Submitted by Jeff Odendahl
December 10, 2013 is International Human Rights Day. On that day, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) will publicly release a statement entitled “Statement of Principles and Recommended Practices for Confronting Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.” Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls Leadership has joined many other religious groups and organizations in endorsing this statement.
The exploitation of persons—for labor or sexual purposes—is the third largest illegal “business” after drug and arms trafficking. In 2012, the International Labor Organization conservatively estimated that some 21 million persons globally, including the US, remain enslaved. 14.2 million people are victims of forced labor and another 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation. ICCR members have been working with companies to ensure that they are doing everything in their power to prevent trafficking and slavery within their spheres of impact. In order to mitigate risks of these violations in their operations and supply chains, ICCR members believe it is incumbent on companies to establish comprehensive human rights due diligence policies and procedures that incorporate trafficking and slavery provisions based on international human rights standards and labor conventions.
In addition to releasing the statement along with a list of endorsers on International Human Rights Day, ICCR will be sending the statement to companies in January, starting with focus companies in the Food and Agriculture sector and the Hospitality sector as well as using the document in corporate engagements. A link to the full statement can be found at http://www.iccr.org/publications/2013ICCR_HTPrinciplesFINAL112013.pdf
[Note: FSLF is a member of ICCR. We follow their guidelines in our investment policies and practices, and work with other religious communities to influence and change corporate practices which adversely affect people and the environment.]