What if? Case studies of human rights abuses and environmental harm linked to EU companies, and how EU due diligence laws could help protect people and the planet.
ECCJ’s and Anti-Slavery International’s report details a number of case studies where EU-based companies have failed to address corporate abuse and environmental harm in their global value chains, profited from it, and so far managed to avoid liability before the courts.
The case studies clearly demonstrate how EU wide mandatory cross-sectoral human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, with improved access to remedy rules, would make a difference in these cases. Only by introducing binding legislation can we truly protect people and the planet, tackle human rights and environmental abuses linked to European operations, products and services, and finally hold out-of-control EU-based companies to account.
Now is the time to make it happen.
Download the full report: What if? research report
An EU mandatory due diligence legislation to promote businesses’ respect for human rights and the environment
As part of its sustained efforts to advocate for an EU legislation on mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and as the legislative debate opens among EU institutions, Anti-Slavery International along with Action Aid, Amnesty International, CIDSE, Clean Clothes Campaign, ECCHR, ECCJ, FIDH, Friends of the Earth Europe, Global Witness and Oxfam have laid out a vision for the principal elements of such an EU legislation.
Due diligence has emerged as one of the primary tools for business enterprises, including financial institutions, to live up to their responsibilities towards people and planet.
It is understood as the process of identifying and assessing; ceasing, mitigating and preventing; tracking and monitoring; communicating and accounting for environmental and human rights risks and impacts. It is based on international standards that have been developed in collaboration with business enterprises, governments and civil society and across multiple sectors, and endorsed by the EU.
As the negotiations open, Anti-Slavery International stands open to dialogue with all stakeholders and will in particular invite its partners based in the Global South to provide their vision of what is needed to make change happen on the ground. The voices of people affected by forced and child labour and people vulnerable to labour exploitation must be central to the design and implementation of the legislation.
- Download the full paper: Principal elements of an EU mHREDD legislation
European Union proposed legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence – policy paper
May 2020. Anti-Slavery International.
Anti-Slavery International, along with a large coalition of NGOs and trade unions, is calling on the European Commission to introduce EU-wide human rights and environmental due diligence legislation. This law would require companies and financial institutions to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights abuses and environmental damage caused by their operations, subsidiaries and value chains. This policy paper outlines why the legislation is important to prevent forced and child labour in global supply chains and Anti-Slavery International’s recommendations to the European Union and its member states on the legislation.
Download the Full Report: European Union mandatory due diligence policy paper
A call for EU human rights and environmental due diligence legislation
2 December 2019
Over 100 civil society organisations and trade unions have called on the European Union to bring forth this term new corporate accountability legislation requiring companies to respect human rights and the environment in their global value chains and operations. Such legislation should establish a corporate duty to respect human rights and the environment and require companies and financial institutions to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for abuses and harm in their domestic and global operations, activities, products, services, supply chains and exports. The legislation should hold such companies legally accountable and provide access to justice for victims.
Anti-Slavery has been leading this action, together with NGO partners including Clean Clothes Campaign and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice.
Read the full statement: A call for EU human rights and environmental due diligence legislation.
Transparency in Supply Chains Consultation
16 September 2019
Submission by CORE Coalition, Anti-Slavery International, Amnesty International, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Christian Aid, Environmental Justice Foundation, Fairtrade Foundation, FLEX, Freedom Fund, Freedom United, Traidcraft Exchange, TUC, UNICEF and UNISON.
We’re calling on the UK government to:
- Introduce mandatory criteria for reporting
- Introduce an effective Government-run registry
- Introduce meaningful sanctions for failures to comply with the TISC provision
- Extend the reporting requirement to the public sector
- For the UK government to go beyond reporting and introduce mandatory human rights due diligence.
Download the PDF: Transparency in Supply Chains Consultation
EU action on slavery in supply chains: Briefing for Westminster Hall Debate on the independent review of the Modern Slavery Act
Improving the effectiveness of the supply chain reporting requirement in UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and moving towards mandatory human rights due diligence. This review considers the successes and limitations of the implementation of the reporting requirements set out in the UK Modern Slavery Act to reducing modern slavery in supply chains. The review identifies that research by civil society and reports by Parliamentary committees have exposed flaws in the legislation and its implementation.
- Download PDF: Modern Slavery Act Review Debate Briefing
Sitting on pins and needles
This report is a rapid assessment of labour conditions in Vietnam’s export-oriented textile and garment sector. The findings of the report, that highlight the risk of forced labour, child labour and child slavery, showcase the need for pan-European legislation that includes mandatory human rights due diligence at the EU level. As the second largest garment producer in Asia, and key trading partner of the EU, the Vietnam case was worth looking at. With Vietnam and the EU in the middle of negotiations on a future trade agreement, this study proves the EU should set higher standards for those it chooses to trade with.
Download PDF: Sitting on pins and needles
Turkmen cotton and the risk of forced labour in global supply chains
This report brings the strong links between Turkey and Turkmenistan to light. Being the 11th largest cotton producer in the world, Turkmenistan’s apparel and textile exports pose a significant risk of forced labour tainting global supply chains and present a challenge to brands’ due diligence. Anti-Slavery International has documented cases of Turkish enterprises that operate in Turkmenistan and claim to sell their products to well-known international brands. These links show that Turkey is acting as the main gateway for its cotton products to global supply chains, and brands should be aware of it.
A call for pan-European action to tackle forced labour and child labour in global supply chains
This briefing for European policy makers outlines the increased risk of forced and child labour, in global supply chains of goods and services. It argues that extant national and EU law and policies are insufficient to eradicate slavery in supply chains, since they cover only specific sectors (such as conflict minerals or timber) or generic transparency requirements. Anti-Slavery International calls for a systematic, pan-European approach to tackling forced and child labour in global supply chains that includes binding due diligence, requiring businesses to proactively tackle human rights abuses throughout their supply chains.
Download PDF: EU action on slavery in supply chains
Slavery on the high street. Forced labour in the manufacture of garments for international brands.
2012. Anti-Slavery International.
New report from Anti-Slavery International exposes how top UK high street brands are selling clothing made by girls in slavery in southern India. Our research has uncovered the routine use of forced labour of girls and young women in the spinning mills and garment factories of five Indian clothing manufacturers that supply major western clothing retail brands.
Download PDF: Slavery on the high street
End Child Trafficking in West Africa: Lessons from the Ivorian cocoa sector
2010. Anti-Slavery International, Paul Robson.
This report finds that trafficking of children to cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire still occurs. The research found significant numbers of young people in Mali and Burkina Faso who had worked as children in cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire in the last five years. The practices occur in the context of large-scale movements of people within the region including the trafficking of children to other agricultural activities and to other sectors.
Download PDF: End Child Trafficking in West Africa