain. For example, the company has 100,000 employees, but it is estimated/documented to have 1,000 forced labourers.

If a company’s supplier is indulging in forced labour, then include how many products the company is purchasing and/or information that shows how much the company is indirectly responsible by funding this supplier. For example, a company buys 1.5 million tonnes of palm oil. They have four suppliers. Two of their suppliers are known to indulge in child labour. These suppliers make up 55% of their total palm oil consumed.

Using ranking systems like KnowtheChain can often help understand where a company stands amongst this large issue and how they compare to their competitors.

Make sure to describe the scale of the impact by taking into account:


1/ The breadth of the impact

  • Is the impact local, national, or global?

  • How many people are concerned? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

2/ The depth of the impact

  • Is the life of people concerned deeply affected, or does the issue just marginally impact them?

  • Are the changes brought by the issue profoundly changing society or the planet?

3/ The persistence of the impact

  • How long would the impact described last for? Months? Years? Decades?

  • How reversible is the impact described in the impact analysis? Can it be easily stopped/extended?


Try to measure the company’s outcome and impact using forced labour on people’s health, socio-economic status, and overall well-being. You may use studies as proxies to report the impact.

Helpful sources

  • Human Rights Watch: includes very detailed reports and investigations on human rights abuses across the world.

  • Corporate Benchmark: one of the best benchmarks for companies’ status regarding human rights.

  • Amnesty International: a global movement and a valuable source of reports about human rights and injustice worldwide.

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