Pioneering Dutch Law Raises Global Standards for Eliminating Child Labor in Supply Chains – Understanding the Dimensions of Compliance

The Dutch Senate recently adopted the Child Labour Due Diligence Act, a new measure with far reaching implications for the sourcing, manufacturing, and consumption of products that contain inputs from the bodies of child laborers.

The new law is the product of protracted negotiations that have taken place over several years in the Dutch Parliament.  The Dutch House of Representatives approved the legislation in February 2017 with 82 of the chamber’s 150 Members of Parliament in favor. … More

Modernizing the Modern Slavery Act: Parliamentary Review Commission Issues Second Report on 2015 UK Law

On January 22, an independent commission of three parliamentarians established to review the UK’s Modern Slavery Act released the second of four installments of its report suggesting amendments and improvements to the 2015 law. This installment of the report covers compliance with the Act and quality of the modern slavery statements companies subject to the law are required to submit. The UK Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability,… More

“A Diamond’s Origins Are Forever”—Tiffany & Co. Announce Diamond Provenance Certification Program

Tiffany & Company announced last week that it would become the world’s first jewelry company to share with its consumers information about the country of origin of each diamond they sell. This is the first in a step of transparency measures that the company is undertaking. By 2020, Tiffany hopes to provide its customers with information about where each diamond was cut,… More

Companies issue statement supporting civic freedoms and the rule of law

Following the publication of a landmark report this September that makes the case for businesses to secure “the shared space” in which enterprises and civil society both operate, last month a group of eight leading organizations released a statement supporting civic freedoms, human rights defenders, and the rule of law. The statement, which is signed by companies including Unilever, Adidas and AngloAmerican, recognizes human rights defenders as “important partners in identifying risks or problems in our business activities” and call on governments to ensure defenders are free from harassment,… More

UDHR at 70: Taking Stock of Human Rights Today

As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today, some might say that we have little to celebrate. The significant human rights gains of the early post-Cold War years appear to be coming undone as authoritarian populists take hold in countries that once seemed firmly in the democratic fold. For all of our solemn promises to “never again” permit the perpetration of genocide and crimes against humanity,… More

Australia Enacts Modern Slavery Law

On November 29, Australia became only the second country in the world to enact legislation to fight modern slavery when the country’s Parliament passed the Modern Slavery Act. The new Australian legislation is similar to the UK’s Modern Slavery Act, which was enacted in 2015, inasmuch as both statutes seek to fight modern slavery by getting companies to crack down on such practices in their supply chains.… More

The 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: Some Successes but Ongoing Challenges in Company Efforts to Advance Human Rights

On November 12, The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) released the results of its 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark.  The 2018 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assesses over 100 of the largest publicly traded multinational companies in the world on a set of key human rights indicators, including governance policies, remedies and grievance mechanisms, responding to serious allegations, due diligence, and transparency.

Established in 2013,… More

New Anti-Trafficking Legislation May Spur Closer Look at Manufacturers’ Supply Chains

On September 26, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 2200).  The bill would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.  In July 2017, the House passed its version of H.R. 2200.

Of potential consequence for companies, Section 133 of H.R. 2200 would enhance the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor that is issued and updated periodically by the  Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). … More

Making the case for business action to “secure the shared space”

Image of cover of new BHRC guidance on business support for civic freedoms and human rights defenders.The relationship between companies and civil society can often be acrimonious, yet in the current geopolitical environment, they share more interests in common than one might think. This is the key insight that underpins new guidance authored by Bennett Freeman and others for the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and two partner organizations on the role that companies should play in protecting the “shared space” they occupy with civil society.… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: new guidance on compliance with North Korea-related sanctions laws; the release of the first annual report by the parties to the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on International Responsible Business Conduct; and a new blog series on the “zero draft” of the proposed Treaty on Business and Human Rights.… More