Slavery can be eradicated from commerce. After committing to achieve eradication with certainty, a business must agree to adopt and engage in a program called the Six Steps to Freedom. By engaging fully and in good faith in this program, a business can ensure, with certainty, that slavery has been eradicated from its supply chains and its commercial activity.
Each of the Six Steps is critical and each is dependent on the other five. The Six Steps to Freedom are grounded in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Important elements are modeled after the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Fair Food Program, the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, ILO Conventions, and the research, agreements, and other work of numerous stakeholders concerned with these issues, including the presently inactive Slave-Free Commerce Coalition.
Absolute Agreement to an Absolute Standard
1. Business agrees to eliminate forced labor, slavery, human trafficking, and the Worst Forms of Child Labor from its own activities and from its supply chains, and to require its labor recruiters, suppliers, and sub-suppliers to do the same. The agreement will incorporate the principles below and will be enforceable. Workers or worker representatives will play a primary role in the design of the enforceable agreement.
Free Association and Education for Workers
2. Business will permit and encourage educational programs for employees, as part of the employees' work days, with respect to the employees' human rights, including labor rights and with respect to access to remedy. Business will permit the employees to associate freely.
Open and Transparent Chains
3. Business will provide unrestricted, unannounced, open and effective access to its employees, facilities, books and records to enable effective, independent oversight of the Business's practices and supply chain management with respect to the prohibited conditions. Business will disclose its supply chain map and will make all reports, both its own and those of any third-party, of any oversight activities publicly available.
Access to Remedy
4. Business will ensure that workers that are subject to the prohibited conditions have access to an effective remedy, including access to independent complaint mechanisms and hotline numbers in case of violations.
5. Business will not retaliate against or penalize in any way any employee for his/her activities in connection with the Six Steps to Freedom Program.
The Waterfall of Responsibility
6. Business will require every labor recruiter and supplier of the Business to adhere to paragraphs 1-5 above and to require all of the supplier's sub-suppliers to do the same through cascading contractual requirements or other enforceable mechanisms. Economic penalties, the termination of business relationships, and other sanctions may be possible consequences for suppliers, sub-suppliers, and others who violate any of these provisions.
We are the generation that will end slavery.