Responsible Labor Initiative Launches to Promote Rights of Workers Vulnerable to Forced Labor
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 26, 2017 /3BL Media/ – The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains, today announced the launch of its Responsible Labor Initiative to help companies address the root causes of forced labor. This initiative will extend the EICC’s existing world-class standards and programs to other industries, thereby accelerating change through collective influence and action.
“The EICC has been at the forefront of addressing forced labor in global supply chains for many years, however, to accelerate change and drive labor market transformation, we believe that due diligence must be harmonized across multiple industries that share recruitment channels,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the EICC.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 21 million people worldwide are working in situations of forced labor. Supply chains include hundreds of thousands of foreign migrant workers who seek to make better lives for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, some of these workers are exploited through force, fraud, debt bondage or other coercion, in many industries and regions throughout the world.
Guiding principles on forced labor are well-established, however, solutions tend to be fragmented across industries and geographies and only address certain aspects or specific points in a worker’s journey. The Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI) will build on leading EICC standards, programs and partnerships that will be extended to other industries through membership in the RLI and will work in conjunction with complementary solutions to better address these issues.
“Addressing the risks vulnerable workers face in the recruitment process requires collective action,” said Ed Marcum, Managing Director of Humanity United. “The Responsible Labor Initiative creates a necessary forum for companies to work together across sectors and act collectively.”
The RLI was formed with the assistance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group comprised of representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), The Fair Hiring Initiative (TFHI), Verité, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), CH2M, Intel, Walmart and other companies.
“ICCR supports the vision of the RLI, which places the rights and dignity of workers vulnerable to forced labor in global supply chains at the center of the initiative through transforming recruitment and employment practices on the ground,” said David Schilling, Senior Program Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.
At launch the RLI includes industries already engaged in the EICC, such as electronics and automotive, and will expand to others to maximize leverage in key sourcing areas.
The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of leading electronics companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. EICC members commit and are held accountable to a common Code of Conduct and utilize a range of training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The EICC is comprised of more than 110 electronics companies with combined annual revenue of greater than $4.75 trillion and directly employing over 6 million people. For more information, visit www.eiccoalition.org and follow @EICCoalition.
Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition
Phone: +1 571.858.5721