6. Multi-Stakeholder & Multi-Brand Engagement

Forced labor and human trafficking are complex issues that brands working on their own cannot solve. When taking action against these forms of abuse, it is advisable to work closely with other peer companies and stakeholders. Operating in this way – for example through multi-brand or multi-stakeholder initiatives – will only strengthen brand engagement, making it more effective and sustainable. It can also bring mutual benefit to the different partners, reducing inefficiencies, avoiding costly duplication, and sharing key lessons and strategies for overcoming supply chain challenges.

Engagement and partnership can take many forms. Brands can participate in industry-wide, cross-sectoral or multi-stakeholder organizations, or they can seek out direct partnerships with other groups and companies. They can operate formally, for example through memberships, affiliation and agreements; or more informally, through networks, communications and bilateral exchange and consultation. Industry associations, employer organizations, business partners, NGOs, trade unions and different agencies of the UN are all potential partners for brands.

To get started, the tools and links provided in this section give you an overview of how brands can engage other stakeholders, and why. They provide two case studies that illustrate good practice examples of joint engagement and a summary of key multi-brand and multi-stakeholder initiatives addressing labor rights abuse in global supply chains.