Building Your Social Compliance System

December 21, 2012
By Michelle Kelley

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Reduce the chances of child/forced labor in your supply chain. Use the Department of Labor’s new toolkit to start building your company’s social compliance system.

The Reducing Child Labor & Forced Labor Toolkit was created specifically for companies wanting to put a social compliance system in place.

Focused on practices for companies that produce goods, rather than services, this online toolkit aims to reduce the chances of goods being produced by child/forced labor through eight steps.

These steps are:

1. Engage stakeholders and partners 
Finding out how big of a problem child labor is in a particular country or city that you source from.

2. Assess risks and impacts 
How to assess the risks and impacts of labor abuse and how to use the information gathered from your assessment.

3. Develop a code of conduct 
How to develop a code of conduct, real world examples of codes from Levi Strauss and Coca Cola, links to industry associations that share program data and social compliance methodology, and links to reference tools. Includes standards suggested by the International Labor Organization for use in your own social compliance system.

4. Communicate and train across the supply chain 
Determining who should be trained, training topics, and employee grievance mechanisms.

5. Monitor compliance 
How and when to schedule and complete an audit, including sample audit questions, such as: Were any of the workers recruited through some form of debt arrangement, such as an advance or loan, which they are working to pay off?
If workers’ lodging is provided by the employer, are the living conditions degrading?
Does the employer (or recruiter) threaten to turn workers over to government authorities (e.g. immigration authorities)?
Does the employer punish or threaten to punish workers through any other means, such as deprivation of food, water or sleep, or make threats against their family members? 

6. Remediate violations
How to correct violations discovered during an audit and example corrective action plans.

7. Independent review 
Models of independent auditing, including links to accredited programs and associations that specialize in monitoring,’

8. Report performance 
How to prepare and issue a public report

Reducing Child Labor & Forced Labor Toolkit

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