Reports, Papers & Articles



EU Imports Associated with Child Labour

What is the value of EU imports associated with child labour?  And what are the policy options -- leveraging Europe's collective purchasing power -- to constructively engage exporting countries on this issue? The novelty of this study is that we used Basu's child labour model to build an economic case for responsible intervention on child labour, and further operationalised Basu's model to designate zone-specific interventions based on the particular socio-economic development of the country. In order to gauge the value of the EU’s exposure to imported goods produced with child labour -- a value not previously estimated -- we developed an ex-novo method that combined US lists of products associated with child labour + EU trade database + new ILO child labour added value figures per region. Here our study and here the companion app.  

Labour Rights in the Fairtrade System

With the ultimate purpose of informing Fairtrade's systemwide strategy concerning agricultural workers, this operational assessment examined the working and living conditions of cocoa/banana workers including hired labourers in smallholder settings of cocoa production in West Africa and banana production in Latin America and the Caribbean. Commissioned by Fairtrade and authored by DI members, this study covered the production of two crops in five countries: cocoa in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and banana in Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Perú. In scope were Fairtrade-certified Small-scale Producer Organisations (SPOs). Fairtrade made public the 11-page executive summary of the full report. Fairtrade also published a Policy Briefing by the authors, and Fairtrade’s Management Response.

Devoir de Vigilance: Reforming Corporate Risk Engagement

The French Devoir de Vigilance law is unique in that it bestows upon companies a duty of care for people and planet. This study assesses 134 companies, who identified as being subject to the law, against their legal compliance, UNGP performance, and transparency. Multiple perspectives are pursued: For companies, how did you square off against the actual legal requirements and UNGPs? For civil society, what makes this law special, and how is it being implemented? For policy-makers, is the legislative intent being met? For lawyers, what is the legal theory with which one could defend or attack any given subject company?

EU NFRD: Measurement and Reporting Divergence in Corporate Non-Financial Accounting

Our 3-country ESG reporting analysis (Germany, Austria, Sweden) yielded gaping measurement discrepancies (units, denominators), particularly on 4 GRI indicators: 

 - GHG emissions (10 differences)

 - energy consumption (9 differences)

 - recycled input materials (9 differences)

 - work-related injuries (7 differences)

Youth-Inclusive Child Labour Monitoring in Belize Sugar Production

The purpose of this independent study was to assess the work undertaken by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) to establish Fairtrade’s Youth-Inclusive Community-Based Monitoring and Remediation System on Child Labour (YICBMR), in order to identify and respond to issues concerning child and youth wellbeing, including child labour, in its sugarcane producing communities. Its monitoring approach was first piloted by the organisation in 2015, and has since expanded to cover all of BSCFA’s sugar growing areas.

WFCL in the DRC: Cobalt Refiner Due Diligence Reporting

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been called the Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age, home to the majority of the world's cobalt reserves. Yet need we usher in the e-mobility revolution, and with it the low carbon era, at the expense of human rights? This report picks up where Amnesty's "THIS IS WHAT WE DIE FOR" left off, and a few years later asks what Cobalt refiners are doing in the way of child labour due diligence in accordance with the OECD and CCCMC guidance.


Corporate Non-Financial Reporting: The case of Germany, Sweden and Austria

We are pleased to have published baseline studies that systematically assess the degree of non-financial reporting under the EU NFRD in Germany, Sweden, and Austria. Each benchmark features an evaluation framework premised on 60+ key performance indicators (KPIs) based on GRI, DNK, and UN Global Compact indicators on a range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics.

It Takes a Community: Collective Action Initiatives Confronting Corruption and Forced Labour

Multi-stakeholder action -- also referred to as collective action initiatives (CAIs) -- including at least one corporate member and targeting either corruption or modern-day slavery, is surveyed in 15 countries. ​Our research reveals a thriving network of anti-corruption CAIs (68 in total), with a growing number of CAIs focused on combating forced labour (30 in total). Some countries such as South Africa, India, and Nepal host a vibrant network of CAIs across both sectors, while other countries such as Nigeria and Mozambique display a much higher existence of anti-corruption CAIs.  

GLOBAL GOVERNANCE -- Compliance and conformance with UK MSA and good practice in human rights

Great Britain's FTSE 100 stock index makes up 80% of the public companies' market capitalisation in the country. Our second Modern Slavery Act (MSA) benchmarking study therefore hones in on these companies, as well as the top 100 real estate holders/developers in Great Britain. Even amongst the well-heeled, legal compliance gaps abound. Yet the study also reveals robust anti-slavery programs, identifying nuts and bolts.

Dodd-Frank Section 1502 -- Filing Status RY2017

DI reviewed the issuer filings pursuant to the law and rule, and observed an overall filing drop of 222 conflict minerals disclosures – 16.8% in total – between RY2013 and RY2017.

1st UK MSA Benchmarking Study -- 2017/2018

Having analyzed the disclosure performance and anti-slavery good practice of a representative sample of 6,501 UK-registered organisations subject to the UK Modern Slavery Act, this report ("Corporate Compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act – 2017/18") presents our macro- and micro-level findings. 

(De)stabilizing factors affecting cocoa cooperatives

Product certification has been advanced as one measure against the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL). For one, farm-level audits also check for child labor, and two, higher farmer incomes mean fewer children compelled to work. DI researchers carried out research in Côte d'Ivoire at the cooperative level, asking farmers to identify and rank factors that stabilize or destabilize their organizations. Our study -- "Analyse sociologique de l’autonomisation des producteurs de cacao dans l’ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire" -- reveals "practices" that limit cooperatives' growth and undermine their long-term interests, chiefly:

  1. sudden cancellation of contracts on the part of exporters;

  2. "revolving procurement" (an order of cocoa often exceeding the amount a cooperative can supply short term, resulting, inter alia, in non-certified cocoa entering the "certified" supply); and

  3. strong involvement/influence of exporters in the initial funding, establishment, as well as the cooperative's ongoing management.

3TG+C Smelter and Refiner SOR Disclosure Conformance with Leading Due Diligence and Assurance Standards​ -- 2018

This study investigates the degree to which industry-led assurance programs (LBMA, RMI, RJC, DMCC, CCCMC, etc.) are enforcing mandated disclosure requirements on the part of participating Smelters or Refiners (SORs), and secondly the extent to which the assessed 370 SORs are adhering to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

3rd Conflict Minerals Benchmarking Study -- RY2016

Seven years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, we observe considerable momentum behind conflict minerals due diligence.  We are pleased to share with stakeholders our analysis of 1,153 conflict minerals filings for reporting year 2016 pursuant to Dodd-Frank Section 1502.

2016 Corporate Compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act 

Upon a careful analysis of 1,909 anti-slavery statements pursuant to CA-TISCA (SB 657), we find that compliance -- and pro-active supply chain engagement to some extent -- increased in 2016 as compared with 2015.  Our analysis also highlights dozens of innovative approaches individual companies are taking in tackling aspects this scourge.  

Conflict Minerals Benchmarking Study -- RY2015

The "Dodd-Frank Section 1502 – RY2015 Filing Evaluation" systematically evaluates issuers' conflict minerals disclosures to the SEC under Dodd-Frank Section 1502 for reporting year (RY) 2015, offering an independent perspective on the extent to which each of the 1,220 filings are in compliance with the SEC Rule and in conformance with the OECD's Due Diligence Guidance.

2015 Corporate Compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act

This assessment for 2015 systematically evaluates the degree of company-level disclosure compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010.  1,504 qualifying companies’ statements are individually assessed against eight (8) compliance criteria based on the law’s core requirements, resulting in a compliance score, and seven (7) affirmative conduct indicators, yielding an affirmative conduct score.  In addition, the study collects 19 pertinent data points of interest per disclosure.  Scrutinizing all pertinent corporate disclosures provides a first macro perspective not only of the compliance landscape but also the efforts companies are making to confront human trafficking and slavery-like practices in their supply chains.


Corporate liabilities for modern-day slavery in supply and service chains: A transnational framework

This analysis investigates potential liabilities transnational companies face vis-a-vis modern slavery in supply and service chains.

Conflict Minerals Benchmarking Study -- RY2014

The "Dodd-Frank Section 1502 – RY2014 Filing Evaluation" systematically evaluates public company “conflict minerals” disclosures to the SEC under Dodd-Frank Section 1502 for reporting year 2014, offering an independent perspective on the extent to which the 1,271 filings are in conformance with the SEC rule pursuant to the law.

Survey Research on Child Labor in West African Cocoa Growing Areas

This report assesses the prevalence of, and measures changes in, estimates of working children, children in child labor, and children in hazardous work in the West African cocoa sector between the 2008/09 and the 2013/14 cocoa harvest seasons. Some hazardous activities performed by children in cocoa agriculture have decreased while others increased. There was a large decrease in the percentage of children working in cocoa production participating in the hazardous activity of land clearing (-29%) in both countries combined, while there was a major increase in the percentage participating in the hazardous activity of exposure to agro-chemicals (+44%). Overall, children working in cocoa were less likely to be exposed to multiple types of hazardous work in 2013/14. 

The Effects Of Child Labor Monitoring On Knowledge, Attitude And Practices In Cocoa Growing Communities Of Ghana
An investigation of the efficacy of Ghana’s Child Labour Monitoring System unravelled the factors with which it was possible for communities with even entrenched child labour to effectively counter the practice. A profound reduction of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) was observed where there was:
  1. a heightened awareness of child work hazards and a deepened parental investment in child education working at the individual level, coupled with
  2. new norms created by the town's opinion leaders and the emergence of peer accountability at the social level, and
  3. diligent monitoring carried out by the Community Data Collection (CDC) and enforcement carried out by the Community Child Protection Committee (CCPC) – the two new institutions constituting CLM at the community-level.

The underlying social dynamic proved to be decisive: a tipping point was crossed whereby progressive opinion leaders in the community, who, once sensitised to recognise the pejorative effects of CL/WFCL, created new social norms and spurred a critical mass of community members to rid their community of CL/WFCL. The study shows that with sufficient local ownership, and if properly instituted, the tandem operation of child protection committees and child labour monitoring enables a community to effectively detect, police and mitigate the practice of child labour and WFCL. Further research, the study concludes, could seek to measure the respective strength of the salient factors observed in view of establishing an econometric model.


Articles / Letters


DI's Summary Review of Conflict Mineral Law and Rule (Comments to the SEC)

10 Years Harkin-Engel Protocol