Human rights reporting vital to ending injustices in global supply chains

During the ‘EU Roadmap to Business and Human Rights Conference’ on 11 May 2016, Maddalena Neglia – Fairfood International’s Business and Human Rights specialist – gave a presentation on Human Rights Reporting. Fairfood wanted to remind the audience that human rights reporting should not only be a ‘fashionable’ topic discussed among and by companies, but a way to concretely improve the situation of people working in the global supply chain and to integrate respect for human rights into corporate culture and behaviour.

Human rights abuses in Morocco’s booming tomato sector

Fairfood shared its experiences in Morocco for this occasion. Morocco, and in particular the Sous Massa Region in the west rural part of the country, is a major exporter of tomatoes (the country’s largest agricultural export), which are sold in main EU supermarkets, including the biggest Dutch supermarkets.

We looked more closely at the production of this commodity and we found that the freedom of association is not always respected, wages are low (a worker earns 5 euros per day for 12 hours of work) and working conditions are sometimes unsafe (especially unsafe transport to work). Moreover, 92% of the workers in the Moroccan agricultural sector are women and they do not receive any childcare support from the employers and are left to their own devices if they get pregnant. You can find more details about the Tomato project on our website.

The need for a collaborative approach to creating fairer supply chains

We tried to find a shared solution to those issues by initiating a dialogue among the different stakeholders involved: local unions in the agricultural sector, local authorities, workers, local NGOs, academia and industries, as well as European companies and consumers. After the first challenging months, the response of local stakeholders to this initiative was enthusiastic and very promising: a major agricultural union, local producers and local authorities agreed to sit together and to enter into a dialogue in order to find shared solutions for the future. Wages increased and working conditions were improved by local producers, which was also due to the increased negotiating capacity of the union.

However, little information was available on the sourcing practices of global companies and, unfortunately they were reluctant to participate in this process.

This example demonstrates the importance of the collaborative approach among stakeholders as the only way to achieved shared and sustainable solutions on the ground. However, it also tells us how difficult it is to fully achieve it in practice.

Action not box ticking

For this reason, Fairfood argued that the issue of Human Rights reporting should be used as an opportunity to start a genuine process that helps global companies to understand complex problems in their supply chain and that facilitates the dialogue among different stakeholders already at an early stage. Only if reporting is realized through such a process, and does not end in a mere box ticking exercise, can social value be created at local level.

Given this direction, we are aware that lots of questions are still open. For example, to what extent could and should both national and European legislations foster this type of reporting as a process, and how can we do this without creating counterproductive multiplication of reporting requirements?

The session partially contributed to addressing those issues.

We hope that this is the first step towards shared future engagement among companies, policy makers and civil society organisations, ultimately leading to the endorsement of human rights reporting as a way of changing and improving workers’ lives.

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Is your toy supply chain ready for the Modern Day Slavery Act? – Toy News


Toy News
Is your toy supply chain ready for the Modern Day Slavery Act?
Toy News
ICTI Care's Mark Robertson outlines how a raft of new legislation, coming into effect today, means toy companies must take a closer look at their supply chain. Modern Day Slavery continues to make the headlines, and for very good reason. According to …

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Is your toy supply chain ready for the Modern Day Slavery Act? – Toy News


Toy News
Is your toy supply chain ready for the Modern Day Slavery Act?
Toy News
ICTI Care's Mark Robertson outlines how a raft of new legislation, coming into effect today, means toy companies must take a closer look at their supply chain. Modern Day Slavery continues to make the headlines, and for very good reason. According to …

and more »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNG2cOZjZDHgmIERPQbAd4AeR9R40A&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779073218920&ei=KVIJV5jZM4jEwQHUz5HABA&url=http://www.toynews-online.biz/opinion/read/is-your-toy-supply-chain-ready-for-the-modern-day-slavery-act/046318

Is your toy supply chain ready for the Modern Day Slavery Act? – Toy News


Toy News
Is your toy supply chain ready for the Modern Day Slavery Act?
Toy News
ICTI Care's Mark Robertson outlines how a raft of new legislation, coming into effect today, means toy companies must take a closer look at their supply chain. Modern Day Slavery continues to make the headlines, and for very good reason. According to …

and more »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNG2cOZjZDHgmIERPQbAd4AeR9R40A&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779073218920&ei=khoAV9ziG4aFhQGwk4GwDg&url=http://www.toynews-online.biz/opinion/read/is-your-toy-supply-chain-ready-for-the-modern-day-slavery-act/046318

Is your supply chain Modern-Day-Slavery Act ready? – Ethical Corporation Magazine


Ethical Corporation Magazine
Is your supply chain Modern-Day-Slavery Act ready?
Ethical Corporation Magazine
From May 2016, these companies will be required to report annually on the steps taken to identify and address the risks of forced labor and human trafficking in their workforce, their supply chain and also the workforces of any business partners and

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The problem with palm oil (or, the next wave of supply chain class actions?) – Lexology (registration)


Devex
The problem with palm oil (or, the next wave of supply chain class actions?)
Lexology (registration)
Another issue is “land grabbing,” the allegation that palm oil producers displace indigenous communities. A third issue is alleged child labor in the harvesting of palm oil. Although users of palm oil have initiated a number of initiatives designed to
Taking responsible palm oil from aspiration to implementationDevex

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Problem with Palm Oil (Or, Next Wave of Supply Chain Class Actions?) – The National Law Review

Problem with Palm Oil (Or, Next Wave of Supply Chain Class Actions?)
The National Law Review
A third issue is alleged child labor in the harvesting of palm oil. Although users of palm oil have initiated a number of initiatives designed to reduce the unsavory practices associated with palm oil, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

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The problem with palm oil (or, the next wave of supply chain class actions?) – Lexology (registration)


Devex
The problem with palm oil (or, the next wave of supply chain class actions?)
Lexology (registration)
Another issue is “land grabbing,” the allegation that palm oil producers displace indigenous communities. A third issue is alleged child labor in the harvesting of palm oil. Although users of palm oil have initiated a number of initiatives designed to
Taking responsible palm oil from aspiration to implementationDevex

all 3 news articles »

|||||||http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=ca&usg=AFQjCNH9Di9bDKYTfxN94RZAHTSnE_t1Qg&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779006516926&ei=k9h1Vpi-PMaDwgG1xrLYCg&url=http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g%3D5dbd6a69-46ea-41c2-b30f-eedec81e83b8

Slavery, child labor tied to shrimp global supply chains, including Wal-Mart … – Peoria Journal Star


Peoria Journal Star
Slavery, child labor tied to shrimp global supply chains, including Wal-Mart
Peoria Journal Star
More than 2,000 trapped fishermen have been freed this year as a result of an ongoing Associated Press investigative series into slavery in the Thai seafood industry. The reports also have led to a dozen arrests, millions of dollars' worth of seizures
Woolies, Coles, Aldi caught up in child labour scandalSydney Morning Herald
Is Slave Labor Shrimp Being Served in American Restaurants?Eater
Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves, AP saysWLS-TV
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Problem with Palm Oil (Or, Next Wave of Supply Chain Class Actions?) – The National Law Review

Problem with Palm Oil (Or, Next Wave of Supply Chain Class Actions?)
The National Law Review
A third issue is alleged child labor in the harvesting of palm oil. Although users of palm oil have initiated a number of initiatives designed to reduce the unsavory practices associated with palm oil, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

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