Labour urges introduction of supply chain reporting to stamp out exploitation

Ged Nash TD
27 September 2023

Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has urged cross party support for a Labour Bill to stamp out labour exploitation and human trafficking in the global supply chain.

The Labour Exploitation and Trafficking (Audit of Supply Chains) Bill would require businesses to report annually on the measures they have taken to ensure that production of the goods or services they sell does not involve such exploitative practices. It will be debated in the Dáil tomorrow Thursday 28th September.

Deputy Nash said:

“It’s time to put it up to big corporates and demand transparency within the supply chain. According to the International Labour Organisation, it is estimated that there are 25 million people in forced labour worldwide, and many of these people work in supply chains for major multinational companies who are household names.

“The voluntarist approach taken by this government in their 2017-2020 Action Plan on business and human rights has neither been effective or widely adopted.

“Countries like France and others have either legislated for ethical global business frameworks or are on their way do doing so. Ireland, as one of the most open and globalised economies in the world has an especially important ethical obligation to vulnerable workers at risk of exploitation.

“The Dáil will debate a Labour Party bill tomorrow that would make Ireland one of the best in class, and compel big business to provide an annual statement on practices across their supply chains.

“This Bill would force companies to be transparent about their supply chains and to take steps to ensure that workers in low income countries are treated fairly.

“Reporting has shown how hazardous the conditions many of these workers are expected to content with – over heated factories, 12 hour plus working days and poverty pay.

“Consumer pressure can only go so far. We need to implement robust reporting regimes to stamp out these practices and eradicate them across the supply chain.”

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