At the time of the report's
publication, Bennett Freeman of Calvert stated, “Virtually every company in every industry faces
some degree of human rights-related risk, and investors have a responsibility to evaluate that risk
across portfolios and asset classes.” The report itself states, “Human rights are intrinsically
worthy of respect and not simply on the condition that this respect brings a financial benefit.”
While improved corporate performance can and often does occur as a result of shareowner
engagement with companies, the fact remains that laws requiring corporate transparency on issues
such as human rights can effect more widespread compliance with the stroke of a lawmaker's pen.
And, on human trafficking, advances have been made. The California Transparency in Supply Chain Act
requires that companies with revenues of more than $100 million doing business in the state publish
on their websites their policies addressing slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains.
In the UK, the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 requires companies with more than $55 million in revenues
to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement. And in March, the Obama
administration began requiring all federal contractors to “certify their due diligence in
confronting and remediating human trafficking in their extended supply chains,” ICCR stated.