Skip to content

Slavery Research Bulletin: 17 May 2021

May 18, 2021

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.

Commercial sexual exploitation of boys in Thailand

ECPAT International investigates the vulnerabilities of boys and gender non-conforming youth to sexual exploitation in Thailand. Through interviews with social care providers as well as boys and gender/sexual minority youth who engage in transactional sex, the study explores the risks of exploitation and barriers to care. Lack of economic support was the main risk factor for boys but was the least available service from providers. Providers were also less capable of identifying cases of exploitation for gender/sexual minority youth.

Covid-19 affecting progress against child marriage

UNICEF reports on the increased risks of child marriage. While progress has been made over the previous decades, the pandemic is estimated to lead to an additional 10 million child marriages by 2030. Covid-19 is exacerbating the five main drivers of child marriage, which are: interrupted education, economic shocks, disrupted social services, pregnancy and the death of a parent. To combat this, the report highlights investment in continuity of education and social care services.

Fashion brands and wage theft during covid-19

Worker Rights Consortium highlights the widespread wage theft faced by garment workers fired during the pandemic. Reporting on 31 export garment factories across nine countries, 37,637 workers were found to have not received their legally entitled severance pay, equating to $39.8 million, an average of just over $1,000 per worker. These export factories are connected to some of the largest international brands, including online retailers who have achieved a rise in profit during the pandemic.

Due diligence, transparency legislation and forced labour

Restructure Lab examines the difficulties of implementing transparency legislation to address forced labour in supply chains. Despite increased attention on corporate responsibility, transparency legislation to date has been hindered by lack of mechanisms to ensure compliance and address needs of victims. Top-down supply chain governance without additional funding for suppliers can also magnify existing power imbalances for workers by gender, ethnicity and geography.

Survivor centric models of justice in South East Asia

A study by Porticus Asia and Dalberg explores alternative justice models for survivors of trafficking across Cambodia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Interviewing trafficking experts, frontline organisations and survivors, the study identifies three alternative justice models: procedural, restorative and transformational justice. Using these models, the report examines how to provide the interventions most valued by survivors: monetary support, trauma care and community protection.

Read on…

  • The latest issue of Anti-Trafficking Review focuses on the trafficking of minors.
  • Solidarity Center investigates exploitation in Pakistani brick kilns.
  • Know The Chain reports on migrant worker rights in supply chains.

And finally…

Read the Freedom Fund’s annual impact report to learn about our community model and response to covid-19.

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