Pope Francis uses new year mass to condemn slavery and human trafficking

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteIn his first mass of 2015, Pope Francis advised people of all cultures and religions to help end human trafficking. One of the ways he urged people to do so is through avoiding low-cost goods that may be products of forced labor. He stated that it is a God-given right for everyone to be free.

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SOURCE: Newsweek

Presidential Proclamation – National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2015

CHTCS-Logo-For-SitePresident Obama released a proclamation declaring January 2015 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This month will culminate in National Freedom Day on February first. President Obama called on all Americans to recognize their role in helping to eradicate modern slavery by buying products free of forced labor. He called for business and non-profit leaders to ensure their supply chains do not employ the use of slavery. President Obama also promised that the United States Government would continue to try to fight human trafficking on the legislative level.

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City bill aimed at spotting human trafficking victims

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteNew legislation in Baltimore would require hotels to train staff to recognize any signs of forced prostitution. Baltimore officials have received reports of human trafficking occurring in the city despite the difficulty of identifying the crime. In this respect Human Trafficking may be more prevalent than previously known. This new bill will attempt to combat human trafficking as best it can.

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Child labor still prevalent on W. African cocoa farms

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteA recent International Labor Rights Forum report has found that there are still about 1.5 million children working on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s two top producers of cocoa. There has been significant effort to reduce child labor over the last ten years, but to little success. Cocoa‬ farming involves dangerous work this has been deemed one of the worst forms of child labor.

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SOURCE: Reuters

GAP, INC. TEAMS UP WITH $1 BILLION INVESTMENT FUND TO TRANSFORM ASIAN GARMENT FACTORY CONDITIONS

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteGap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy, is partnering with the investment fund Tau in an effort to address human rights violations within the Asian garment industry. The fund hopes to raise $1 billion in order to improve labor conditions in factories throughout Asia. The Tau fund and its investors intend to purchase minority stakes in Asian factories and install technology that will increase supply chain transparency, as well as upgrade environmental standards and improve productivity.

Tau cofounder Ben Skinner expressed the hope to create factories within the $1 trillion apparel industry that are the “most radically transparent and most radically compliant” in the world.

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SOURCE: Fast Company

UK ANTI-SLAVERY WATCHDOG TELLS BUSINESS TO CLEAN UP SUPPLY CHAINS

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteBritain has named Kevin Hyland as its very first Anti-Slavery Commissioner in a continued campaign against human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor. Hyland is the former head of London’s Metropolitan Police human trafficking unit and is now bringing his expertise into the corporate atmosphere. The Anti-Slavery Commissioner role was created as a part of the Modern Slavery Bill which will require British corporations to annually disclose their efforts to tackle slavery in their supply chains.

The CHTCS team got the chance to speak with Hyland at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Women Conference in 2014. Hyland emphasized the need to monitor corporations because “once they know they are being monitored…they will want to have clean supply chains. If they fail they will be exposed – and no company in the world wants to be shown as employing slaves.”

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Tim Ballard explains why he left the government to found Operation Underground Railroad

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteTim Ballard is a former Homeland Security agent, who now heads up Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit group that rescues trafficked kids. In this video interview, Mr. Ballard explains why he left his job to start OUR.

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SOURCE: Fox News

Ed and Harriet’s £45 “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like” sweatshop conditions outrage

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteFeminist T-shirts proudly worn by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman are made in ‘sweatshop’ conditions by migrant women paid just 62p an hour, a Daily Mail investigation has revealed. The women machinists on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius sleep 16 to a room – and earn much less than the average wage on the island.

The £45 T-shirts carry the defiant slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’. But one of the thousands of machinists declared: ‘We do not see ourselves as feminists. We see ourselves as trapped.’ In this special investigation by the Daily Mail, Ben Ellery reveals exactly what is like for these women.

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs has released a toolkit to assist companies with Human Trafficking issues

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (“ILAB”) has released a toolkit to assist companies in identifying and rooting out forced and child labor in their operations and supply chains. The toolkit sets forth basic elements of an anti-trafficking compliance plan, including conducting risk assessments, developing and implementing a code of conduct, training employees, engaging stakeholders, monitoring compliance and conducting independent audits and reviews.

Federal and state authorities have implemented numerous laws to combat human trafficking, which means that increasingly so, companies must enact and evaluate their current policies to comply with these laws as well as to ensure that their procedures reflect well on a company’s corporate reputation. More than ever, companies are being required to detail efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains in order to comply with both state and federal regulations.

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FLAWED FABRICS: A report about the abuse of girls and women workers in the South Indian textile industry

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteA new report alleging “modern-day slavery” in five Indian textile mills prompted at least three of the Western retailers — X, Y, and Z — linked to the factories on Tuesday to pledge to take either punitive or remedial action.

X, Y, and Z represent real corporations whose names we removed as a courtesy.

The report, “Flawed Fabrics,” was released by the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations and the India Committee of the Netherlands, two human and labor rights nongovernmental organizations based in the Netherlands, detailing alleged egregious abuses found at Indian textile spinning mills in Tamil Nadu, considered a major hub in the global textile and knitwear industry.

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