1. The cost of a job in Malaysian electronics is high.
Verité released its first report to quantify incidence of forced labor in Malaysian electronics. Our study revealed that one in three foreign workers surveyed in this sector are in a condition of forced labor. We highlighted the voices of workers themselves in a blog post for Skoll World Forum released to commemorate International Migrants Day. Soon after our Malaysia report release, HP announced, with Verité’s help, a ground-breaking new policy to require all of its suppliers to employ workers directly, rather than through third-parties. Apple continued to lead the way in reimbursing workers excessive recruitment fees, now totaling almost $20M.
2. New partnership and new resource to protect migrant workers in US agriculture.
Verité and Polaris, the national anti-trafficking hotline, jointly put in place a pilot helpline to support farmworkers and tobacco growers in Kentucky, helping them understand and commit to good working conditions. We seek in 2015 to expand to other crops.
3. Verité makes data on working conditions available online.
The Verité Labor Rights Portal, supported by the Open Society Foundation, captures our data on working conditions from China and Malaysia. We aim for the Portal to help normalize understanding of the labor rights problems that companies and workers face in those two locations, such that we can accelerate commitment to adoption of solutions. Please stay tuned for expanded data and additional regions in the coming months.
4. Corruption and trafficking intersect.
In late 2013 Verité released a White Paper, supported by pro bono outside legal help, outlining the ways in which corruption and labor trafficking compound one another. In 2014 we strengthened understanding of this issue by partnering with funders, regulators, advocates, investors and companies.
5. Verité releases new engaging educational videos targeted at Chinese workers.
Supported by a generous grant from The Walt Disney Company, Verité worked with Chinese government agencies and filmmakers to create 10 educational videos to help workers understand their responsibilities and advocate for their own rights. These videos are available online—email us if you are interested in learning how to use them in your operations and contracted factories.
In 2014, Verité reached new levels of scope, impact and revenue. We are sincerely and deeply grateful to our clients for trusting us to support their efforts; to our funders for their partnership in creating innovative and impactful new approaches to respect for human rights; to our donors for their generosity and faith; to our partners in the NGO sector for their spirit of collaboration and openness; and especially to our staff and field partners around the world for their tireless dedication, commitment, problem-solving ability, expertise and (in the face of it all) unstoppable good humor.