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.
Verité was pleased to have a presence at the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility’s (ICCR) multi-stakeholder roundtable, “Emerging Best Practices in Implementing Ethical Recruitment Policies across Industries,” convened on January 19, in New York City. The roundtable is part of the ICCR’s “No Fees” Initiative, which is supported by Humanity United. The event brought together leaders from the private sector, NGOs, socially responsible investors, international organizations, and government to engage on this issue. Verité is proud to be a long term partner with ICCR on labor recruitment reform and many other supply chain challenges facing the broad range of companies in which ICCR members invest.
Last month, the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) announced, as part of its commitment to eradicating forced labor, the results of a special out-of-cycle membership vote amending version 5.0 of the EICC Code of Conduct to further protect workers by prohibiting all recruitment fees.