New Re:Structure Lab Evidence Brief on Commercial Contracts and Sourcing
The Re:Structure Lab is an exciting new project to reimagine business models and global supply chains to promote fair, equitable labour standards in light of the pandemic. The Lab’s researchers are drawing on recent academic evidence from across several disciplines to develop a series of Forced Labour Evidence Briefs.
About the new Commercial Contracts and Sourcing Evidence Brief:
Irresponsible purchasing practices – such as sourcing beneath the costs of production and the failure to incorporate considerations around wages into commercial contracts – are key drivers of forced labour in global supply chains. This brief outlines how contracts and sourcing practices, as well as the legal regimes surrounding them, could change to promote equitable labour practices and protect supply chain workers from exploitation.
We provide an overview of sourcing tools and agreements that promote decent work, including living wage benchmarks, ringfenced labour costs and binding worker-driven social responsibility agreements. Stressing that commercial and contract law are often the main vehicle through which governments implement and enforce duties on corporations, including due diligence and transparency, we explain the far-reaching reforms that need to take place to enable workers to hold businesses accountable for the terms and conditions within their contracts and enable workers to enforce them.
The collaborative project is co-led by Genevieve LeBaron and Jessie Brunner, a leader on evidence-based anti-trafficking policy, and Director of Human Trafficking Research at The Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University. The project is funded by Humanity United and the Freedom Fund. The Sheffield team also includes Remi Edwards, Tom Hunt, Perla Polanco Leal, Andreas Rühmkorf and Charline Sempéré. Further information about the project is available here.