Japan’s steadily declining native workforce has created a dependence on low-skilled foreign labor. This, in turn, has created a vulnerable foreign workforce at risk for suffering myriad labor abuses. Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) attracts hundreds of thousands of workers each year, primarily from other Asian countries. From 2015 to 2017, Verité collected and analyzed testimonies of Chinese trainees in the TITP program who had submitted complaints to a local migrant advocacy organization. The findings are available in the new paper Forced Labor Risk in Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program: Exploration of Indicators among Chinese Trainees Seeking Remedy.
Verité formally unveiled the CUMULUS Forced Labor Screen™ membership platform on June 11th at the Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment and Employment 2018 in Singapore. CUMULUS is a technology-driven (patent pending) approach to using shared data for labor supply mapping and forced labor risk screening in supply chains.
Earlier this month, Verité was pleased to participate in the first meeting of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) Working Group on Forced Labor Statistics, which aims to inform the discussion on measurement of forced labor at the 20th International Conference of Labor Statisticians (ICLS). The meeting took place in Rio de Janeiro and was hosted and co-organized by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.
Many company’s forced labor, human trafficking, or ‘modern day slavery’ disclosures – whether mandated by transparency regulations or part of broader sustainability, corporate social responsibility, or human rights reporting – do not reflect a credible understanding of how specific practices of value chain partners and recruitment intermediaries in their supply chains expose vulnerable workers to the risk of forced labor. Consequently, many of the detection and prevention efforts outlined in these disclosures are not sufficiently targeted to effectively address the root causes of these insidious and deeply entrenched abuses.
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.