Earlier this month, Verité was pleased to participate in the first meeting of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) Working Group on Forced Labor Statistics, which aims to inform the discussion on measurement of forced labor at the 20th International Conference of Labor Statisticians (ICLS). The meeting took place in Rio de Janeiro and was hosted and co-organized by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.
In announcing its responsible sourcing aspirations in 2016, Target Corporation committed to monitor for forced labor throughout its supply chain and to take swift action to eliminate it if discovered. In addition, Target championed last year’s Consumer Goods Forum Resolution on Forced Labor. The group’s commitment includes the adoption of three key principles: that every worker should have freedom of movement, no worker should pay for a job and no worker should be indebted or coerced to work.
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.