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Cherie Blair CBE QC co-hosts Thomson Reuters Foundation virtual round-tables on human rights and supply chains during Covid-19.

The Inclusive Economies team at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in partnership with Baker McKenzie and Omnia Strategy LLP, have brought together leading brands from a wide range of sectors over the past 3 months to attend virtual round-tables to discuss issues related to human rights and supply chains, as well as to share best practice.

We know from our work with companies through the Stop Slavery Award that businesses with robust systems in place to monitor and eradicate forced labour have been best equipped to respond to the unprecedented threat to labour rights – and indeed human rights – posed by the pandemic.

Both Cherie Blair QC, Founder and Chair of Omnia Strategy LLP, and Kevin Coon, Partner at Baker McKenzie, joined the round-tables to share their expertise on issues relating to business and human rights. Cherie repeatedly emphasised the importance of “putting human rights at the centre of business response to COVID-19 as we tackle the current health, economic and climate crises and start to rebuild”.

The virtual round-tables addressed important issues such as the use of force majeure by Western-based brands against suppliers, which leads to the cancelling of orders and leaves suppliers out-of-pocket and unable to pay their workers. The group also discussed the importance of being able to monitor human rights in lieu of physical audits and the implications of an increase in testing, surveillance, data-sharing and other measures from a privacy point of view, given this is a new frontier for many companies to navigate.

Link to Thomson Reuters Foundation and full article can be found here: