Working more closely with the private sector to put an end to modern day slavery in international supply chains


 

Date Publish: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

31 Jul 2018, Dhaka – Modern day slavery remains a major challenge for businesses around the world and across multiple sectors. The latest global estimates around 40.3 million people were victims of modern day slavery in 2016. There are approximately 25 million victims of forced labour globally, with every four out of 1000 people in Asia Pacific being a victim. Nevertheless, an estimated 16 million victims of forced labour were in the private sector.

“It is incumbent on us all not just to decry but to combat the scourge human trafficking and modern slavery on all fronts. It behooves us to address the underlying factors that impel migrants to desperate measures and into the hands of smugglers and traffickers. Renewed and concerted focus on collaborative approaches with the private sector on safe migration pathways will go a long way in safeguarding migrant rights and preventing tragedies,” said Mr. Giorgi Gigauri, the UN Migration Agency, IOM’s Chief in Bangladesh at a workshop held today in Dhaka on eliminating modern slavery and trafficking within companies and labour supply chains.  

It is estimated that almost one fourth of the victims of forced labour are international migrant workers. Many companies have identified migrant workers as one of the key vulnerable groups in their own operations and supply chains. Migrant workers can be exposed to vulnerabilities linked to unethical recruitment practices such as charging of excessive fees, limited access to transparent job terms and conditions, language and cultural differences, documents retention and lack of access to grievance mechanisms.

“Human mobility is driven by a number of stakeholders who all need to enhance their efforts to work jointly on putting an end to the labour exploitations of vulnerable workers in global supply chains,” said Aminul Islam, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates and Overseas Employment “It is a shared responsibility and accountability of all key stakeholders both public and private, to promote ethical recruitment practices, eliminate forced labor and labor exploitation within supply chains through responsible recruitment initiatives.”

Bringing together multiple stakeholders, the event examined practical solutions to meet or exceed internationally recognized principles and standards for human and labour rights, particularly moving towards ethical recruitment practices and eleminating modern slavery. The event organized under IOM’s Corporate Responsibility for Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative, was attended by representatives from the Government of Bangladesh, international community, global brands, suppliers, civil society, recruitment industry and development partners.

The CREST initiative is funded by the Regional Development Cooperation Section at the Embassy of Sweden in Thailand. It facilitates multi-stakeholder consultations to promote good corporate practice and public-private partnerships. It also partners with international companies to enhance supply chain transparency and build the capacities of all actors across the supply chain to adhere to international social and labour standards in the context of labour mobility.

 

For more please contact, Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun from IOM at mbinharun@iom.int