Modern slavery is an emerging area of focus for the State Street Global Advisors’ Asset Stewardship program. In 2021, we initiated a series of targeted engagements to learn more about this important dimension of ESG risk.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 40 million people are victims of modern slavery worldwide.1 Modern slavery constitutes a number of human rights violations including servitude, forced or compulsory labor, child labor, and human trafficking.2 Companies across sectors are facing increased pressure to address the potential operational, financial and reputational risks associated with modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. In recent years, the development and implementation of more stringent regulations regarding the management and disclosure of modern slavery risk — including Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the US and Canada — has created heightened regulatory risks for companies.
Companies are taking steps to address risks related to modern slavery in their supply chain, but there are a number of challenges they face while identifying and remediating these issues. We will continue to engage with companies to inform our ongoing efforts in this space. Please reach out to our team at GovernanceTeam@ssga.com to request an engagement on this important topic.
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