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.
Verité is proud to unveil the updated Forced Labor Commodity Atlas. This new Commodity Atlas features the following nine commodities: coffee, cocoa, cotton, fish, gold, palm oil, sugar, tea, and tobacco. As our team continues to update our commodity reports with the most up-to-date research and resources in the coming year, we will add new commodity pages for all 43 commodities from the report: Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal and Corporate Supply Chains: Research on Risk in 43 Commodities Worldwide, made possible through support provided by the U.S. Department of State.
Coffee represents Guatemala’s largest export—valued at over USD $1.1 billion in 2012—with the United States as its leading importer, meaning prominent brands source significantly from the country. The Guatemalan agricultural sector constitutes its largest source of employment, with coffee as the country’s most important crop—providing employment for 90,000 small coffee farmers and 473,000 workers (seven percent of the workforce).
Unaccompanied Children: Violence and Conditions in Central American Agriculture Linked to Border Crisis
Verité research has documented the ways in which high levels of violent crime and the incursion of maras (street gangs) and Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have displaced a large number of Guatemalans from their homes and forced them to migrate. The Northern Triangle of Central America is the most violent region in the world; Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are first, fourth, and fifth in the world, respectively, in terms of homicide rates. In the case of Guatemala, which registered the bloodiest civil war in all of Latin America with over 200,000 killed, today the per capita rate of killing surpasses the rate of killing during the civil war.
Verité Influences Major New Federal Policy on Human Trafficking; Announces Release of Research Series on Commodities and Forced Labor
At a special session today of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, President Obama announced several new Administration policies to fight human trafficking. One of these, an Executive Order Strengthening Protections in Federal Contracts, ensures that goods purchased by the U.S. Government—the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world—are not tainted by trafficking via exploitative labor recruitment practices at any point in the production and supply chain. The Executive Order will apply to all federal contractors and subcontractors—both in the US and worldwide—and provides federal agencies with additional tools to foster compliance.