Verité is pleased to announce the publication of our latest research report, “Risk Analysis of Labor Violations Among Farmworkers in the Guatemalan Sugar Sector: A Report on Findings from Rapid Appraisal Research.” This research revealed a high degree of vulnerability to labor trafficking for workers in the Guatemalan sugar sector. Our exploratory research found several indicators of human trafficking, including: deceptive recruitment, debt bondage, child labor, inadequate food, surveillance, risks to worker health and safety, and hazardous working conditions. Verité found that workers are subjected to conditions that can have an alarming impact on their long-term health and can be subject to labor abuses from the moment they are recruited.
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.
Verité has previously carried out research on labor conditions in coffee and palm oil production in Guatemala, and has generally found workers employed in agriculture, including sugar production, in Latin America to be highly vulnerable to exploitation, including labor trafficking. While there have been no recent in-depth studies on worker vulnerability to labor trafficking in the Guatemalan sugar sector, Verité findings from previous research in the Guatemalan agricultural sector and reports from other organizations that have carried out research in other Central American countries indicated a high level of risk among Guatemalan sugarcane harvesters. Therefore, Verité chose to carry out research in the Guatemalan sugar sector.
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.