Human Rights – Next is committed to upholding all basic human rights as outlined in the United Nations’ Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights. From our initial risk assessment we have identified labour rights in our supply chain is a key potential impact area and is currently monitored and managed through the COP programme which reflects international labour conventions.
Collaboration – We recognise the importance of working together with other retailers, brands, international trade unions and partner NGO organisations to pursue solutions for some of the more complex, systemic problems within global supply chains that we cannot solve alone. In collaboration, we have undertaken projects such as helping guard against illegal employment schemes which could include human trafficking, forced labour or retention of wages; ensuring homeworkers are not exploited and their earnings are protected and ensuring workers have freedom of association. Some of the countries we have focused our work in are Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka.
Communication – We communicate with suppliers in a number of ways such as through our Supplier Extranet and COP team supplier visits. This is to both offer support to suppliers to help make their systems more effective and bring about improvements in how they operate as well as setting, agreeing and reviewing targets for improvement.
Internal communication is vital to managing the ethical standards within our supply base with our product teams receiving regular updates to raise awareness of issues, current risks and the important role they play in our ethical trading programme.