Modern slavery risk on rise in European supply chains

modern slavery human rights

The European migrant crisis is forcing a sharp rise in human rights risks in European supply chains. This includes the UK and Germany, which have moved up from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ risk in the annual Modern Slavery Index, released by global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

In fact, modern slavery risks have risen in 20 of the 28 member states of the EU over the last year, the research finds – a reminder of the importance of transparent supply chains and efficient due diligence.

The study ranks 198 countries, assessing them on the strength of their laws, the effectiveness of their enforcement and the severity of violations. The higher the rank, the higher the risk.

Verisk Maplecroft points to the arrival of migrant populations in Europe as a key contributor for the increase in slavery, who it says are “extremely vulnerable to exploitation” across multiple sectors, including agriculture, construction and services.

The five EU countries posing the highest risk are Romania, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria – countries that are key entry points for migrants into the region.

Romania and Italy, in particular, are highlighted as being the two EU countries with the worst reported violations, including severe forms of forced labour, such as servitude and trafficking. Romania rose as many as 56 places to rank 66, and is thus deemed as the country with the most deteriorating slavery situation globally.

Italy, which comes at place 133, is up 17 places from last year, and Verisk Maplecroft expects the country’s score to only worsen over the next year due to “geographic shift in migrant sea arrivals”, with the agriculture sector being at especially high risk.

Greece remains a key destination for human trafficking, the consultancy says. The country moved up 16 places in the index to 129 – this despite a dramatic fall in immigrants in Greece since the 2016 signing of the EU-Turkey Refugee Agreement.

“Even the EU’s biggest economies are not immune to the rise in slavery risk,” the report says, pointing to Germany and the UK, which slipped from the ‘low’ to ‘medium’ risk category after a slight negative shift in their scores. This is attributed to gaps in the UK’s labour inspectorate and Germany’s uptick in recorded trafficking and servitude violations.

Outside of the EU, Turkey experienced the world’s second-largest jump in the index, from 110 place up to 58, thus moving into the ‘high risk’ category. This was triggered by various factors, including the Syrian refugee influx, Turkey’s restrictive work permit system and the low priority for policing labour violations.

 

New supply chain focus

While key manufacturing hubs in Asia have traditionally been in focus when companies assess human rights risks, there is good reason to take notice of the developments in Europe, says Sam Haynes, senior human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft.

“The migrant crisis has increased the risk of slavery incidents appearing in company supply chains across Europe. It is no longer just the traditional sourcing hotspots in the emerging economies that businesses should pay attention to when risk assessing their suppliers and the commodities they source,” he says.

Human rights issues not only pose a huge reputational risk– they could also become a legal one, especially with emerging legislation on modern slavery and human rights appearing in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Australia.

Verisk Maplecroft’s findings come just a few weeks after a study revealed huge weaknesses in companies’ efforts to secure responsible supply chains. Surveying business executives from corporates around the world, the Economist Intelligence Unit found that only 22% are addressing child labour concerns in the supply chain, 23% are actively tackling climate change, and just 32% ensure they aren’t sourcing from areas affected by conflict and violence. Despite this, only 2% of respondents thought their companies had irresponsible supply chains.

On its findings, Verisk Maplecroft notes that despite the higher risk in Europe, the “top sourcing locations in the emerging markets should remain firmly on the radar of companies”.

Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand, for example, all feature in the ‘extreme’ or ‘high’ risk categories. Ranked 21, China remains firmly established among the worst performing countries. The index’s highest ranking nations include North Korea, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, DR Congo, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Eritrea and Turkmenistan.

 [Source”indianexpress”]

European expansion helps Nest’s smart home grow

Image result for European expansion helps Nest's smart home grow
Google/Alphabet’s smart home brand, Nest, today announced a retail expansion to Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria. While Nest products are used in over 190 countries, they were previously only sold in the US, UK, Belgium, Canada, France, Ireland and the Netherlands. Adding four more countries to its official retail roster could increase its presence in the European smart home market.

But not so fast. The availability of Nest’s thermostat, smoke and carbon monoxide detector, indoor camera and outdoor camera (video below) will vary by country. Here’s an overview of Nest’s planned product rollout, straight from the official press release:

  • Spain — The Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Cam Indoor, and Nest Cam Outdoor is available from Amazon, Media Markt and El Corte Inglés for preorder today.
  • Italy — The Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor are available from Amazon, Media World and ePrice for preorder today.
  • Germany and Austria — Nest Protect smoke + carbon monoxide alarm, Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor is available from Amazon, Media Markt and Conrad for preorder today. The Nest Learning Thermostat is expected to be available later this year.
  • The good news is that most products are available for preorder starting now with shipping slated for mid-February. Customers in Germany and Austria will have to wait a little longer for the Nest Learning Thermostat, though.

    A Nest spokesperson told us the Nest Smart Home Skill on the Alexa app is a “global integration,” meaning new customers in countries where Nest products and the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap are sold should be able to control their thermostat with Alexa voice commands.

    Nest also has its own smart home platform and its parent company, Google, manufacturers and sells Amazon Echo competitor, the Google Home. The Google Home is currently only sold in the United States, but its Google Assistant voice control software is available on select Android phones such as the Pixel and Pixel XL — both phones are available in Germany. Be sure to check out CNET’s Nest and Google Home/Google Assistant compatibility pages to find even more products that might work with Nest in your country.

[Source:- CNET]

AluFoldDirect Goes European With The New Technic-AL RD1 Entrance Doors

Bruges - One of the Designs in the New Technic-AL range from AluFoldDirect

For installation companies looking to offer contemporary design and innovative engineering to customers, the new Technic-AL RD1, is a striking new residential door range from AluFoldDirect.

“Consistent customer demand for a beautiful, top quality entrance door was the inspiration behind this new range,” explains Craig Miller, Managing Director at AluFoldDirect. “We wanted to create an entrance door that could match the design and quality values of our aluminium bi-folding and sliding doors and slimline windows.

“Too often, installers have not been able to source a main entrance door to perform like their new aluminium bi-folding door. Our research also found that aesthetics is crucial for our customers, so we then set about building a product that looked stunning and matched top security expectations and exceeded regulation on energy efficiency.”

The result is the new Technic-AL RD1 Residential Door range, a collection which meets customer demand for high-end design and superb performance.

This contemporary range of entrance doors is completely unique. The slimline, thermally broken, aluminium frame is filled with an engineered, thermally insulated timber door blade, available in nine stunning designs. There are multiple colour options and a five-stage paint process for a beautiful finish to satisfy even the most exacting requirements. Modern pole handle options complete the look.

RD1 has full Secured by Design accreditation and features the Winkhaus AV2 lock and an SBD Yale Platinum 3-star cylinder for total security. Building regulations are fully catered for with U-Values ranging from 1.3 to 1.6W/m2K, dependent on door blade design.

There are nine distinctive designs available, each named after a cosmopolitan European city, including Bonn, Bruges and Maastricht.Made to measure RD1 residential doors are available on a three-week lead time in the seven most popular colour choices, with fully bespoke colours and dual colour options taking a little bit longer.

“The RD1 range offers extensive design options to homeowners and a new opportunity for our installer customers. There are no stock sizes – each Technic-AL RD1 Residential Door is a handmade piece of furniture, designed and manufactured to each individual order for a completely bespoke solution,” continues Craig.

“Our installer customers have built their aluminium offering reliant on our fast, competent expertise in aluminium bi-folding, sliding doors and slimline windows. We have listened to what customers want to add to their product range and created Technic-AL RD1 to fill this niche, for end users looking for something extraordinary, but not wanting to wait for months or pay an exorbitant over the top price.”

 

 

[Source:- Windowsnews]