Urgent need for action
Worldwide, 40 million people live in modern slavery and 152 million children are obliged to work – most of them at the very starting points of our globalized value chains – in agriculture, on cotton plantations or in mines, and in states where no effective mechanisms are in place to protect human rights. These and other forms of exploitation benefit above all – albeit unintentionally – companies in internationalized production contexts. With the G7’s decision in 2015 to promote sustainable supply chains, a paradigm shift occurred, describing the protection of human rights as a shared responsibility of governments and business.
Clear orientation and expectations
As a consequence, national action plans were drawn up in numerous countries, including but not limited to G7 nations. Based on the UN Guidelines on Business and Human Rights, these plans operationalize the human rights due diligence obligations that companies must comply with. In addition to a corporate policy commitment and human rights performance reporting, companies are required to conduct a risk assessment on a regular basis, derive appropriate means, and establish an effective complaint mechanism.
akzente supports its clients in setting up effective human rights due diligence systems that meet the growing implementation and transparency requirements of national action plans and various national value chain laws.