Global Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Sustainable Global Supply Chains

Global Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Sustainable Global Supply Chains

On July 7 and 8, 2017, the leaders of the 20 most powerful countries in the world met in Germany for the G20 Summit to discuss global economic challenges including gaps in wealth and human well-being. The focus of the Summit was the development of more sustainable and inclusive growth throughout the world. In particular, the leaders noted the importance of promoting sustainable global supply chains through the implementation of labor, social and environmental standards.

As outlined in the G20 Leaders Declaration, the ministers:

  • Underlined the responsibility of businesses to exercise supply chain due diligence, making clear their expectation that businesses address their human rights impacts in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs);
  • Committed to taking immediate and effective measures to eliminate child labour by 2025, in addition to forced labour, human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery; and
  • Committed to establishing adequate policy frameworks, such as national action plans on business and human rights, to promote corporate respect for human rights.

These commitments align with the wider global shift toward greater demand for government action and corporate accountability on the human rights impacts of businesses. Furthermore, this echoes the sentiment expressed in the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers Meeting Declaration, in which the ministers committed to taking “immediate and effective measures” towards eradicating modern slavery, forced labor and human trafficking in global supply chains, both domestically and abroad.

Proactive human rights due diligence means knowing the risks and understanding how to respond. Download the Anti-Human Trafficking eBook to learn more.  

Increased Human Rights Responsibilities for Businesses

This announcement signals sustained pressure on companies to protect the human rights of the workers in their supply chain. In practice, this involves comprehensive surveying of corporate supply chains to screen for risk of human trafficking and modern slavery, as well as other human rights abuses.

Open source tools like the Human Trafficking Risk Template (HTRT) help companies gather data relevant to respect for human rights from their supply chains, insights which can then be used to inform due diligence programming. Armed with this data, companies can take appropriate steps to prevent and mitigate risk of human rights violations in their supply chains and protect themselves from financial, legal and operational risks associated with these activities.

To learn more about supply chain human rights risks such as human trafficking, download our free eBook ‘Anti-Human Trafficking and Your Supply Chain’. For more information on how your company can leverage the HTRT and other tools to meet its human rights due diligence obligations, contact our subject matter and regulatory experts at