Full Disclosure: Toward Better Modern Slavery Reporting

March 27th, 2019

A new report, Full Disclosure: Toward Better Modern Slavery Reporting, by ICAR and Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) takes stock of progress made under current modern slavery reporting requirements and issues recommendations to improve these laws and corporate reporting practices under them.

As several jurisdictions around the world consider introducing modern slavery transparency laws and other forms of supply chain legislation, this report assesses how effective current modern slavery reporting requirements have been in preventing and addressing forced labor and human trafficking in global supply chains. Based on broad stakeholder consultation, desk-research, and company statement analysis, the report takes stock of progress brought about by and gaps in existing modern slavery reporting requirements, namely the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act, the UK Modern Slavery Act, and the Australia Modern Slavery Act. It also assesses the positives and shortcomings in current corporate reporting practices under these laws. The report finds that current modern slavery transparency laws do  not go far enough to protect workers or prevent forced labor and human trafficking in global supply chains.

The report provides recommendations to policy-makers that outline key elements to consider in order to make modern slavery reporting requirements more impactful. The recommendations address the scope and coverage of the law, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, government guidance for companies, and access to remedy. The report acknowledges that modern slavery and transparency in supply chain laws are only one tool that can be used to address forced labor and human trafficking in supply chains. It argues that, ultimately, mandatory human rights due diligence legislation would be more impactful to prevent and address human rights impacts in complex global supply chains and encourages a move towards this type of legislation, which is gaining momentum in various jurisdictions.

The report concludes with recommendations to companies that are meant to help them better comply with existing modern slavery laws and improve their human rights disclosures. It argues that in order to be meaningful, reporting must be based on effective human rights due diligence processes, stakeholder engagement, and include information about risks throughout the entire supply chain. Companies must evaluate and report on risks related to their own business practices, as well as about the outcomes of measures taken to address forced labor.

You can download the full report here.

You can read the press release here.

For more information, please contact Marion Cadier, ICAR’s Legal and Policy Coordinator, at marion@icar.ngo.