Mining the Disclosures 2015 is now available!
Mining the Disclosures 2015: An Investor Guide to Conflict Minerals Reporting in Year Two

RSN Updates

Read our updates to learn more about RSN’s work.


Conflict Minerals Leaders are Problem Solvers

Over 1,200 publicly traded companies are reporting their conflict minerals due diligence to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Yet, according to evaluations done by Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), very few companies are doing what it takes to support responsible minerals sourcing and promote peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

This video first appeared on the Ethical Alliance Resource Centre.

Intel and Global Advanced Metals (GAM) are exemplary companies that prove that sourcing conflict-free minerals from the DRC can go hand in hand with profitability. These companies engage key stakeholders, promote wider adoption of due diligence tools, and take a proactive approach to risk mitigation. 

RSN partici[ated in a recent webinar hosted by ethiXbase; RSN, Intel, and GAM discussed some of the obstacles these leading companies have overcome on their path to conflict-free, and how they strengthened relationships with key actors in the supply chain.

Stream the webinar to learn more about how leading companies leverage conflict minerals compliance to improve the way they do business. Outcomes can be win-win-win when companies take a problem-solving approach to human rights risk.


Spring Blossoms of Human Rights Awareness

With spring comes new life, and this spring brings awareness of the many lives affected every day by the materials we use.  Woolworths Holdings is not letting grass grow under its feet when it comes to forced labor in Uzbekistan. Today, we are proud to announce that Woolworths Holdings and its brands Country Road, David Jones, Mimco, Trenery, and Witchery have chosen to stand proudly for human rights by choosing to sign RSN’s Cotton Pledge.

When major companies choose to take a stand for human rights, it’s not only a ray of sunshine for the affected communities, but also hope for the transformation of an entire industry. We are filled with hope that so many companies and brands care so deeply for the communities and people affected by their products. This in turn gives hope to the tens of thousands of nurses, teachers, bus drivers, and university students forced to do back-breaking work of planting seeds and weeding this spring.

We anticipate the continuous increase in pledge signatories as the awareness of the pledge grows throughout Australia, Japan, and mainland Asia. Stay connected, learn more about human rights, and let a just apparel industry give you hope by keeping up with us on Twitter and Facebook


Be American and Support Freedom!

Today Generation Freedom launches. It is a campaign RSN joined to collect signatures and send a message to our presidential candidates that freedom is a priority and it is time to end human trafficking. The next President of the United States has an historic opportunity to use the power of the Oval Office to help eradicate modern slavery here at home and around the world. 

Human trafficking is one of most compelling, destructive, and under-addressed human rights issues of our time. Human trafficking is defined as the exploitation of a person through force, fraud, or coercion for labor or commercial sex. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are roughly 21 million victims of human trafficking around the world. Trafficking can happen anywhere: in suburban homes and agricultural fields, at hotels and truck stops, in gold mines and cotton fields, on fishing boats and factory floors. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world with traffickers making an estimated $150 billion dollars in profits every year.

This is a global and national crisis that has gone on for too long, operating in the shadows and out of the public discourse. It’s time for America to be a leader in eradicating modern slavery. Each year the federal government dedicates less than $150 million to combatting human trafficking, compared to $30.5 billion for the war on drugs. That is why we are asking the presidential candidates to commit to spending $3 billion to address and eliminate human trafficking.

The richest and most powerful country in the world can and should do more to take on human trafficking. If we commit to invest in a solution, we can lead the way to a more just and compassionate world overall. The land of the brave and the home of the free simply cannot afford to allow human trafficking to occur in our country or any country.

Please join Generation Freedom to let the candidates – and the next American President – know that fighting slavery is important to you and to hold him or her accountable to solving the problem.


OECD’s Draft Garment Due Diligence Just Released

Report open for comment through March 7, 2016


OECD’s Due Diligence (DD) Guidelines  have started to become the norm for how companies should identify, prevent, and account for the human rights risks in their business practices and supply chains. They are aligned with and support the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and are starting to be written into laws. Two examples of legislation that are now referring to the OECD DD Guidelines are Dodd-Frank 1502 on Conflict Minerals and the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Over the past few years, the OECD has started to gather input from diverse stakeholders and issue sector-specific guidance for various industries. Just released is a draft of the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector. It is open for public consultation through March 7, 2016.

OECD’s Draft Garment Due Diligence Guidance lays out the expectations and specific actions companies can – and should – take to identify, prevent, and account for adverse, or negative, impacts in their supply chains and with their business practices.

Due diligence starts with “Identify” - a basic mapping and understanding of the greatest risks to the most egregious adverse impacts for a company. An easy place to start is to look into your supply chain and observe what products you are sourcing from which countries. Are any countries you are sourcing from include products for those countries listed on the DOL List of Goods Produced with Child and Forced Labor?  If so, you are likely exposed to risk and need to investigate more thoroughly. You shouldn’t stop at just first tier suppliers, you need to understand where the raw materials in your products originate and see if those products/countries are on the DOL List. You need to do this investigation and assessment with your suppliers’ suppliers, their suppliers, and their suppliers until you reach the harvesting, mining, and collection level. For example, “cotton” and “cotton seed” is listed on the DOL list for “forced labor” in nine countries, including China, India, and Pakistan.

Step two is “Prevent and Mitigate.” If you have identified actual or risk of adverse impacts in your supply chain, you need to make sure your own company and your suppliers have policies and procedures to address, prevent, and mitigate adverse impacts. The company may have to implement specific procedures to mitigate adverse impacts, or it may have to train and build the capacity of its suppliers to address the adverse impacts. The company should analyze its own business practices, such as its procurement or approval procedures, to determine if it is causing or contributing to the adverse impacts.

Step three is “Account.” Companies must document the risks and impacts that exist and how they are addressed. Accounting for due diligence practices can include: establishing baselines, determining key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals, tracking improvement over time, and reporting out to its stakeholders on incidences, challenges, and improvements.

Information on “Management Systems” and “Remediation,” along with greater detail on the above three steps specifically for the garment and footwear industries can be found in the OECD draft due diligence guidance.

If as a clothing or footwear company you haven’t starting taking a due diligence approach to managing your supply chains, this is a great time to start! Review the OECD’s draft guidance and use it to determine how to implement the guidance into your daily business practices- you’ll be one step ahead of any future legislation that will require it.  




Increasing Knowledge and Actions to Address Modern Day Slavery

Slavery and human trafficking abuses have been around for centuries, but an amplified call for corporations to identify and tackle any linkages they may have to current abuses has grown even louder in recent years. Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) has been playing a lead role in raising awareness and encouraging solutions to combat modern slavery deep in corporate supply chains since 2007. This month, RSN Founder and Director, Patricia Jurewicz, will be presenting at two anti-slavery events: a webinar on February 10 and an in-person meeting in San Francisco on February 25.

For years, investors, human rights groups, and other stakeholders have been asking corporations to increase their activities and reporting on how they are addressing slavery and trafficking. Today, new regulations, adaptive technologies, and collaborative approaches are starting to have an impact on curtailing the abuses. A 2012 U.S. Executive Order greatly expanded the anti-trafficking amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for government suppliers, contractors, and their supply chains. Innovative traceability software is giving companies increased transparency to their raw materials, and benchmarks to measure companies’ anti-slavery and trafficking performance are being established. Expectations on companies continue to evolve and become more sophisticated to address the hidden egregious injustices.

To assist companies and others to understand the new legislation, guidance documents, technologies, and benchmarks, there are two public events in February (advanced registration is needed). On Wednesday, February 10 at 11 a.m. PT, RSN, Know the Chain, and Source Intelligence will be presenting the webinar, Modern Slavery and Forced Labor: Company Insights and Industry Standards for your Supply Chain in 2016. On Thursday, February 25, United Way and Sabre are hosting the in-person meeting, Business and Technology Leadership Forum to Combat Human Trafficking, which will bring corporations and human rights experts together. Both events will address information and solutions from a wide variety of perspectives.

We hope you can join us!