Australia’s Modern Slavery Bill Passes Parliament: The new bill requires approximately 3,000 large businesses and entities in Australia to publish annual statements on measures taken to address modern slavery.
The article that follows is a fascinating, first-hand account describing the evolution of how labor and human rights in the palm oil sector have been—and will be—addressed. Daryll Delgado, author of the article and Director of Verité Southeast Asia, has been a participant in the past two review processes of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s Principles and Criteria (P&C). She shares her insights on the new standards addressed in the P&C, including human rights, land grabs, and wages, as well as her thoughts on the adoption of the new certification standards.
A core element of Verité’s mission is to engage substantively with a full range of entities, organizations, and institutions, sharing insights and information to strengthen labor compliance internationally. Verité employees regularly participate in conferences, panels and roundtables, contributing to work on policy, developing new programs, and educating on labor rights abuses. This article presents a selection of events some of our employees have attended over the past six months.
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.