The celebration of Earth Day this month provides the opportunity to reflect on the overlap between labor rights and the environment. Verité has found a strong correlation between labor abuses and environmental damages. Often, activities that violate environmental regulations take place in areas where the government lacks the capacity to adequately enforce the law. Verité’s research into palm oil and illegal gold mining, for example, has found that the absence of the rule of law at remote worksites can result in permanent ecosystem damage, dangerous working conditions, and risk of forced labor.
Verité’s report, The Nexus of Illegal Gold Mining and Human Trafficking in Global Supply Chains, starkly highlights how illegal gold mining throughout Latin America is tied to human trafficking, which will be of interest to the wide variety of companies and retailers that sell products containing gold.