Links to articles we’re talking about in November 2017.
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.
Hundreds of thousands of people are employed in Peru in artisanal gold mining and peripheral services (such as restaurants, tire repair, brothels, etc.). During research for our latest report, Verité interviewed almost 100 workers, each of whom told a unique story of their experiences. Interviewees told us horrendous stories of labor and sexual exploitation in Peru. Here are two of those stories.
Quinn Kepes, Program Manager at Verité, has written in this space in the past about his experiences conducting research into illegal gold mining operations in Peru. Here, he discusses the full report, Risk Analysis of Indicators of Forced Labor and Human Trafficking in Illegal Gold Mining in Peru, just released, and his hope for future change in the sector.