As more consumers demand sustainable seafood, businesses are starting to pay attention to where and how their seafood is sourced. Many businesses have taken steps to address the environmental sustainability of their seafood supply chains, but as several recent media stories have highlighted, those same companies may also have risks of human rights abuses, including modern-day slavery, in their supply chains.
Myanmar is an emerging destination for multinationals and major suppliers, particularly in the garment sector. It is a place where Code of Conduct compliance is challenging due to systemic weaknesses in human resources practices among suppliers, minimal levels of awareness of rights on the part of workers, a minimally-developed civil society, and regulation that is often non-existent.
Verité is currently implementing a four-year project to improve government commitments and performance on reducing hazardous child labor and forced child labor in eight countries. Verité is a partner on this multi-country initiative—known as Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor, or CLEAR II—with Winrock International, a global NGO working to empower the disadvantaged and increase economic opportunity.
In previous Vision pieces, we have pointed out that Executive Order 13627 on “Strengthening Protections against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts” is designed to bolster the U.S. government’s zero-tolerance approach to trafficking in persons in federal contracts. On January 29, 2015, the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) Council released the much awaited “final rule” designed to implement the Executive Order signed by President Obama in September 2012, and Title XVII of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 (“Ending Trafficking in Government Contracting”)—both of which will require federal contractors and subcontractors to take specific proactive preventive measures to detect and eliminate human trafficking and forced labor in their supply chains.