Vision: April 2012
Verité Up Close:
To Avoid Big Problems, Take Care of the Small Ones
(or How to Avoid a Riot)
by Jon Pitoniak, Reports Department Manager
From the Field:
Delhi Roundtable to Combat Human Trafficking Co-hosted by Verité and the Institute for Human Rights and Business
by Philip Hunter, Program Specialist
- Promote a joint brand-supplier dialogue about the use of recruitment agencies.
- Create a common platform to call for higher standards of mutual accountability.
- Exercise your lobbying voice with government for better regulation and enforcement within the recruitment industry.
- Shift from looking at “business risk” to talking first and foremost about “human risk”.
- Invest in more awareness-raising and better training for brokers.
- Final accountability for the recruitment of the worker should rest with the front-end recruitment agency because it is so difficult to map the labor chain down to sub-broker level.
- There is a need for a regional association or coalition of recruitment associations (e.g. bringing together the Indian Staffing Federation, the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies and the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies) so that they cannot be played off each other by brands or employers.
- Fulfill international and domestic obligations.
- Strengthen the judicial system to ensure migrant workers have access to legal remedy.
- Provide enhanced information to companies regarding their human rights responsibilities and a call for greater disclosure and transparency by companies about the use of labor brokers.
- Promote more effective information dissemination to the worker through better use of technology and improved input into the education system.
- Place greater emphasis on root cause analysis of workers’ (especially women’s) vulnerability to trafficking coupled with a greater push for investigation and prosecution.
- Advance capacity building for migrant worker organizations to raise awareness of rights and risks.
- Trade unions should play a stronger role in mechanisms for redress across sending and receiving countries.
- The civil society sector should be more formalized with stronger accountability and communication systems to allow for more effective advocacy and engagement with government.
- Identify and map what international organizations are doing in the anti-trafficking arena.
- Push for greater ratification of ILO Convention 181 on Private Employment Agencies, and better enforcement of obligations and legislation at the national level.
- Advocate for a new ILO convention on labor migration – the current suite of relevant conventions is too complicated and diffuse.
- Bring in other international players, for example the World Trade Organization and International Finance Institutions to push for conditionality regarding safe migration and anti-trafficking measures in loans and trade agreements.
- Fewer meetings and more action, including promotional activities to make ILO more accessible to external stakeholders.
What We're Talking About:
The Fishing Industry's Cruelest Catch
by E. Benjamin Skinner for BloombergBusinessweek
Verité has for years explored the link between labor migration, debt-bondage and modern-day slavery. Noted journalist Ben Skinner – author of the monumental book A Crime So Monstrous – has connected these conditions to the seafood that enters the United States, and may end up on your dinner table. His story of slavery in the fishing industry reminds us of two essential facts: forced labor can be present in any industry, any business sector and any country – even New Zealand territorial waters; and tracing a product to a workplace where people are enslaved requires effort.
And yet our mandate is simple: we must look for slavery and resolve it wherever we find it. We have the knowledge and tools to do so.
The terms of the first contract, the “real” one, would later haunt him. In it, IMS spelled out terms with no rights. In addition to the agent’s commission, Yusril would surrender 30 percent of his salary, which IMS would hold unless the work was completed. He would be paid nothing for the first three months, and if the job were not finished to the fishing company’s satisfaction, Yusril would be sent home and charged more than $1,000 for the airfare. The meaning of “satisfactory” was left vague. The contract said only that Yusril would have to work whatever hours the boat operators demanded.
Will it Be Different This Time?
by Dan Viederman, CEO, for Reuters
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