Doughty Street presents at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Last night Doughty Street Chambers, in conjunction with Traidcraft and the Ethical Trading Initiative, presented a paper at the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva.  The forum is the world’s largest annual gathering on business and human rights with more than 2,000 participants from government, business, civil society, legal practice, investors, UN bodies, national human rights institutions, trade unions, academia, and the media.

Krishnendu Mukherjee and Elise Groulx Diggs, from our Business and Human Rights team, presented with Cindy Berman (Head of Modern Slavery Strategy at the Ethical Trading Initiative), and Fiona Gooch (Senior Policy Adviser at Traidcraft). 

There is a reluctance on the part of some large companies in the UK to engage with s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and our presentation opened a discussion on how to combat modern slavery in supply chains, using as case studies the Rajasthan Stone Sector, and the Assam tea industry, areas of particular specialism for our panellists.  Some of the issues under examination were exploring the main barriers to combatting modern slavery in supply chains, as well as looking at why companies are not undertaking enhanced due diligence in their supply chains (as well as the reasons why they should, including share price and reputational risk as well as human rights concerns).  The session also explored what investors and stakeholders can do to change corporate behaviour, as well as looking at the important role lawyers can play in improving supply chain due diligence.

Our Business and Human Rights lawyers have long experience in this field, advising on issues of risk as well as obligations under international human rights treaties, and liability under criminal and civil law.  We have been involved in cases brought before National Contact Points, we regularly write and lecture in this growing field, and are recognised by the industry directories.  To learn more please visit our Business and Human Rights page.