On October 6 and 7, 2022, Verité, in partnership with the Anker Research Institute and with support from, RGC Coffee, organized two online sessions to present the results and recommendations of the “Living Income and Living Wage Report” for rural areas and small towns of coffee-growing regions in central Colombia.
Labor is the single largest component of most coffee farmers’ costs of production. In Latin America, for example, labor accounts for the majority of production costs.
Social audits have proven to be ineffective in detecting and preventing debt bonded labor, the most pervasive and entrenched form of forced labor in global supply chains today. While deep dive, focused, worker-centric investigations of the type conducted by Verité and like-minded organizations, are the gold standard to detect and remedy these abuses, it is neither practical nor cost effective for buyers, investors, and other stakeholders to use this approach at every workplace in high-risk countries, sectors, supply chain tiers, or migration corridors.
Dhaka Principle 7 – Working conditions are safe and decent – the vital principle to ensure migrant workers enjoy safe and decent conditions of work, free from harassment, any form of intimidation or inhuman treatment. They should receive adequate health and safety provision and training in relevant languages.
Debt bondage, due to the imposition of recruitment fees and costs on foreign migrant workers, remains the most pervasive and entrenched form of forced labor in global supply chains today. Reimbursement is an important remedy but, on its own, it is not a solution to the underlying root causes of this ongoing labor abuse.