COVID-19 has led to a global economic decline. Indeed, measures set out to curb the spread of the virus such as lockdown have negatively affected the economy, and thus businesses, so far so, that early estimates predicted that, if the virus became a global pandemic, most major economies will lose at least 2.4% of the value of their gross domestic product (GDP) over 2020. The effect of COVID-19 on the world is not only in relation to the economic effect, but also in relation to the ways it has exacerbated issues such as forced labour. More importantly, as the economy reopens and businesses begin to recover, it is important that they do not prioritise profits at the risk of increasing negative impacts and decreasing corporate social responsibility.
Ardea International’s, Colleen Theron, spoke at the ‘MINJUS: ILO Protocol against forced labor: challenges and opportunities’ conference on August 18, 2020, covering the topic, the impact of COVID-19 on forced labour. Building on this, we have created a guide on how COVID-19 has affected corporate sustainability over the last few months.