Seafood supply chains are complex and rife with vulnerability to human trafficking risks and other labor problems (see infographic below). This past March, Verité attended Seafood Expo North America in Boston, speaking on panels about gender equality and social responsibility in supply chains.
With support from the US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Verité continues work with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Kenya, civil society organizations, the Government of Kenya, recruitment industry actors, as well as employers in GCC countries to promote safe and fair migration between East Africa and GCC countries. This project recognizes that East African migrants to the GCC countries are among the most vulnerable, as East Africa has become the new frontier for recruiting labor for low wage jobs in GCC countries.
Verité is pleased to announce the launch of a new web resource, www.verite.org/africa, to help users understand the risk of human trafficking associated with global supply chains operating in sub-Saharan Africa. The African region has acted as a supplier of labor and raw materials to the rest of the world for centuries, often under terms that have resulted in harm to African people and nations. Companies and governments have both an ethical and a legal responsibility to minimize the risks to human rights associated with global economic activity in Africa, including the risk of human trafficking.
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.