Labour urges swift action on supply chains reporting to combat exploitation

19 March 2024
  • Progressives lead the way in the European Parliament, Ireland must follow

Labour’s Enterprise Spokesperson Ged Nash TD has today welcomed a groundbreaking 1st law approved by the European Parliament committee on Legal affairs. This law, approved under the leadership of the progressives (Labour’s grouping in the Parliament), would obligate companies to take responsibility for the impact of their business activities on human rights and the environment.

Deputy Nash said:
“It’s time to put it up to big corporations and demand transparency within the supply chain. With the approval of the first law obliging companies to take responsibility for their supply chains, we are sending a clear message that exploitation and negligence will no longer be tolerated.

“Safeguarding human and workers’ rights should be paramount in every company’s operations. Yet, we continue to witness egregious abuses in supply chains, with millions trapped in forced labour. It’s time for corporations to step up, take responsibility, and ensure ethical practices throughout their supply chains.

“Labour is committed to tackling exploitation head-on. Our bill introduced in the Dáil last year aims to establish a register for all businesses, compelling them to demonstrate their commitment to eradicating exploitation in their supply chains. It’s imperative that we hold companies accountable for their actions.

“For too long, major corporations have evaded responsibility for the conditions in their supply chains. We cannot turn a blind eye to the appalling practices in factories producing goods for household names like Apple, Nike, and H&M. It’s time for real change and accountability.

“The Programme for Government made a clear commitment to review the need for greater emphasis on mandatory due diligence. Yet, progress has stalled, leaving workers vulnerable to exploitation. We urge immediate action to fulfil this commitment and prioritise the well-being of workers worldwide.

“The Labour Exploitation and Trafficking (Audit of Supply Chains) Bill 2021 is a critical step toward transparency and accountability. By requiring businesses to annually report on measures taken to prevent exploitative practices, we are laying the groundwork for a fairer, more ethical global economy.

“Labour calls upon the Irish government to take decisive action now. It is imperative that we prioritise human rights and hold corporations accountable for their actions. Let’s make transparency the norm and ensure justice for all workers.”

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