Migrant workers are frequently confronted with a choice: pay illegal or unethical recruitment fees for employment abroad or go without work altogether. To finance these exorbitant costs, they may take out loans that leave them vulnerable to debt bondage, a form of forced labor. For more than a decade, Verité has worked with global companies in diverse sectors to ensure their suppliers and business partners absorb the true cost of recruitment and prohibit the charging of recruitment costs to workers, in accordance with international standards and regulations.
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.
Companies don’t doubt they have to play a role in solving social, labor, and environmental problems in their supply chains: But how? What works? Definitive answers are needed on what socially and environmentally safe business looks like. The Fair Trade Society, a new global membership organization, is proud to announce the launch of the Journal of Fair Trade.
You see the headlines about the US-Mexico border on a daily basis: Asylum seekers, guest workers, and other international migrants are seeking safety and a chance to break out of a cycle of poverty by coming to the United States. Yet for all the exposure these stories receive, there is little explanation of who these people are and why they take their risky journeys. This story offers supply chain professionals a clear context and understanding of how promoting compliance with national laws and corporate supply chain standards can directly impact the lives of these vulnerable populations.
Prohibiting federal contractors from charging workers recruitment fees is a cornerstone of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requiring contractors and subcontractors to take specific preventive measures to detect and eliminate forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains. In December 2018, the U.S. Government amended the FAR to include a comprehensive and clear definition of what constitute “recruitment fees.”