The emergence of new laws, including the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, requires that companies raise the internal awareness and skills needed to address the risk of forced labor. Verité conducted two highly successful trainings – for buyers and for auditors – with that objective in Hong Kong in September.
Migrant workers trafficked into the Thai fishing industry are sometimes described as ‘sold to the sea.’ These men, particularly work-seeking Burmese, often face a perfect storm of poverty-based need and debt bondage, extreme hardship, physical danger and isolation—corporate accountability lost in opaque supply chains, the regulatory dead space of international waters and scarce enforcement where laws apply.
Verité’s 5-day EICC Labor & Ethics Lead Auditor workshop, which includes a four-day mock audit for participants, is best known for its interviewing modules. Through self and peer review, the student ‘auditors’ learn and practice skills for developing rapport with workers and managers and advanced interviewing techniques to reveal hidden and often sensitive information.
We’re very excited to formally introduce our new online training program for workers in China. Our web-based Worker Training Center—providing resources bilingually in Chinese and English—currently offers 10 cartoon- and live video-format modules on labor and life skills topics requested by workers.
Charles Kernaghan of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights recently reported the following good news from Bangladesh: “At the Next Collection factory, we were able to demand the firing of ten corrupt and highly abusive senior managers. Today, the workers are no longer beaten, forced to toil 14- to 17-hour shifts, seven days a week, and cheated of their wages and overtime.