First Annual Meeting of the ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour

The ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour, launched in June 2018 held its first annual meeting focusing on business coordination and collaboration to eradicate forced labour and engaging smaller companies.

The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Global Business Network on Forced Labour held its first annual meeting on the 21st of October 2019 to bring together its members and interested companies and business networks. Some 35 participants from companies and business networks gathered to discuss collective action towards eradication of forced labour.

The ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour launched in June 2018 at the Singapore Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). Since its launch, the network quickly gained the support of 13 members: It has since been working to advance its collective focus areas on the eradication of forced labour. The network has a strong emphasis on engaging companies of all sizes and sectors to devise local solutions that create lasting change.

“When it comes to eradicating forced labour, we need to ensure that we are working together”, said Brent Wilton, Global Head of Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company and Interim Steering Committee Chairperson for the ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour. “We also need to bridge the global debate and support locally-owned and locally-driven solutions to promote sustainable change. The meeting today provided us with an opportunity to discuss how we bring this about through the ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour, together with the global convening power of the ILO.”

Ms Beate Andrees, Chief, Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch, ILO, opened the meeting by welcoming the participants to this first annual meeting and highlighting the continued need for collective efforts to eradicate forced labour. The meeting then saw participants engaged in two interactive sessions focusing on enhancing coordination and collaboration, promoting engagement of smaller companies, and innovative solutions. The meeting was also an occasion to provide an update to members and interested stakeholders on network’s recent activities and achievements.

For more information download the meeting report here.