Business & Finance

Business and investors have both a moral and legal obligation to protect workers and combat forced labour in their supply chains.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Distefano via Minderoo Foundation.

Why the private sector should act

Investors & consumers

Greater transparency on labour practices are driving investment and consumer decisions, with purpose-driven companies often outperforming their peers. The rise of benchmarking tools and awards are spotlighting human rights practices in supply chains – both good and bad. Investors, lenders and shareholders are using their leverage to drive greater transparency from companies on their labour practices and modern slavery risks.

Legal obligations

In recent years, legal frameworks have been strengthened to drive responsible business practices and ultimately – to protect workers. Global businesses must consider both the laws of countries in which they operate and international normative standards in order to protect human rights. For further details, see the section ‘Legal obligations and frameworks’ in our Business and Investor Toolkit.

Good for business

Safe and legal working conditions are linked to higher levels of worker productivity and better business performance. Ethical recruitment practices increase the loyalty and retention of workers, which in turn lowers expenditure on recruitment in the mid- to longer term.

Greater transparency in operations helps organisations avoid inefficient allocation of capital while simultaneously reducing their risk of involvement with corrupt or illegal practices that are associated with forced labour. From an investor’s perspective – this is key in creating sustainable earnings.

Our approach

Walk Free works with business and the financial sector to combat forced labour, focusing on supply chain transparency, ethical recruitment and worker protection and redress.

We understand that the private sector cannot act alone, and that government collaboration is crucial. Walk Free facilitates this collaboration through the Bali Process Government and Business Forum and our Business Network. Through our Business and Investor Toolkit, we also provide a library of research, tools and guidance to support this work.

Women sort cocoa beans at a cocoa exporter’s in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Photo credit: SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images.

Walk Free’s toolkit helps business and investors take action to improve human rights standards in their supply chains and combat forced labour, human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery.

bUSINESS cASE sTUDIES

Case study

Patagonia | Ethical Recruitment

Leveraging an NGO partnership to secure fair working conditions for migrant workers.

Case study

Princes Tuna Mauritius | Ethical Recruitment

Developing a management system to ensure overseas workers are ethically recruited.

Case study

Icebreaker | Supply Chain Transparency

“If we can’t see it, we can’t fix it.”

Business Projects

Project

Business & investor toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help businesses and investors take action to improve human rights standards in their supply chains and combat forced labour, human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery.

Project

Bali Process Government and Business Forum

Harnessing the power of collaboration between government and business to eliminate modern slavery from global supply chains.

Project

STRENGTHENING SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSPARENCY

Advocating for and strengthening modern slavery reporting and supply chain transparency.

Featured project

Bali Process Government and Business Forum

Connecting business and government leaders to combat human trafficking, forced labour and other forms of modern slavery in the Asia Pacific region.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Distefano via Minderoo Foundation.

Business Resources

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Featured project

Strengthening supply chain transparency

Advocating for and strengthening modern slavery legislation and reporting.