The Re:Structure Lab launches: new collaboration between SPERI, Stanford and Yale

A team of researchers from SPERI are working with colleagues from Stanford University and Yale University on an exciting new project to reimagine business models and global supply chains to promote fair, equitable labour standards in light of the pandemic. 

Today the project has launched the Re:Structure Lab: restructurelab.org/

The Re:Structure Lab draws on recent academic research across several disciplines to develop an ambitious series of Forced Labour Evidence Briefs. Each will make recommendations for how to restructure business models and supply chains to promote equitable labour standards and protect workers from forced labour and exploitation. 

The Lab’s first Forced Labour Evidence Brief on Due Diligence and Transparency Legislation co-authored by Genevieve LeBaron, Andreas Rühmkorf, and colleagues is now live on the Lab website with five more Briefs and a Blueprint for Change to be published over the coming months.

Download the Evidence Brief: Due Diligence and Transparency Legislation

About the Brief:

Governments and business are beginning to adopt human rights due diligence as a tool to combat forced labour in global supply chains. While this is potentially good news for workers facing exploitation, there is a danger that new due diligence legislation and practices will replicate the well-documented flaws of transparency legislation and reporting, reduced to yet another tick box exercise. This brief sets out the key requirements for strong and effective human rights due diligence legislation and practices to address the business drivers of forced labour along the supply chain. 

We explain how governments can use mandatory human rights due diligence as a key tool, accompanied by broader legal reforms, to spur wide ranging changes to business practices along end-to-end supply chains. We provide key criteria for strong human rights due diligence in practice and explain how companies can implement effective due diligence programs that are sensitive to racial and gender inequality. We stress that implementing effective human rights due diligence is not just about understanding and mapping forced labour risks, which has been the focus of efforts to date, but rather is about action to address its root causes in supply chains.   

The collaborative project is co-led by Genevieve LeBaron and Jessie Brunner Director of Human Trafficking Research at The Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University and is funded by Humanity United and the Freedom Fund. Further information about the project is available here.