Bali Process Government and Business Forum (Sri Lanka Summit)

Location: Sri Lanka Date: 13 June 2024
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Sri Lanka’s Government and Business Forum (GABF) Business Leader, Mr Chevaan Daniel, convened the Sri Lanka Summit in Colombo from 13-14 June 2024.

Private and public sector actions to combat trafficking in persons, particularly in the Asia Pacific, were discussed, along with regional challenges and best practices.

The Summit focused on implementing the Acknowledge. Act. Advance Recommendations to enhance supply chain transparency, ethical recruitment, worker rights protection, and improved redress mechanisms.

Key issues discussed included forced scamming, and criminal exploitation, regulatory measures and the need for greater awareness of human trafficking risks.

Migrant workers also shared challenges with accessing ethical jobs and the risks posed by unauthorized intermediaries.

The summit stressed the crucial role of businesses and governments in safeguarding migrant workers and promoting ethical recruitment practices. Integrating human rights advocacy into supply chain diligence was emphasized, urging businesses to ensure transparency, accountability, and remedy mechanisms to eradicate forced labour.

The Colombo Commitment, proposed by GABF Business Co-Chairs, Dr Andrew Forrest from Australia and Mr Garibaldi Thohir from Indonesia, commits stakeholders to combat human trafficking, forced labour, and other forms of transnational crimes while respecting migrant workers' rights and advocating for stronger legal protections and business practices.

The Commitment reads:

We commit to raising awareness and taking action to address, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and modern slavery.

We acknowledge the vital role that migrant workers play in our economies and the serious human rights risks they face throughout their recruitment, migration and employment. We commit to upholding the dignity, respect and freedom of migrant workers and to tackling unethical recruitment practices.

We acknowledge that business has a responsibility to respect human rights and that fulfilling this responsibility includes conducting human rights due diligence across value chains and providing or enabling remedies where the business has caused or contributed to workers being harmed.

We recognise the need for stronger laws to protect workers and drive better business practices across supply chains, including human rights due diligence laws and modern slavery legislation. We commit to using our influence to build support for these laws and to work with governments to implement them.

We commit to sharing updates on our progress with the Bali Process Government and Business Forum to support further collaboration and action on these issues."

Business leaders committed to actions. Overall, the summit underscored the importance of ongoing collaboration between stakeholders to raise awareness and implement effective measures against all forms of exploitation. The Summit reinforced the role of businesses in driving sustainable and ethical practices.

For more information, visit the Bali Process Government and Business Forum.