Verité is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative to support the enhanced tracing of goods made with child and forced labor. The STREAMS project (Supply Chain Tracing and Engagement Methodologies) will be implemented by Verité in collaboration with organizations that include Phylagen, RCS Global, the Responsible Sourcing Network and Sourcemap.
Despite the growing awareness of, and commitments to, ethical recruitment, an analysis of CUMULUS data from early 2019 to the present reveals that less than five percent of employers fully absorb the true cost of cross border recruitment, including all recruitment fees and related costs. Instead, those costs continue to be passed on to foreign migrant workers.
Workers who handle waste and recyclables support the health of our communities, economies, and the environment at the expense of their own health and wellbeing. On a daily basis, they may be exposed to hazardous materials, such as household cleaners, pesticides, and medical waste. The COVID-19 pandemic only heightens these health risks, particularly to informal waste pickers who collect the recyclable materials that we throw in the trash.
Migrant workers are frequently confronted with a choice: pay illegal or unethical recruitment fees for employment abroad or go without work altogether. To finance these exorbitant costs, they may take out loans that leave them vulnerable to debt bondage, a form of forced labor. For more than a decade, Verité has worked with global companies in diverse sectors to ensure their suppliers and business partners absorb the true cost of recruitment and prohibit the charging of recruitment costs to workers, in accordance with international standards and regulations.
Prohibiting federal contractors from charging workers recruitment fees is a cornerstone of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requiring contractors and subcontractors to take specific preventive measures to detect and eliminate forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains. In December 2018, the U.S. Government amended the FAR to include a comprehensive and clear definition of what constitute “recruitment fees.”