Skip to content

Slavery Research Bulletin: 15 April 2020

April 15, 2020

Welcome to the Slavery Research Bulletin, the Freedom Fund’s monthly brief designed to bring you new & compelling research from the global anti-slavery movement.

Effects of covid-19 on labour and employment

The International Labour Organization estimates that lockdown measures are affecting 2.7 billion workers, or 81 percent of the global workforce – the most severe employment crisis since the Second World War. The 2 billion workers in the informal economy are most at risk of falling deeper into poverty and debt, with little income replacement during periods of lockdown or in case of sickness.

Violence against women and children during a pandemic

working paper by the Center for Global Development identifies pathways in which a pandemic can be linked to increased violence against women and children. For example, a survey of 400 frontline workers in Australia reported a 40 percent increase in calls for help during this current period of isolation due to covid-19.

Protections against sexual exploitation in covid-19 responses

note from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee recommends best practices for integrating protection against sexual exploitation and abuse in responses to the covid-19 outbreak. Suggestions include strengthening existing commitments, such as training first responders on codes of conduct and providing access to safe reporting mechanisms.

Impact of India’s lockdown on domestic migrant workers

Jan Sahas conducted a survey of over 3,000 migrant families in response to India’s lockdown due to covid-19. The report explains that 94 percent of workers stated that they don’t own a Building and Other Constructions Workers card, meaning that they are not able to receive benefits. Sixty-six percent stated that they would not be able to support themselves and their families after 21 days.

A new model for improved working conditions in supply chains

Research carried out by Focus on Labour Exploitation argues that Worker-driven Social Responsibility is a successful model in addressing forced labour in supply chains. Key features of this model include education for workers on their rights, a complaints mechanism to report violations and support from the lead company to its suppliers.

Recruitment fees and exploitation of migrant workers in Thailand

report from the International Labour Organization shows that the average cost for a migrant worker to come and work in Thailand was USD 461, equivalent to 2 months of salary. Migrants who used an agency or broker ended up paying USD 100 more, on average. Out of the 1,200 workers surveyed, a quarter were given a job without a written contract, and only one in four were paid at least the minimum wage.

Read on…

  • report from USAID explains the drivers for migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe through Libya, which include economic considerations, individual
  • Greenpeace investigates forced labour on Taiwanese distant water fishing vessels, which employs over 20,000 migrant workers.
  • paper published in the Journal of Computational Social Science examines pathways in human trafficking and found that risks are predominantly determined by the destination country, the sector and recruitment techniques

And finally…

Delta 8.7 evaluates the impact covid-19 will have on modern slavery.

Contact us Our team would love to hear from you. Please email: [email protected].

News & updates For more news and updates about the Freedom Fund, visit our Newsroom. You can also view archived issues of our bulletin here.

Written by
Nuri Weitzman