Reckitt publishes 2021 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, outlining progress and challenges faced in the value chain; company highlights online tool diginexLUMEN that provides insight into suppliers’ risks around exploitation, forced labor

Sample article from our Household Products

May 24, 2022 (press release) –

WE ARE ENABLING A FAIRER SOCIETY WITHIN OUR VALUE CHAIN

Our Purpose, to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world, is at the heart of our business and our strategy for sustainable growth. Ensuring human rights are respected is fundamental to this purpose and integral to how we operate as a business.

We’ve published our 2021 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, outlining the challenges we face in our value chain and the progress we’re making in tackling these. Responsible recruitment has been a key area of focus for us over the past year. In 2021, we strengthened our policies and activities to prevent and address exploitative recruitment practices as explained below.

SADLY, MODERN SLAVERY IS A SYSTEMIC ISSUE WITHIN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD. WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO TACKLING IT, BUILDING GREATER VISIBILITY OF GLOBAL SUPPLY NETWORKS, CREATING NEW INNOVATIVE WAYS OF WORKING AND JOINING FORCES WITH OTHERS TO ENABLE CHANGE AT SCALE.

David Pettet, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS & SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN DIRECTOR

REIMBURSEMENT OF RECRUITMENT FEES AND THE POWER OF COLLABORATION

Since 2019, we’ve been working with another multi-national company to collectively tackle poor employment practices at a shared supplier in Malaysia. This included discriminatory and unethical recruitment practices that saw workers charged recruitment fees, often leaving them in debt.

Together, we have successfully resolved these issues and began the repayment of $800,000 of recruitment fees to workers in February 2021. As of the start of 2022, we are pleased to report that planned monthly repayments were made to 100% of current workers and 95% of repatriated employees, totalling USD$212,845. The remaining repatriated workers’ reimbursement is currently in progress. We will continue to monitor repayments until all fees are repaid in full. We’re now looking to apply the same approach to other suppliers in Malaysia and the Middle East.

PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY FOR A CLEARER VIEW OF RISKS TO MIGRANT WORKERS

We partnered with Diginex and The Coca-Cola Company to develop a pioneering online tool, diginexLUMEN, that provides an unprecedented insight into our suppliers’ risks around exploitation and forced labour

WHAT'S NEXT

In 2021, we piloted this tool at five of our suppliers in the UAE and in 2022, we’ll roll this out to all suppliers within Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

You can read more about this innovation here.

HELPING SUPPLIERS IMPLEMENT EFFECTIVE GRIEVANCE MECHANISMS

In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we wanted to help empower workers and communities to have their concerns acknowledged and addressed. We partnered with Oxfam Business Advisory Service and created a practical toolkit to engage workers and implement site-level grievance mechanisms. We piloted our toolkit at three of our third-party manufacturers in China, India and Pakistan and will build on those learnings before we publish the toolkit in 2022.

We’re making good progress but there is much more to do. We’ll continue to strengthen our work, guided by two key principles of our compass: putting consumers and people first and doing the right thing, always.

Download our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2021, to find out more about the issues we’re identifying and how we’re responding to them.

Read more about our sustainability ambitions.

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Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order household products coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

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