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Slavery Research Bulletin: 15 December 2019

January 2, 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.

Business response to forced labour in the Thai seafood industry

Seafood businesses have made some progress in addressing forced labour in its Thai supply chains but more work is still needed, according to an assessment by Praxis Labs. The team found that 82 percent of companies now claim to know where their products are sourced, up from 11 percent five years ago. However, purchasing decisions are still driven by price and do not include realistic considerations relating to human rights and environmental sustainability.

Hotel industry falling short of the UK Modern Slavery Act

The hotel industry is failing to address the risks of modern slavery in its direct operations and supply chains, according to a report by the Walk Free Initiative, WikiRate, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, and Australian National University. The report notes that these failures are due to a lack of business commitment to prioritise modern slavery and the weakness of the Modern Slavery Act to hold laggard companies to account.

Lived experiences of migrant women in Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait

Through interviews and focus groups, female migrant domestic workers in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain recounted their experiences of exploitative working conditions and violence from employers. The report by highlights the obstacles preventing migrant workers from accessing justice, including faulty complaints processes and consistently unfair remedies that dissuade workers from lodging formal complaints.

Trafficking of girls and young women in Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda

Research by Plan International UK, the International Organization for Migration and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine describes the migration and trafficking patterns of girls and young women from Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Women and girls represent 80 percent of trafficking victims in these countries, which is above the global average, however, the fear of stigma often means that victims do not speak about their experiences nor seek access to support services.

Empowering young female workers in Tamil Nadu’s textile industry

An evaluation by Praxis India examines the effect of the Freedom Fund’s film-based curriculum to empower young women and girls in Tamil Nadu, who often end up working in local spinning mills. The project supports adolescent girls in protecting their rights to education and safe working conditions. Following completion of the curriculum, participants demonstrated more gender-equitable attitudes, better knowledge of wage entitlements and greater willingness to speak out against harassment.

Read on…

  • An investor snapshot by KnowTheChain examines the risks of forced labour in the paper and forestry industries.
  • The latest Corporate Human Rights Benchmark ranks the 200 largest global companies in four high-risk sectors: agricultural products, apparel, extractives and technology manufacturing.
  • A report by Greenpeace describes the abusive working conditions suffered by Filipino and Indonesian migrant fishers on distant water fishing fleets.

And finally…

The University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab issued recommendations for responsible practice around photographing modern slavery.

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Written by
The Freedom Fund