The most significant contributor to the ongoing presence of debt bondage or forced labor in global supply chains is the burden of recruitment fees and expenses on migrant workers. Many employers and recruiters in high risk global supply chains build business models on charging unskilled and low-skilled workers fees for employment. Specifically, employers pay no or insufficient professional service fees to the recruitment agents they engage to find them workers. Rather, they knowingly allow agents to recoup revenue and the significant legitimate expenses associated with international labor migration—such as government approvals and travel costs—from the workers themselves.
In September, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released two new reports on child labor and forced labor around the world: the eighth edition of the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor and the 17th annual edition of the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.
“These reports represent one of the Department of Labor’s key contributions to the global effort to protect workers in the United States and around the world by defending the rights of all people to live free of child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.