Welcome to Ardea International’s third and final news bulletin for 2022. With the festive season fast approaching, we are conscious that for many parts of the world, a winter of uncertainty faces households, making this season challenging. As a team, we would like to take a moment to extend our well wishes to you all for this festive period, and hope that it can be a time of rest and recouperation.
Ardea International are grateful to be able to pause and reflect on our year to thank our clients and colleagues for their ongoing support.
Ardea has had a very productive year. Our team has grown, including our service and training offerings to our clients, expanding our expertise to include Human Rights Risk Assessments and human rights stakeholder engagement. A highlight for the team was our shortlisting for the Thomson Reuters Stop Slavery Award in the SME section.
A personal highlight was the publication of the BSI standard setting out guidance for organisations to address modern slavery. As a contributor to the standard, and as a committee member for over two years, it was a proud day to see the standard published.
At the start of 2022, we shared our insights on Issues and Trends affecting Responsible Business, Human Rights and Climate Change. Most of these issues have been hot topics throughout the year and we will share our thoughts on what 2023 holds in early January.
There has been more attention paid to the issue of forced labour this year, particularly as the ongoing impact of the pandemic has increased vulnerabilities to exploitation.
Discussions on heightened human rights due diligence have increased this year, especially in countries where carrying out social audits is not possible to assess how workers are being treated. In the US, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act establishes a rebuttable presumption that any goods produced or manufactured in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China are produced by forced labour and denied entry into the USA. Operational Guidance for importers has been released by the US Customs and Border Protection stamp out goods or services that have been tainted by forced or child labour.
The EU has also recommended a new Regulation to stamp out goods or services that have been tainted by forced or child labour, our legal insight addresses this in more detail. Our legal insight addresses this in more detail.
The ongoing increase in mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation, rising rates of conscious consumerism, stakeholder activism and employee interest in ESG has resulted in a greater need for businesses and governments to address these issues through meaningful stakeholder engagement. Additionally, there is also a need for capacity building for regulators and laws that are enforceable.
We have seen a growing interest in our consultancy services and a successful uptake of our training, e-learning, and webinar series, with fantastic responses from delegates. Alongside our consultancy and training services, we have continued to publish insights into current human rights issues around the world, as well as breaking down legislation updates.
As always, we thank you for your continued support and interest, and look forward to continue to lead business beyond compliance in the new year.
CEO Ardea International
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