GRI 409: Forced or Compulsory Labor 2016 sets out reporting requirements on the topic of forced or compulsory labor. This Standard can be used by an organization of any size, type, sector or geographic location that wants to report on its impacts related to this topic.
In the context of the GRI Standards, the social dimension of sustainability concerns an organization’s impacts on the social systems within which it operates.
GRI 409 addresses the topic of forced or compulsory labor.
Not to be subjected to forced or compulsory labor is a fundamental human right. According to International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 29 ‘Forced Labour Convention’, forced or compulsory labor is defined as ‘all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.’1
Forced and compulsory labor affects all world regions, countries, and economic sectors, and includes workers in both formal and informal employment.2
Some of the most common forms of forced labor include forced labor in prisons (except for prisoners that have been convicted in a court of law, and whose labor is under the supervision and control of a public authority), human trafficking for the purpose of forced labor, coercion in employment, forced labor linked to exploitative labor contract systems, and debt-induced forced labor, also known as ‘debt-bondage’ or ‘bonded labor’.3
The victims are most likely from groups subject to discrimination or performing work on an informal or precarious basis. This can include women and girls forced into prostitution, migrants trapped in debt bondage, and sweatshop or farm workers, among other groups.4
Due diligence is expected of an organization in order to prevent and combat all forms of forced or compulsory labor within its activities. It is also expected to avoid contributing to or becoming linked to the use of forced or compulsory labor through its relationships with others (e.g., suppliers, clients).
These concepts are covered in key instruments of the ILO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the United Nations: see the References section of this Standard.
The disclosures in this Standard can provide information about an organization’s impacts related to forced or compulsory labor, and how it manages these impacts.
Disclosures on the related topic of child labor can be found in:
• GRI 408: Child Labor
1 International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 29, ‘Forced Labour Convention’, 1930.
2 International Labour Organization (ILO), Combating Forced Labour. A Handbook for Employers & Business, 2015.
3 International Labour Organization (ILO), Combating Forced Labour. A Handbook for Employers & Business, 2015.
4 International Labour Organization (ILO), Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery, http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm, accessed on 1 September 2016.
Effective date: 1 July 2018
GRI 409: Forced or Compulsory Labor
1. Management approach disclosures
2. Topic-specific disclosures
Disclosure 409-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor