Business action [clear filter]
Monday, November 26

4:00pm CET

Snapshot: B2B Relations - Need to Document Human Rights Due Diligence

Brief description of the presentation:
In this session Schur International by referencing its work with the subsidiary Schur Packaging Denmark discusses how documented operational-level impact assessments are used when engaging with key suppliers, Stora Enso, but also downstream partners.

Presentation objectives:
The session also focuses on sharing experiences from creating a corporate culture around the commitment and engaging subsidiaries.

avatar for Linda Jakobsen

Linda Jakobsen

Senior CSR Consultant, Schur International

Monday November 26, 2018 4:00pm - 4:15pm CET

4:15pm CET

Snapshot: B2B Relations – Mutual Documentation of Human Rights Due Diligence

Brief description of the presentation:
In this snapshot session Stora Enso, an important supplier to Schur Packaging Denmark, presents on their work with HRDD and the need to be able to rely on business partners to respect human rights; and the reactions to the approach from Schur Packaging Denmark.

Presentation objectives:
This session focuses on what is sufficient in order to meet supplier and customer demands, and the potential of documented operational-level impact assessments to become standard to answer B2B expectations.

avatar for Tiina Pursula

Tiina Pursula

Director, Sustainability, Stora Enso

Monday November 26, 2018 4:15pm - 4:30pm CET
Tuesday, November 27

9:30am CET

Snapshot: Human Rights Due Diligence in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Brief description of the presentation:
The right to health, and the underlying access to medicine, is one of the obvious salient human rights in the pharmaceutical sector. However, pharmaceutical companies recognize that there are other salient human rights issues that need to be addressed when considering right-holders across the entire value chain, in their own operations and throughout their supply chains.

Presentation objectives:
This session will provide some insights into the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI) and how the member companies are collaborating to define, implement and champion responsible supply chain practices, including the respect for human rights.

avatar for Connie Low

Connie Low

Head Third Party Labor Rights, Novartis

Tuesday November 27, 2018 9:30am - 9:45am CET

9:45am CET

Snapshot: Samsung - Human rights due diligence across the supply chain – Experiences from practice

Brief description of the presentation:
This snapshot presentation will discuss key elements of Samsung Electronics’ continuous journey on human rights due diligence, including practical experiences in aligning its business activities with the UN Guiding Principles.

Presentation objectives:
Samsung Electronics will share selected cases of the implementation of its commitment with regards to human rights due diligence, with examples from our global operations.

avatar for Linda Kromjong

Linda Kromjong

Global Labor & Human Rights Director, Samsung Electronics
Ruwan Subasinghe is the Legal Director of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). He specialises in labour, human rights and international law. Ruwan represents the ITF at external bodies including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for... Read More →

Caleb Lee

VP Corporate Affairs Europe, Samsung Electronics

Tuesday November 27, 2018 9:45am - 10:00am CET

10:00am CET

Snapshot: Human rights due diligence across the supply chain – Experiences from practice

Description of the presentation:
The second pillar of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights requires businesses to conduct human rights due diligence not only within its business activity but also for those with whom the business may be directly linked. To name a few, these are the contractors, transporters, and those within the supply chain and value chain.

Presentation objectives:
The presentation will cover the challenges faced in conducting human rights due diligence in the supply chain. Aditya Birla has initiated work towards human rights due diligence in the supply chain. Some practices followed to overcome the challenges will be presented.

avatar for Vidya Tikoo

Vidya Tikoo

Senior Vice President, Aditya Birla Managemnet Corporation Pvt Ltd
Developed the Sustainable Business Framework for the Aditya Birla Group that aligns to IFC, OECD, OSHA, UNGC, UNGPs, UNPRI and many other international standards. A vital role to guide the Group businesses to implement the standards. This includes building the business management... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 10:00am - 10:15am CET

10:30am CET

Snapshot: Human rights due diligence - Challenges and business pathways (case of the project operator)

Brief presentation of the presentation:
Sakhalin Energy will present the main challenges that a large project operator encounters when introducing and implementing human rights standards across supply chain partners, as well as the practical tools from the company’s experience allowing to address these challenges.

Presentation objectives:
The session will focus on thorough bidding process, human rights inclusive contract management, trainings/awareness raising for internal/external stakeholders, tools of contractors’ monitoring and audits.


Valentin Zhovtun

Social Performance Specialist, Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

Tuesday November 27, 2018 10:30am - 10:45am CET

10:45am CET

Snapshot: Strengthening human rights due diligence with in-depth assessment and radical transparency

Brief description of the presentation:
S Group is a Finnish consumer owned cooperative group operating in the supermarket, department store and hardware trade, service station store and fuel sales and the travel industry and hospitality business. Expectations on human rights due diligence of businesses are growing, while implementing supply chain due diligence practices can be very challenging in practice. S Group has explored existing practices and identified innovative tools and methods for practical implementation of human rights due diligence.

Presentation objectives: 
In this snapshot presentation, S Group will share its experience and showcase concept for in-depth human rights impact assessment. The human rights impact assessment concept was developed to strengthen supply chain due diligence and to gain information of the root causes of the human rights issues.

avatar for Lea Rankinen

Lea Rankinen

SVP Sustainability, SOK Corporation

Tuesday November 27, 2018 10:45am - 11:00am CET

11:00am CET

Snapshot: Human rights due diligence in a large supply chain

Brief description of the presentation:
UPM is committed to sustainable forest management and monitors the origin of wood to ensure it is sustainably and legally sourced. The presentation will describe human rights due diligence process in large supply base covering several sourcing categories, involving more than 25000 suppliers. It will also bring practical examples of risk assessment within chemicals sourcing.

Presentation objectives: 
The presentation will describe UPM's approach in managing human rights risk in supply chain. It will introduce a practical case on chemicals sourcing and elaborate on opportunities for further development.

avatar for Nina Norjama

Nina Norjama

Director, Social Responsibility, UPM

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:00am - 11:15am CET

11:15am CET

Snapshot: Human rights due diligence - Building on what works in a global supply chain. An overview of risk assessment

Brief description of the presentation:
Outotec develops leading technologies and services for the sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources in the mining, metal, energy, and chemical industries. The presentation will provide an overview of how to manage the human rights risks in a global supply chain, focusing on the practices and challenges of a globally operating technology company.

Presentation objectives: 
The objective of the presentation is to describe the current practical ways of assessing supply chain risks and related approach adopted at Outotec. This includes finding the key assessment areas and managing the classification, assessment and audit process, and the related challenges.

avatar for Tea Maasalo

Tea Maasalo

Director, Corporate Legal and Corporate Responsibility, Outotec

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:15am - 11:30am CET

11:30am CET

Snapshot: Human rights due diligence across supply chain starts with due diligence with internal stakeholder groups

Brief description of the presentation:
Neste is an important producer of renewable diesel and a refiner of high-quality oil products that enable customers to reduce their climate emissions. Neste’s approach on human rights due diligence is centered on activities to assess and identify the potential impacts on human rights of our various internal functions and business areas, including those that concerns sourcing. This is followed by actions to increase the preparedness of internal management systems to mitigate human rights risks.

Presentation objectives:
The presentation will shade light on the current activities aimed at, amongst others, improving Neste’s sourcing practices on due diligence that is strengthened with human rights criteria, coupled with capacity building and supplier engagements.

avatar for Yan Peng Ng

Yan Peng Ng

Senior Manager, Human Rights, Neste Corporation, Finland
I am interested in everything related to human rights, CSR and sustainable development.

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:30am - 11:45am CET

11:30am CET

Human rights due diligence across value chains - addressing systemic challenges
Interpretation is provided into Spanish and Korean.

Organized by the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights in collaboration with the Responsible Business Alliance

Brief description of the session:
This session will focus on how and why companies approach implementing human rights due diligence across their value chains to identify and address (in coordination and collaboration with others) systemic human rights impacts.
Participants will gain an opportunity to explore the complexity of value chains in today’s globalised economy, and how business practitioners map and seek to understand their company’s value chain. We will also examine how practitioners conduct human rights due diligence across vast and complex value chains – with an emphasis on opportunities to promote collaboration and communication across entities in the value chain to more efficiently identify and address adverse impacts. The session will incorporate emerging practice and perspectives from panellists and members of the ‘audience’. The session will conclude with observations as to what is needed to enhance and scale value chain due diligence.

Session objectives:
Through this session, we will seek to:
  • Strengthen understanding of the complexity of today’s value chains and business relationships – and how this complexity impacts efforts to implement human rights due diligence.
  • Explore how business practitioners are mapping and visualising their value chains, including key challenges and innovations.
  • Share how companies across industries are working to enhance their due diligence in key parts of the value chain, including by strengthening communication and coordination.
  • Identify practical opportunities to enhance and scale value chain due diligence going forwards.

Key discussion questions:
  • How can business practitioners strengthen their (and stakeholders’) visibility of complex value chains?
  • How are business practitioners (individually and collectively) working to identify and respond to human rights impacts across their companies’ value chains?

Session format:
This session will commence with a discussion amongst the speakers and the audience about the complexity of modern value chains. We will invite 2-3 companies from different industries to share, briefly, an overview of their companies’ value chains and discuss how this changes over time.
We will then explore the challenges companies confront when undertaking value chain due diligence (including that of prioritisation) through a series of mini-case studies. These case studies will offer participants insight into how companies in different industries are implementing human rights due diligence in various parts of their value chains – for example, to assess risks in specific business relationships (i.e. customers, JV partners, suppliers), sourcing decisions (i.e. particular components or raw materials) and production phases (i.e. manufacturing, processing, recycling). The session will not aim to be comprehensive, but rather to give participants a sense of innovative and less-visible aspects of companies’ efforts to identify and manage issues across their value chains. We will also discuss key tools available to companies to support these efforts.
Throughout the session, we will encourage active participation from the audience, and will ask business participants to come prepared to share their own insights and experiences.

Background to the discussion:
In today’s globalised economy, companies are under increasing pressure to identify and respond to adverse human rights impacts in their value chains. Value chains are extremely complex. Most companies have hundreds of customers, suppliers and other business partners – and these typically provide services to more than one industry sector. Major brands have been under particular pressure to ‘cascade’ expectations and standards ‘down’ their supply chains. Suppliers and other business-to-business companies are also increasingly expected to meet their customers’ standards, to be alert to human rights risks downstream – that is, impacts they may be involved in through their customers and clients. For most companies, undertaking human rights due diligence across the value chain will indeed require assessing a multitude of different types of business relationships, products and operations.
Companies working to respond to these pressures face additional challenges presented by the extensive nature of major global value chains, and the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the many business relationships within it. Knowing what the value chain ‘looks like’ is key to enabling robust approaches to identify and respond to adverse human rights impacts. But knowing is also only the start. Even with good visibility of entities within a company’s value chain, implementing effective human rights due diligence processes to identify and understand risks in the value chain requires companies to work together. It also requires the development of creative and smart strategies to navigate issues of scale and find efficiencies, the use of leverage as appropriate and the identification of appropriate ways to prioritise (where necessary).

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Andrea Shemberg

Andrea Shemberg

Chair, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights
Andrea has been with GBI since 2011, and since January 2019 has served as Chair.She has worked in business and human rights for nearly 20 years, beginning as Legal Advisor at Amnesty International UK and the International Commission of Jurists focusing on business, human rights and... Read More →

avatar for Mr Tony Khaw

Mr Tony Khaw

Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Sustainability Office, NXP Semiconductors, Singapore
Tony has well over 20 years of experience in implementing corporate social responsibility programs in manufacturing operations and in the supply chain. Tony joined NXP in Jan 2013 to lead the Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance function. Tony led the effort to fully develop... Read More →

Rob Lederer

Executive Director, RBA
avatar for James Nicholson

James Nicholson

Head of Corporate Responsibility, Trafigura
James is Head of Corporate Responsibility at Trafigura. In 2010, James joined Trafigura in order to help establish a Corporate Affairs department. Areas of focus at the present day include developing and driving the Group’s responsibility and transparency policies worldwide, for... Read More →
avatar for Vanessa Zimmerman

Vanessa Zimmerman

Chief Executive Officer, Pillar Two
Vanessa is a recognised global and domestic corporate sustainability expert focusing on human rights.Originally an anti-trust lawyer, Vanessa specialised in business and human rights, working for five years as a Legal Advisor to the UN Special Representative on Business and Human... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm CET

11:45am CET

Snapshot: Konica Minolta - What motivates this global technology company’s commitment to human rights and what outcomes have been achieved – experiences from practice

Brief description of the presentation:
Konica Minolta Australia will present its experiences in implementing an extensive range of community engagement programs and championing a broad range of social justice issues, including advocating for an Australian Modern Slavery Act which would compel Australian companies above a specified revenue threshold to report annually to government on their initiatives to ensure their supply chains are free from modern slavery and other forms of human rights abuse. Among aspects covered, the presentation will share insights from building capability to manage human rights risks in the supply chain ahead of being compelled to by legislation. The presentation will feature experiences and the unintended positive outcomes around growth in staff engagement and enhanced commercial outcomes.

Presentation objectives:
Sharing experiences and the unintended positive outcomes around growth in staff engagement and enhanced commercial outcomes.

avatar for David Cooke

David Cooke

Chair & Managing Director, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia
As well as managing Konica Minolta (a global Japanese tech company) in Australia I am also a non-executive director of the UN Global Compact Network in Australia and of Sustainalytics (a global ESG research & analysis firm). My human rights work has been focused on ending human trafficking... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 11:45am - 12:00pm CET

3:00pm CET

Addressing “modern slavery” in supply chains – Company responses
Interpretation is provided into Spanish.

Session organized by the Responsible Business Alliance and The Consumer Goods Forum.

Brief description of the session:
According to International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 24.9 million people worldwide are in conditions of forced labor. Supply chains include hundreds of thousands of workers who seek to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Many are subject to conditions that may contribute to forced labor, including high recruitment fees, personal debt, complicated recruitment practices, a lack of transparency about their eventual working conditions, and inadequate legal protections in the countries in which they work.
Guiding principles on forced labor are well-established, however, solutions tend to be fragmented across industries and geographies and only address certain aspects or specific points in a worker’s journey.  Due diligence on forced labor should be harmonized across multiple industries that share recruitment supply chain to drive labor market transformation through collective action.
This session will provide testimonials from companies across multiple sectors on how they address forced labor in their operations and supply chains.  It will review core process to operationalize supply chain due diligence on forced labor while exploring collective action needed with stakeholders to address the root causes of this issue.

Format of the discussion:
The session will be organized via a series of speaker remarks, expert interventions and multimedia content. Session moderators will bring to life the opportunities created by harmonizing obligations, policies, initiatives, and expectations to tackle this difficult issue.
To ground the session, we will use real world examples from companies across industries on the opportunities and challenges in devising solutions.  Speakers from civil society will bring perspectives on remediation, remedy and transparency.  Finally the broader topic will be explored by asking participants to consider how business can work collectively as well as with other stakeholders, to address root causes of forced labor.

15:00 – 15:10  Introductory remarks and framing of issue
15:10 - 15:50   Part 1 – Business Responses
15:50 – 16:05  Part 2 – Stakeholder Perspectives
16:05-16:20     Part 3 – Question/Answer and way forward 

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Bob Mitchell

Bob Mitchell

Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance
As Vice President at the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), Bob leads the strategy development and implementation for environmental and human rights programs. He is a 16-year veteran of Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with over 11 years in sustainability. He was... Read More →

avatar for Didier Bergeret

Didier Bergeret

Director Social Sustainability & SSCI, The Consumer Goods Forum
Didier Bergeret is Director of Social Sustainability and the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI). The main focus of his work is to develop collaborative and practical solutions for the industry to advance responsible supply chains. He notably supports the implementation of... Read More →
avatar for Jay Celorie

Jay Celorie

Human Rights Officer, Sustainability, HP, Inc
Graduate researcher on business and human rights from a preventative/risk management perspective, with a focus on transnational mining regulation.

Rob Lederer

Executive Director, RBA
avatar for Caroline Meledo

Caroline Meledo

Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility & Human Rights, HILTON
Caroline has developed and leads on the implementation of Hilton’s global human rights strategy. Before joining Hilton’s HQ a year ago, Caroline set up and led Hilton’s Corporate Responsibility team for Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2013. Previously, Caroline worked in the... Read More →
avatar for Ashley Orbach

Ashley Orbach

Head of Human Rights and External Engagement, Supplier Responsibility, Apple, Inc
avatar for Christa Hayden Sharpe

Christa Hayden Sharpe

Regional President, IJM Asia Pacific, International Justice Mission
    IJM is a global human rights NGO that equips governments to sustainably and effectively protect the most vulnerable from exploitation and violence in over 20 locations around the world. We build collaborative, sustainable solutions between governments, private sector, civil... Read More →
avatar for Tom Smith

Tom Smith

Director, External Stakeholder Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Walmart
People can talk to me about:Human rights in lendingHuman rights in investmentsHuman rights in due-diligence for financial institutionsSalient human rights risk mappingHuman rights reportingI have a 20-year track record of identifying and managing Environmental, Social (E&S) and Human... Read More →
avatar for Barbara Wettstein

Barbara Wettstein

Corporate communications and public affairs expert, Nestlé
Barbara Wettstein is Public Affairs Manager overseeing Responsible Sourcing at Nestlé. She is responsible for communications, engagement and advocacy on responsible sourcing related topics and is based in Nestlé’s international headquarter in Vevey, Switzerland.She’s worked... Read More →
avatar for Peter Paul van de Wijs

Peter Paul van de Wijs

Chief External Affairs Officer, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
As head of GRI’s External Affairs team, Peter Paul is responsible driving effective advocacy for GRI, for developing and implementing GRI’s global internal and external communications strategy and maintaining the external relations.Peter Paul has over 20 years of professional... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 3:00pm - 4:20pm CET

4:30pm CET

Snapshot: Children’s Rights and Business Atlas: Harnessing the power of data in risk and impact assessments.
Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish

Brief description of the presentation:
Business impacts children everywhere. Children interact daily with the private sector – as family members of workers, employees, consumers, and community members affected by operations and supply chains. The Children’s Rights and Business Atlas is an online tool that uses a wide range of data analysis and manipulation to help transform this interaction and help businesses, investors and industry organizations understand how their actions impact children’s rights globally.

Presentation objectives: 

To discuss how the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas provides a quantitative assessment of children’s rights across 195 countries and territories to offer a comprehensive understanding of how actions impact children’s rights, and the degree to which children’s rights are respected, across the globe in the Workplace, at the Marketplace, and within the Community and Environment. The Atlas harnesses the power of data to bring pragmatic and user-friendly insight into the complex narrative of children’s’ rights, helping provide risk and impact assessment. The Atlas is designed to help business, government and industry stakeholders better understand their impact on children through the use of publicly available country data, industry analysis and practical guidance.

avatar for Martin Hallberg

Martin Hallberg

Children’s rights and business atlas manager, Global Child Forum
Sustainability and development professional driven by all things that make us human, such as connection, laughter, movement and learning for example. As the Global Child Forum’s Children’s Rights and Business Atlas Manager, I work with businesses and strategic partners in order... Read More →
avatar for Beth Verhey

Beth Verhey

Senior Advisor, Children’s Rights and Business, UNICEF
I am Senior Advisor on Children's Rights and Business with UNICEF.Talk to me about Integrating children's and human rights in business due diligence.And our new global data platform for business risk and impact analysis - https://www.childrensrightsatlas.org/country-data/workplac... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 4:30pm - 4:45pm CET

6:15pm CET

Documentary - Combatting modern slavery in supply chains - Lessons from two sectoral campaigns
Organised by Doughty Street Chambers with Traidcraft and Ethical Trade Initiative

Brief description
The session is intended to discuss the issue of combatting modern slavery in supply chains through the perspective of two sectoral responses and two industries. The session will show two short videos (around 5 mins each) on the Rajasthan Stone Sector and the Assam tea Industry, which are meant to highlight some of the issues and then engender discussion on the question of what could be done to combat modern slavery in supply chains from an industry, NGO and legal perspective.

Session objectives
The objectives for the session are:
  • To highlight some of the violations in two important supply chains which the attendees may not be aware of.
  • To highlight the current campaign on the transparency in the Assam tea supply chain.
  • To highlight the current work that has been done and is planning to be done on the Rajasthan Stone Supply chain.
  • To have a greater understanding of what are the barriers to combatting modern slavery in those supply chains.
  • To have a greater understanding of why companies are finding difficulties in mapping supply chains.
  • To have a greater understanding of what legal avenues may be possible for combatting the most serious human rights violations in supply chains.

Key discussion questions

What are the key lessons from these two sectoral campaigns in:
  • Addressing the main barriers to combatting modern slavery in supply chains?
  • how companies should enhance their due diligence in supply chains?
  • why many companies are not enhancing their due diligence in supply chains?
  • what stakeholders can do to improve due diligence in supply chains?
  • what lawyers can do to improve due diligence in supply chains?

Format of the session
There will be:
  • Short video on Assam Tea Supply chain, followed by a 10 min introduction by Fiona Gooch, on the campaign.
  • Short video on Rajasthan Stone Supply chain, followed by a 10 min introduction by Krishnendu Mukherjee on the issue.
  • Response by Cindy Berman on the issues raised.
  • Further response by Fiona Gooch and Krishnendu Mukherjee
  • Discussion from the floor.

Background to the discussion
A backdrop to the discussion is the reluctance of many large companies in the UK to engage with s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. By drilling down on lessons from two sectoral case studies, the aim is to generate a discussion rooted in practical examples on how barriers and challenges to progress can be overcome.

avatar for Cindy Berman

Cindy Berman

Head of Modern Slavery Strategy, Ethical Trading Initiative
avatar for Fiona Gooch

Fiona Gooch

Senior Private Sector Policy Advisor, Traidcraft Exchange
Fiona works to improve the impact UK-linked businesses have on vulnerable farmers, workers and communities in developing countries. This includes work on supply chains, company law, competition policy, legal remedies, social reporting, business and human rights and investment. She... Read More →
avatar for Elise Groulx

Elise Groulx

Associate Tenant, Doughty Street Chambers
ELISE GROULX DIGGS, ESQ., Ad.E., LL.M.Associate Tenant Doughty Street ChambersBI for Business Integrity & Partners LLC, PrincipalElise Groulx Diggs advises corporations, governments and international organizations on the human rights and legal issues associated with their investment... Read More →
avatar for Krishnendu Mukherjee

Krishnendu Mukherjee

Barrister/Indian advocate, Doughty Street Chambers
Krishnendu Mukherjee is a barrister and Indian advocate and currently practises in both jurisdictions. He has extensive experience in advising, litigating and using non-judicial remedies in relation to business-related human rights and environmental violations. Krishnendu has a particular... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 6:15pm - 7:45pm CET
Room XXI
Wednesday, November 28

10:00am CET

Engaging and safeguarding workers across value chains: identifying good practice approaches
Interpretation is provided in English, French, Spanish and Korean.

Organized by Ethical Trading Initiative

Brief description
This session would facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue and lesson-sharing on how to engage with vulnerable workers engaging in precarious work in international supply chains, and how to integrate them into corporate human rights due diligence approaches.
Insights will be provided by:
  • a leading international trade union representative working to support exploited workers and victims of trafficking;
  • a leading multinational company representative who will speak about engaging with migrant workers in the Italian tomato sector;
  • a leading researcher and lawyer specialising in business and human rights; and
  • a multi-stakeholder initiative representative working with companies, trade unions and civil society organisations on mitigating risks in complex international supply chains.

Session objectives
  • Insights into specific approaches to engaging vulnerable workers, adopted by companies, unions, CSOs and researchers.
  • A focus on engaging with vulnerable workers who face specific types of challenges such as payment of recruitment fees and lack of representation.
  • An improved understanding of different techniques of safeguarding; working to ensure that people seeking to enforce their rights (and also their representatives and whistleblowers) are protected from threats of intimidation, harassment and reprisals.

Key discussion questions
  • How should companies work to integrate the rights and needs of vulnerable workers through direct engagment whilst ensuring safeguarding?
  • How can businesses mitigate the rise of vulnerable employment in international supply chains through Human rights due diligence?

Format of the session
  • Audience participants to pose brief questions to speakers at the outset to frame later discussion.
  • Reflections from speakers on their approaches to engagement and safeguarding.
  • Interactive engagement with audience on recommended approaches and identfying blockages to effective HRDD with workers in global value chains.

Background to the discussion
Worldwide, around 1.4 billion workers, most of them women, are in insecure jobs or in the informal sector. Supply chains continue to be one of the most important levers for business to create positive impact in the world, with an estimated 80% of global trade passing through them annually. However, in too many places, workers are denied basic human rights, and migrant workers continue to be exploited.

In the drive to bring ever more products to market, people are often seen merely as a commodity, with wages pushed down to cut costs. A lack of formal, independent worker representation fuels and exacerbates the problem. If workers do not have access to workplace rights and protections within supplier companies, nothing changes.

Companies that commit to genuine and effective human rights due diligence processes can both mitigate risks to worker’s rights, but also significantly improve the lives of workers by providing decent work.

Engagement with workers is an essential part of corporate human rights due diligence. Social dialogue is about establishing formal or informal processes that enable workers and employers to negotiate or consult collectively on issues concerning their rights and responsibilities and to resolve conflicts peacefully and effectively.

A growing number of examples show that effective social dialogue between workers on the ‘shop floor’ and managers can contribute to decent work, quality jobs, greater equality and inclusive growth – all of which benefit workers and companies alike.

This session will explore how businesses, trade unions and other organisations are engaging with vulnerable workers in Italy, Spain, Southern Africa and elsewhere, and how they go about attempting to ensure that people seeking to enforce their rights are protected from threats of intimidation or reprisals.

avatar for Edwin Atema

Edwin Atema

Research and enforcement, FNV - Stichting VNB
avatar for Cindy Berman

Cindy Berman

Head of Modern Slavery Strategy, Ethical Trading Initiative
avatar for David Mcdiarmid

David Mcdiarmid

Corporate Relations Director, Princes Limited
Ethical supply chains in the food industry.Environmental sustainabilityCommunications
avatar for Pia Navazo

Pia Navazo

Researcher, BHR
Human rights impacts un the context of economic operations and global supply chains

Wednesday November 28, 2018 10:00am - 11:20am CET

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