Academy Session II: Decent Work in Global Supply Chains


The second UN Global Compact Academy session on decent work in global supply chains was held on 8 May 2018, and featured a lively discussion between Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO; Laurent Freixe, Chief Executive Officer Zone Americas and Executive Vice President, Nestlé; and Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains. The discussion focused on three themes: Decent Work, Modern Slavery in Global Supply Chains and the Future of Work.

Watch the full-recording here:

What did we learn?

  • In order to achieve the Global Goals, it is paramount for businesses to promote decent work and respect for workers’ rights in their supply chains. Corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability practices are central to poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth.

  • Companies should implement operational-level mechanisms to monitor and assess potential and ongoing human rights and labour risks, like the occurrence of modern slavery. This includes, but is not exclusive to, mapping supply chains beyond Tier 1, enforcing human rights policies, conducting thorough human rights due diligence and ensuring that effective grievance mechanisms are available to workers.

  • Innovative and effective methods for building trust between companies and workers include: social dialogue; digitization of supply chain processes to increase transparency and identify risks; and collaboration among businesses and stakeholders to ensure that commodities are traceable and sustainable.

  • Companies should prepare for the future of work by considering megatrends like globalization, technological advances such as robots and artificial intelligence, demographic changes and climate change in their business strategies. Effective strategies also include engaging with policy makers, increasing employment flexibility, and prioritizing job security, continuous learning, skills development, and education.

Recommended UN Global Compact Resources

You can find more recommended resources here.