The pace of work at Verité often means conversations across the Verité global network focus on the nuts and bolts of report writing, assessments, trainings, and tool development, among other projects. Rarely do we find the time to reflect on long-term approaches to tackling global labor abuses and considering our evolution as a global network to meet those challenges. This past April, thirty-four Verité partners paused in their day-to-day commitments to gather in Bangkok to share and strategize about the issues most critical to the Verité network’s goal of promoting fair, safe, and legal work.
Earlier this month, Ms. Wenjuan Yao, Verité China Director, led an informal and interactive discussion with stakeholders on emerging issues and trends in the Chinese labor market, and their implications for workers, companies, and policymakers. The event, graciously hosted by Humanity United at their Washington, D.C. offices, included attendees from a broad cross section of stakeholders, including representatives from government agencies, workers’ rights groups, civil society, multistakeholder initiatives, and industry bodies. Yao presented on four China-focused themes — emerging issues and regulations in the agriculture sector, the impact of shifting worker demographics in the manufacturing sector, challenges in effectively implementing social compliance programs, and the risks of forced labor facing Chinese migrant workers abroad. Following the brief presentation, there was a lively discussion and exchange among the attendees.