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.
The Big Business Behind the Low Wage J-1 Au Pair Program:
A new report explores the structural deficiencies in the J-1 au pair program that contribute to labor rights abuses.
Forced Labor Risk in Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program: Exploration of Indicators among Chinese Trainees Seeking Remedy
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.