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Recognizing Invisible Workers in Global Supply Chains
29 October 2020 | 15:45 – 17:15 IST
While there is broad agreement that child labour and forced labour must not be employed in the garment industry, there is low acknowledgement of these issues and not a shared understanding of how they manifest and why, especially at the informal tiers. Most labour laws and company due diligence efforts focus on “Tier One” factory production. However, between 28 and 43 percent of child labour in global supply chains occurs in the upstream segments. The often-complex webs of production activities leading to exports, and the risk of child labour across these webs, clearly pose a challenge for traceability, assessment, and ongoing monitoring. Although there has been progress in tackling human rights concerns in this part of the supply chain, as well as in certain inputs and raw material sourcing, there is much more to do, including further work to document the problems, addressing abuse, and strengthening laws in consumer and production countries.
This session will identify good practices, such as developing traceability, as well as longer-term solutions to addressing child labour and forced labour at the hidden level of the supply chain, including through legislation and collaborative initiatives.
- Acknowledge that supply chains are vast, often informal networks, where invisible workers toil.
- Discuss ways to achieve full traceability in supply chains through monitoring, and remediation and prevention for child and forced labour.
- Draw attention to current and pending mandatory due diligence legislation and its role in shaping more responsible supply chains.
- Provide insights on what steps manufacturers can take to protect workers at all levels of their supply chains.
Head of Programme Manager, Apparel
Global human rights expert and Chair, Independent Standards Committee
Head of Labour Rights Programme
Creative Director & Co-Founder
Facilitator, Child Friendly Community Programme