September 2016

Cost of a Job: Summer In Review

The summer months were a busy time for Verité’s advocacy and engagement on responsible recruitment. We participated in a number of high-level and technical meetings, with notable progress among international organizations, multi-stakeholder initiatives, business associations, and civil society.
In July, Verité co-convened an expert meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons. This meeting assembled representatives of some of the world’s largest and most prominent multi-stakeholder, certification, and industry initiatives with the goal to share good practices and lessons learned in combatting trafficking in supply chains while exploring future partnership opportunities.
Participants covered a range of issues, including the need to strengthen normative frameworks, improve audit protocols, promote good practices in grievance mechanisms, and enhance worker voices in supply chain strategies. A strong foundation was laid for sustained cooperation that Verité and the Special Rapporteur will take forward into 2017.

From the Field: Verité Experts Leading the Way

In the coming weeks, Verité experts Daryll Delgado, Philip Hunter, and Melizel Asuncion will be panelists at various events across Asia focusing on palm oil and other global supply chain issues. 
WWF Japan and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will be hosting a Japan Day event at the Tokyo International Forum Hall on September 27, 2016. Founded in 2004, the RSPO is a multi-stakeholder initiative "that unites stakeholders from the 7 sectors of the palm oil industry: oil palm producers, processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks/investors, and environmental and social non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil." Verité Southeast Asia has been a member since 2013 and is part of the Human Rights Working Group and Task Force on Labor Standards Compliance.
With more than 300 participants expected, the one-day RSPO Japan Day event will tackle a variety of issues including supply chain certification, best practices, and challenges. Verité Southeast Asia Research and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Daryll Delgado, will join speakers from Daabon Group and the CDP Secretariat to present in the session, "Latest Situation Surrounding Palm Oil."

Solutions: Responsible Sourcing Network Launches YESS

On September 1, 2016, the Responsible Sourcing Network, a project of the nonprofit As You Sow, launched the Yarn Ethically and Sustainability Sourced (YESS) initiative to eradicate slavery in cotton production. Verité has endorsed this initiative along with more than 35 other stakeholders including NGOs, apparel companies, and brands such as Adidas, Hudson's Bay Company, and BJ's Wholesale Club. 
Verité looks forward to exploring ways that the work of YESS can complement the work we do in the cotton supply chain and with the apparel sector globally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, cotton is one of the goods most commonly produced using forced labor. YESS plans to shrink the market for cotton produced with forced labor and increase the use of ethical and sustainable cotton.
The initiative is based on OECD risk-based due diligence standards that help "enterprises identify, mitigate and account for how they address their actual and potential adverse impacts in their supply chains." It will also help companies comply with emerging regulatory regimes such as U.S. Executive Order 13627 - Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking In Persons In Federal Contracts, the California Supply Chains Transparency Act, the UK Modern Slavery Act, among others. 

Verite Up Close: Thank You Summer Interns!

Each year student interns make meaningful contributions to Verité's in-depth research. This summer, Verité benefited from the work of 11 interns on a variety of projects. We recognize their impact on our work to ensure fair, safe, and legal working conditions across the globe. Thank you for sharing your insight and enthusiasm on the following research projects:
Kyle Compton, UMass Amherst: Emerging Markets, Palm Oil, Gold, Responsible Recruitment
Seth Daire, University of Denver: Coffee
Sarah Feldman, Smith College: Africa
Joana Hassan, Mount Holyoke College: Africa
Rachel Kyes, University of Texas at Dallas: Africa
Hubert Lang, Harvard Extension: Emerging Markets, Palm Oil, Gold, Responsible Recruitment
Leo Lou, Duke University: Africa
Georgia Nichols, Brandeis University: Emerging Markets, Palm Oil, Gold, Responsible Recruitment
Noah Schramm, University of Washington: Responsible Recruitment, Emerging Markets, Fishing
Alessandria Schumacher, Middlebury College: Responsible Recruitment, Fishing
Carolyn Tan, Mount Holyoke College: Africa
Verité welcomes interns year-round. While we are no longer accepting applications for the Fall 2016 Research internship, we continue to seek applications for the Fall 2016 Communications Internship. Check our website in November 2016 for our J-term and Spring semester internship descriptions and check out our current openings here