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Slavery Research Bulletin: 15 October 2020

October 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.

Survivors of bonded and child labour describe path towards liberation

A study by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, the Freedom Fund and Praxis explores the survivor experiences of reintegration services and sustained liberation in Northern India. The project interviewed 88 survivors of trafficking in the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to investigate which interventions were crucial to survivors’ long-term freedom and independence. Respondents emphasised that access to decent employment, education and knowledge of their labour rights were critical for securing sustained liberation. The ability of communities to self-organise was foundational to preventing re-exploitation.

Identifying common goods produced through child and forced labour

The United States Department of Labor released its biennial list of major goods produced with child or forced labour in more than 145 countries and territories. Notably, this year’s report adds five goods produced by the forced labour of Muslim and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang, China. At least 100,000 Uighurs and other groups are estimated to be in conditions of forced labour following detention in “re-education” camps.

Exploring gender inequity and modern slavery risks for women and girls

Walk Free investigates the social, cultural, economic, legal and political factors that contribute to women and girls’ vulnerability to modern slavery. The report explores how these factors shape experiences of modern slavery at each stage of life from conception into late adulthood. From sex selection during pregnancy to education discrimination in childhood, and employment in the riskiest sectors of informal economies and inheritance theft, women and girls are exposed to gendered risks for slavery at every age. The report lays out key recommendations to ensure safer lives for women and girls globally.

The measurement error in child labour statistics

A World Bank study compares methods for surveying child agricultural workers. Due to the seasonality of agricultural work and the gender segregation in different parts of the industry, it’s challenging to accurately capture exploitation of child workers. The study uses three randomised survey designs in rural Ethiopian coffee plantations to compare the discrepancies between proxy and self-report methods for child labour. Nearly 1,200 households were sampled in the Jimma and Sidama regions, and the study found disparities between the efficacy of the two methods for girl respondents but not for boys.

Policy solutions to forced labour in the seafood industry

Stanford Law School presents policy solutions to forced labour and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the seafood industry. Working with Global Fishing Watch, Stanford examined case studies of government publication of data on illegal fishing and how to incentivise data sharing. The report also highlights two case studies in Fiji and Indonesia on translating international labour rights mechanisms into national legislation to prevent forced labour.

Read on…

  • The new issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review focuses on everyday abuse of workers in the global economic system and the drivers of precarious work.
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime uses expert interviews to investigate the intersection of forced marriage and trafficking
  • USAID and Liberty Shared examine how weak corporate governance and internal controls in the palm oil industry allow abuse of foreign and local workers.

And finally…

We’re proud of the covid response we’ve achieved with our courageous frontline partners. As of August, we’ve distributed $1.4 million in emergency aid. To learn more, read our report.

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Written by
Nuri Weitzman