On June 27, the US Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The TIP Report provides rankings and narrative assessments of the efforts of countries across the globe to combat and prevent human trafficking, forced labor, and other forms of modern slavery. Countries must improve their efforts to fight human trafficking to avoid the lowest ranking of Tier 3 and accompanying sanctions.
In 2016, Verité launched the Responsible Sourcing Tool (RST), providing a resource to federal contractors to meet the anti-trafficking compliance measures in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The tool was developed with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. In addition to federal contractors, the interactive website helps companies, advocates, and consumers detect, prevent, and combat trafficking in global supply chains and meet the growing number of legal, regulatory, and market demands for attention to severe exploitation in global supply chains. After a year of operation, Verité takes a look at the progress that has been made.
In announcing its responsible sourcing aspirations in 2016, Target Corporation committed to monitor for forced labor throughout its supply chain and to take swift action to eliminate it if discovered. In addition, Target championed last year’s Consumer Goods Forum Resolution on Forced Labor. The group’s commitment includes the adoption of three key principles: that every worker should have freedom of movement, no worker should pay for a job and no worker should be indebted or coerced to work.
Verité’s exploratory research into the labor conditions in Guatemala’s sugar industry has revealed a high degree of vulnerability to labor trafficking in this sector. This research found evidence of recruitment abuses, child labor, restrictions on workers’ right to freedom of association, gender-based discrimination, wage and hour violations, threats to workers’ health and safety, inhumane living conditions, and negative impacts on communities surrounding sugar plantations.
Verité is pleased to announce the publication of our latest research report, “Risk Analysis of Labor Violations Among Farmworkers in the Guatemalan Sugar Sector: A Report on Findings from Rapid Appraisal Research.” This research revealed a high degree of vulnerability to labor trafficking for workers in the Guatemalan sugar sector. Our exploratory research found several indicators of human trafficking, including: deceptive recruitment, debt bondage, child labor, inadequate food, surveillance, risks to worker health and safety, and hazardous working conditions. Verité found that workers are subjected to conditions that can have an alarming impact on their long-term health and can be subject to labor abuses from the moment they are recruited.