FTA Reaffirms Commitment to Business and Human Rights at UN Annual Forum


On 14 November, FTA led a high-level panel session on “Labour Migration in Supply Chains – combatting forced labour and human trafficking”at UN Annual Forum on Business & Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland - in partnership with the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children and the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).

In his opening remarks, FTA Director General Christian Ewert emphasised the significant role that business has towards ensuring safe jobs in dignified working conditions that respect human rights. He added that “as a business-driven organisation, the FTA continues to remain vigilant to the fact that Forced Labour and Human Trafficking have re-emerged as a defining issue of this century. We consistently strive to identify the best ways to support our members and BSCI participants to conduct effective supply chain due diligence so they can the implement the three pillars of the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework of the UN Guiding Principles as embedded in the BSCI Code of Conduct”.

Under the theme of Forum, ‘Business leadership and leverage’, business experts from three different sectors – apparel, electronics and food – shared best practices and solutions to improve conditions for workers in global supply chains.

This included BSCI participants:

  • Lary Brown of ESPRIT addressing efforts to address the issue of Syrian refugees in their supply chains in Turkey and
  • Kristina Areskog of AxFood highlighting steps taken to combat forced labour and unethical labour practices in the fisheries and food sectors in Thailand.

EICC elaborated on how it is working to eradicate forced labour in the global electronics industry supply chain via a taskforce set up to address related challenges.  Collectively the panellists reinforced their firm commitment to combatting forced labour and human trafficking, given that it is not only about respecting basic human rights – but an undeniable business imperative.

For more information, please contact Anisha Rajapakse, Senior Manager Stakeholder Engagement.

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