On 23 March, the Business & Human Rights Centre said that 2 years ago it had surveyed 35 canned tuna brands and supermarkets – representing over 80 of the world’s largest canned tuna brands. In 2020/21, it approached these companies again to understand how their human rights approaches have changed, particularly given the devastating impacts of Covid-19 on workers worldwide. It found glacial progress on actions which really matter to workers trapped in modern slavery. It says that it also engaged with fishers, their NGO and unions to learn of experiences on the ground and find out how this tally with company reports. Findings reveal that, whilst there has been some progress on policy, essential action remains slow, and companies are failing to respond to the heightened risk of harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The article says that not only does persistent abuse continue to plague the fishing industry, for many of the world’s 40 million fishers, the situation is worsening. It is found that less than a fifth of companies actively map their entire supply chain, and only one company identified and provided details of specific human rights abuses in its tuna supply chain – and 1 in 4 companies have taken action to mitigate the heightened modern slavery risks for workers arising as a result of COVID-19.
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