Regulators are ramping up their efforts to develop new laws to fight against anti-human rights practices such as human trafficking and child labor. In March 2021, for example, Germany took a step towards implementing a new supply chain law which will oblige companies to take responsibility against any labor or environmental abuses. This law will allow for considerable fines of up to two percent of the company’s annual turnover (if that exceeds Euro 400 million). The UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 is another early example of such legislative enforcements. Proposals for similar legislation are being considered at an EU level and within its Member States.
Failing to take the right action at the right time can lead to legal action, investor divestment, negative publicity and financial and reputational damage. For example, in early 2021, the US Customs and Border Protection took action against a European supplier on allegations of forced labor in its supply chain.
Taking decisive and successful action on human rights requires deep specialist knowledge and experience which is not always available within corporations. That's why KPMG has developed a worldwide network of professionals with human rights experience to provide clients with expert advice on these complex challenges.
How we can help
KPMG professionals can support you at all stages of your business and human rights journey by helping to:
- Design policy: KPMG specialists can help you design the best human rights policy for your organization and its stakeholders;
- Build capacity: KPMG can help build internal commitment and capacity to take action on human rights;
- Identify risk: KPMG professionals can identify and assess human rights risks across your corporation’s value chain;
- Develop strategy: KPMG specialists can develop and help you implement effective strategies to address human rights risks;
- Engage stakeholders and provide a remediation framework: KPMG can design and deliver effective stakeholder engagement programs on human rights issues, and help you implement remediation and grievance mechanisms;
- Support reporting and communications: KPMG professionals can review or assure your human rights reporting, and help you meet regulatory requirements to publicly report. KPMG specialists can also provide support on your business’s communication activities;
- Set targets: KPMG can help you set appropriate human rights performance targets and develop systems to monitor your corporation’s performance.