KnowTheChain | ICAR


KnowTheChain is a resource for companies and investors to understand and address forced labor risks within their global supply chains. It is a partnership between Humanity United, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Sustainalytics, and Verité. The goal is to inform companies’ and investors’ decision-making and enable companies to operate more transparently and responsibly. KnowTheChain is committed to helping companies make an impact in their efforts to address forced labor.

The KnowTheChain benchmarks aim to help companies protect the wellbeing of workers by incentivizing companies to improve and identifying gaps in each sector evaluated. KnowTheChain publishes its benchmarks every two years, focusing on three high-risk sectors: Information & Communications Technology, Food & Beverage, and Apparel & Footwear. Starting with 60 companies in 2016, it assessed 119 companies in 2018, and is assessing 180 companies in 2020/early 2021. The benchmarks are based on companies’ public disclosure on their website as well as any additional disclosure companies provide during a 3 months period, where they are invited to review KnowTheChain’s findings and provide additional disclosure. The benchmarks also integrate forced labor allegations from reputable third parties (as well as company responses to such allegations), and also gives some credit for participation in multi-stakeholder and industry initiatives where such initiatives require members to address forced labor risks (and preferably report on performance of individual member companies).

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# and type of entity43Companies
# of metrics disclosed21 (10 for smaller companies)
# of data points gathered per entity20 - 69
Year of first public disclosure2015
Data collection methodSecondary desk research
Data verification methodSelf-Disclosed
Themes evaluatedForced labor, Freedom of association / collective bargaining / industrial relations, Purchasing practices, Rights of workers in vulnerable conditions, Transparency
Vehicle for disclosureSearchable database, PDF (each company & full data set)
Cost to accessFree
Intended users of the DisclosureBrands and retailers, Investors, NGOs and civil society