What Businesses Can Do

 

Human Rights Infographic

 

Getting informed and engaged is fundamental to ensuring that your supply chain is well-managed and slavery-free. There’s a real danger that not engaging could drive the problem underground, placing affected fishermen at even greater risk. Producers may choose to sell to less scrupulous buyers that ask fewer questions about malpractices. Hence, we argue that it’s better to require suppliers to help bring an end to forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor.

The following questions and resources can help you develop or strengthen your due diligence and supply chain management practices. These resources are provided for information purposes only, and their publication on the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s website does not constitute an official endorsement. 

 Key Questions 

Explanation

Good Practice 

1. Do you know where the seafood you purchase is coming from? 

Knowing basic sourcing details for the seafood you purchase is essential to understanding the risks of forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor associated with fisheries.

The key things to know are:

  • Species name 

  • Location of catch and/or country of landing 

  • Processing location 

  • Method of catch 

You should look to require and provide updates about where your seafood is coming from at least twice a year, if not more frequently.

2. Does your company have a clear agreement or policy covering human rights standards in place with suppliers and business partners?

Legal documents such as a Master Purchase Agreement, Code of Conduct, or even a Purchase Order can be used, or a separate standalone policy can be created.

The agreement should include key issues such as forced labor and child labor, and all business partners should be required to sign and agree to the terms. See Fair Labor Association for an example.

3. Has your company conducted a risk assessment in the last year? 

At least annually, use the Risk Tool and other sources to search and review your seafood purchases to identify if any potential risks may exist.

The Risk Tool isn’t a direct indicator of human rights issues in your supply chain, but it can be used to give notice of potentially high risk areas that should be prioritized for further review.

4. How will your company further investigate potential high risk seafood purchases from suppliers or business partners? 

Based on the potential risks identified in your search of the Risk Tool and other sources, your company should then follow-up with any suppliers or business partners in an area designated as a critical or high risk to better determine if potential human rights violations exist.

While the Risk Tool is a useful database of information, it's not able to capture all potential instances of human rights abuses. Therefore, it's important that you continue to conduct additional reviews of all purchases and business partners using data requests, audits, or other tools. 

5. Does your company have a plan for how it will respond to a human rights issue or violation, including a Corrective Action Plan? 

It’s essential that a company discusses and plans for this ahead of time, so as to be prepared before any cases might occur. 

If a supplier or business partner is found to be in violation of a human rights agreement, it's important your company stays engaged and works to implement a Corrective Action Plan. If a company immediately walks away, then those human rights violations will continue and possibly be driven further underground. In the event your company identifies human rights violations, be sure to look at engaging with on-the-ground organizations and stakeholders who can assist with implementing a Corrective Action Plan.

Bear in mind it's very challenging for businesses to root out entrenched, systemic, and often criminal human rights abuse one-by-one. Therefore, we also encourage you to work collectively with a range of organizations, authorities, and stakeholders to address the underlying causes of forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in fishing. Read Background

 

Toolkits and Resources 

The following governmental and civil society resources may help you answer the above questions. 

Publication of the below resources on the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool’s website does not constitute an official endorsement of or by the Risk Tool, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Liberty Asia, and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

Any and all third party resources referred to, in part or in whole, are provided for information purposes only, and their content and methodologies have not been verified.  

 

Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains  

Organization/Owner: U.S. Department of Labor 

Comply Chain offers a step-by-step guide to developing a business/supply chain compliance system with a particular focus on forced and child labor.  

 

Fair Hiring Toolkit  

Organization/Owner: Verité  

Verité offers an extensive toolkit on how to ensure responsible practices in labor supply/hiring practices in global supply chains. The toolkit provides specific guidance for brands, suppliers, governments, advocates, investors, and auditors.  

 

Responsible Sourcing Tool   

Organization/Owner: U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Verité, Made in a Free World, and the Aspen Institute 

The Responsible Sourcing Toolkit (RST) is designed specifically for the seafood industry. This comprehensive resource has information and tutorials, case studies, policies, and useful links to other compliance tools and resources. Information about other industries, notably agriculture, is provided. 

 

Socially Responsible Resources

Organization/Owner: Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions

A comprehensive set of tools, webinars, case studies, and other resources about the broader landscape of social issues in fisheries and aquaculture.

 

Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template  

Organization/Owner: Social Responsibility Alliance  

The Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) is a free template for companies to use in their anti-slavery and human trafficking compliance program.  

 

Social Responsibility in the Global Seafood Industry: Background and Resources

Organization/ Owner: Fishwise 

The Fishwise white paper “Social Responsibility in the Global Seafood Industry: Background and Resources” provides both background analysis and information on the drivers behind human rights abuse in the seafood industry and advice on concrete steps that businesses may take to address human trafficking and forced labor in their supply chains. 

 

Tools for Ethical Seafood Sourcing 

Organization/Owner: Seafish 

Tools for Ethical Seafood Sourcing (TESS) provide seafood-specific guidance on responsible sourcing practices. 

 

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 

Organization/Owner: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights 

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide guidance to governments and business on how to prevent, address, and remedy human rights abuses that occur in the context of business operations. There are many online resources about the UN Guiding Principles and the related “Protect, Respect, Remedy Framework.” 

 

 

Due Diligence Research Tools 

The below search services can assist in your due diligence research. These services require payment.  

Arachnys  

Giant Oak  

Datarama 

 

Lastly, please get our updates: 

Seafood Watch (scroll to end of the page) 

Liberty Asia  

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (scroll to end of the page)