CCEG SOCIAL VALUE & INTANGIBLES REVIEW
slave labour at some point along the way. The usual narrative around this huge human rights issue is that the use of slavery in the creation of the products we all use in our day-to-day lives is all down to the evils of big business. Many businesses in the developed world have been tainted by media coverage of global stories alleging modern slavery and forced labour. Thai prawns found in major supermarkets are shed by slaves. Tate and Lyle have been linked to child slave labour in their supply chains. Human rights abuses, including slavery and traf cking, are rife within the palm oil industry servicing well known food companies such as Nestle, Kellogg and Proctor and Gamble. The impact of crushingly low pay for tea pickers in India, forcing children into child slavery, has ensnared well known tea brands as well as major UK supermarket own brands even Waitrose, normally regarded as a paragon of corporate responsibility. UK high street clothing companies have been linked to the Rana Plaza disaster. But is this demonization actually doing the estimated 37 million people trapped in forms of modern slavery a disservice? And is merely pointing the nger of blame at the businesses we buy from potentially alienating perhaps the only people who truly have the power to eradicate slavery once and for all?
leader in UK manufacturing told me, we warmly welcome this legislation as it will level the playing eld for us. We are free of slavery in our practices here in the UK and we want our global competitors to be too. Another business leader involved in the supply chain audit for 20 years recently said to me: "it never occurred to me this was an issue, until I came across it in our supply chain and I realised it wasn't going to be an isolated incident."
There is no doubt that forced labour and slavery are ourishing in our global supply chains. Fuelled by our insatiable desire for cheap goods, services and raw materials, it's highly likely that the clothes on our back, the phones in our pockets and the food on our plates have all been tainted by
None of the companies named above are directly involved in using slaves, but in a world of complex and extended global supply chains it is easy for modern slavery to thrive, often unnoticed, at the very bottom of the production line. Despite all the anti-slavery work being done by NGOs, governments and multilateral bodies, without the cooperation of big business sitting at the top of our global supply chains we are never going to make effective progress. Globalisation is accelerating. In a list of the top 100 global economic entities, 44 companies generated combined
Published on Apr 18, 2015
Published on Apr 18, 2015
APRIL 2015: Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance journal on Social Innovation and Social Impact Analysis SUPPLEMENTS: EU Seismi...