Businesses to feel the heat from slavery scrutiny in 2016

A labourer carries a sack filled with grocery items to load it onto a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata, India, February 15, 2016. REUTERS/RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI

A labourer carries a sack filled with grocery items to load it onto a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata, India, February 15, 2016.

REUTERS/RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI

Businesses are coming under increased public scrutiny over the use of slavery in their supply chains, making forced labour one of the greatest risks to their brands' reputation this year, a research firm said on Tuesday.

Legislation in countries like Britain and the United States requires businesses to report on their efforts to eradicate forced labour and trafficking from their supply chains. Britain's law came into force in 2015.

This increased public reporting empowers consumers and rights groups to put pressure on companies to promote ethical business activities, said British firm Verisk Maplecroft which identifies emerging risk areas for companies with global supply chains.

"The trend toward mandatory reporting means that the public can now more easily scrutinise and compare the actions businesses take – or do not take - to respect workers," Alexandra Channer, principal human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft said.

To read more: http://in.reuters.com/article/companies-labour-slavery-scrutiny-idINKCN0VP0CE