Expert Meeting on Eradicating Contemporary Forms of Slavery from Supply Chains (Geneva, 2 April 2015)

Human Rights Council Resolution 24/3 of 8 October 2013 mandated the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences to, inter alia, examine and report on all contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices, but in particular those defined in the Slavery Convention of 1926, and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery of 1956, as well as all other issues covered previously by the Working Group; to promote the effective application of relevant international norms and standards on slavery; and to recommend actions and measures applicable at the national, regional and international levels to eliminate slavery practices wherever they occur, including remedies that address the causes and consequences of contemporary forms of slavery, such as poverty, discrimination and conflict, as well as the existence of demand factors and relevant measures to strengthen international cooperation.

In her first report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/27/53), the Special Rapporteur identified the role of business, in particular transnational corporations, in promoting and using forced labour in global supply chains as one of her priority focus areas, by noting that according to the International Labour Organisation estimates, the total profits obtained from the use of forced labour in the private economy worldwide amount to US$ 150 billion per year.

In order to inform the strategic direction of the mandate and to contribute towards the Special Rapporteur’s 2015 report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur convened an expert meeting on 2 April 2015 in Geneva with a focus on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery from supply chains: States’ obligations, the role of businesses and other stakeholders and access to effective remedy for victims. The expert meeting brought together more than 20 leading experts in the field.