Multiple reports outline abuses faced by workers in the seafood sector
KnowTheChain’s monthly newsletter shares worker perspectives, the latest from the KnowTheChain team, and updates and resources on forced labor in supply chains in the business and human rights sphere.
The Civil Society Organization Coalition for Ethical and Sustainable Seafood carried out a survey of 588 workers in the fishing, processing, and aquaculture sectors in Thailand on wage issues and Covid-19 impacts among migrant workers. More than half (58%) of the workers surveyed earn below minimum wage and worker testimony reveals the scale of the gender-pay gap with female workers earning nearly one-third (29%) less than their male counterparts across the industry.
The Environmental Justice Federation interviewed 15 workers on seven different Chinese tuna longliners revealing severe human rights abuses including reports of beatings, inhumane hours, foul food and water, and witholding of wages.
Forced Labor: The Latest Developments
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has lifted its ban on the import of disposable gloves from Malaysian factory Top Glove imposed on 15 July 2020 due to allegations of forced labor. This comes after the completion of repayments of over $36 million to around 13,000 current and former migrant workers. In its decision to lift its ban, the CBP cites the existence of satisfactory evidence that forced labor was no longer used in the manufacture of the disposable gloves they produce.
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights filed a complaint in Germany against Hugo Boss, Lidl, and other German companies for profiting from alleged forced labor of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, either directly or indirectly.
The third revised draft of the proposed Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights is published among skepticism around the clarity of certain provisions and a lack of weight on accountability and remedy.
The Australian Senate has passed a bill banning imports made using forced labor. If subsequently passed by the House of Representatives, the bill would amend the existing Customs Act to prohibit the importation of products produced or manufactured, in whole or in part, through the use of forced labor into Australia. On the same lines, the EU will propose a ban on products made by forced labor.
Listen in on a podcast to gain an understanding of the plight of construction workers in the Gulf during the pandemic who suffer abuses including non-payment of wages and forced labor.
For further news on forced labor in relation to business and human rights see the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website.
Register here to join Fair Wear Foundation and Ethical Trading Initiative for a webinar introducing the joint initiative The Industry We Want and their purchasing practices metric in partnership with Better Buying. The webinar will also share details on Better Buying’s new Partnership Index Survey.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has published a briefing on legal strategies for social audit liability. The briefing explores opportunities and challenges for holding social audit firms legally accountable for human rights harm. It provides analysis on claims brought to date against social audit firms and certification schemes and outlines the legal and contractual reform required to enable access to remedy for social audit failings.
The Fair Labor Association has published a report detailing practical approaches for reaching a living wage for garment workers including responsible purchasing practices by buyers and better planning by factory management. Case studies describe how buyers, suppliers, and workers worked together to improve wages and reduce overtime.
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