The U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has contracted Verité to expand and enhance the Responsible Sourcing Tool over the next five years. The Responsible Sourcing Tool is a free web platform created to help visualize and understand the risks of human trafficking in supply chains. The website contains a model compliance plan with downloadable templates and other tools based on Verité’s deep experience helping leading companies combat trafficking in their global supply chains. Verité launched the tool in 2016 with a series of meetings in the Washington, DC area opened by Ambassador Susan Coppedge, who directs the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
We accomplished a lot this year. If you appreciate our work, please support us by clicking HERE. Selected 2015 highlights include: At a meeting convened by Secretary of State Kerry at the White House in January, we released a report highlighting the riskiest sectors at the intersection of Trafficking in Persons and government procurement. In June,The Atlantic reportedon our work with Patagonia to address forced labor in apparel production in Taiwan. In November, Nestle released the results of an assessment of its fish supply chain including our findings of high risk practices on fishing boats, processing plants and shrimp farms, as well as the company’s action plan to address these vulnerabilities.
Verité’s White Paper on The Cost of a Job: Systemic Forced Labor in Asia and What Companies Can Do to Eliminate It, we quantify the extent to which unscrupulous labor brokers and their client employers exploit foreign workers’ vulnerability for their own profit by inflating the cost of migration through recruitment fees. Verité’s experience in 2014 alone is that foreign workers in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore pay between the equivalent of between $1,500 and $6,000 to obtain their jobs.
Debt bondage, appalling working conditions and the death of nearly 1,000 migrant workers at construction sites in Qatar—in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in 2022—have focused the world’s attention on labor abuses at high-profile construction projects. The construction of New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus in the United Arab Emirates has also been the subject of recent allegations of harsh working conditions, and China’s construction industry has long been dogged by health- and safety-related deaths.