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26 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The government has called on retailers to look into the steps the industry can take to help eradicate human rights abuses in their supply chains.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is to work with members to produce a document later this year highlighting good practice.
It will aim to help companies address abuses such as forced labour and dangerous working conditions at their suppliers abroad, the government said. The report will also include a framework of human rights reporting requirements, information on ethical auditing and the various accreditation schemes available.
Business minister Jenny Willott added: “Transparency should always be at the heart of every business. All companies, including those in the retail sector, need to make sure that they are giving the right information to their customers and are being open about their supply chains.”
Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said: “In order to achieve meaningful change in this area, businesses of all sizes, throughout the supply chain, need to understand the issues, be able to identify and then address worker abuse and exploitation. I hope that by sharing the experiences of responsible British retailers, we can help all those wanting to begin their journey of improving human rights through their supply chains.
“Over the coming months, we will be working with our members to signpost industry standards and initiatives and draw together examples of good practice.”