According to a new benchmarking report, companies’ anti-slavery compliance and actions have improved in 2016. Funded by iPoint and prepared by Development International (DI), a not-for-profit organization specialized in evaluations, the study rated the legal compliance, affirmative practice, and transparency of 1,909 companies’ anti-human trafficking and slavery-related disclosure statements of 2016. The law in focus: the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (CA-TISCA), which requires retailers and manufacturers doing business in the state of California with annual worldwide gross receipts exceeding $100 million to publicly disclose the measures they have taken to eradicate modern-day slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains. The companies subject to this law include U.S. as well as foreign companies with a combined global revenue of $48.4 trillion in 2016.
The study indicates that the companies in focus have improved on all fronts as compared to reporting year 2015. “More companies have a statement, more are compliant, and more pro-active initiative is being taken by these businesses in their efforts to responsibly produce and source goods they sell in California,” Dr. Chris Bayer, DI’s Principal Investigator and co-author of the study, states.
Among the 20 companies which received a combined compliance, affirmative, and transparency score of 86% and above are American Eagle Outfitters (95%), HP (93%), Intel (92%), Burberry (90%), Patagonia (89%), GAP (88%), Papyrus (88%), Bath & Body Works (87%), Vans (87%), and Apple (86%).
“There are definitely flagship brands and industries leading the way in the anti-slavery area. Recent as well as upcoming laws indicate the encouraging shift in the number of countries that are engaging on the issue”, iPoint-CEO Joerg Walden emphasizes. “However, in order to effectively tackle and eradicate human trafficking and modern-day slavery around the globe, joint efforts, learning from peers, supply-chain wide collaboration and cross-sector solutions such as the electronic Labor Rights Template (eLRT) are key.”
“The catch 22 is that brands can lead, but cannot complete the task in isolation,” Julia Ormond highlights in the report’s foreword. “Conversely, self-acknowledgement of slavery risk in supply chains would beget supply chain mapping, sector and cross-sector partnerships; to enable new solutions and anti-slavery measures to evolve and prove their value.” Ormond is founder and president of the Alliance to stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET), which was instrumental in passing the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015).
Evaluated companies can request their individual scorecards with a breakdown of their disclosure compliance, affirmative practice, and transparency score, from this website: http://www.ipoint-systems.com/ca-tisca-2016/ The full report can also be downloaded from this website.