NESTLE ADMITS SLAVERY IN THAILAND WHILE FIGHTING CHILD LABOR LAWSUIT IN IVORY COAST

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteIn case you missed it, this past November Nestlé and various other corporations were found to have supply chain operations in Thailand tied to illegal fishing vessels that used slave labor to supply some the processing plants used by Nestlé. Dissimilar to most corporations who have found slavery in their supply chains in the past, Nestlé openly admitted to the public that internal audits confirmed the fact that their supply chain was tainted by modern slavery.

Emphasizing that “no other company sourcing seafood from Thailand, the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, could have avoided being exposed to the same risks”, Nestlé has since committed to a “new era of self-policing of its own supply chains.” Many have applauded the move towards full transparency, including Freedom Fund CEO, Nick Grono, who said “if you’ve got one of the biggest brands in the world proactively coming out and admitting that they have found slavery in their business operations, then it’s potentially a huge game-changer and could lead to real and sustained change in how supply chains are managed.”

While most have applauded Nestlé for its move towards transparency, others see its actions as a public relations stunt to alleviate criticism Nestlé has received for a completely unrelated slave labor lawsuit in the Ivory Coast. “For me there is a big issue with one part of Nestlé saying, ‘OK we have been dragged along with everyone else to face the issue of slavery in Thailand and so let’s take the initiative and do something about it’, and at the same time fighting tooth and nail through the courts to avoid charges of child slavery in its core operations in the Ivory Coast.” said Unseen UK’s Andrew Wallis.

This seemingly double standard has created plenty of questions regarding Nestlé’s true motives, but regardless we believe any step towards increased transparency is a step in the right direction. Nestlé is a perfect example that companies tied to human rights violations are often praised when they come clean and make a concerted effort to change.

Source: The Guardian

WRITING A MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT: A GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteIn case you missed it, the United Kingdom (UK) passed the Modern Slavery Act 2015 this past year and the legislation carries serious implications for the corporations it affects. Since the law has taken effect, all commercial organizations with operations in the UK and an annual gross revenue of at least £36 million are legally required to publish a public modern slavery statement disclosing their anti-human trafficking policies and what actions they are taking to ensure their operations and supply chains do not contain human trafficking and modern slavery.

Since the law is a relatively new one that is difficult to both monitor and enforce, not all businesses are taking it seriously, while others simply do not know how to write a modern slavery statement. That is way Personnel Today took the time to explain in 8 steps how to write these statements and what they should contain. These steps are attributed directly to Personnel Today. Please click on the Personnel Today hyperlink at the bottom to view the detailed explanations of each step.

Step 1. Reiterate your commitment to tackling modern slavery.
Step 2. Explain your organizational structure and supply chains.
Step 3. Set out who has responsibility for anti-slavery initiatives.
Step 4. Link off to relevant policies.
Step 5. State what due diligence of suppliers is carried out.
Step 6. Provide an overview of key performance indicators.
Step 7. Explain how you train staff on anti-slavery measures.
Step 8. Flag up any awareness-raising programs.

Even with this kind of guidance, some companies do not have the time or resources to determine if the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 applies to them, let alone to conceive and publish a detailed corporate statement that should reflect actual corporate policies. That is where we are uniquely positioned to help. CHTCS dedicates the time and resources to human trafficking compliance when our clients cannot. If you think your business is not adhering to counter-human trafficking laws and regulations, we would be happy to give you an assessment to determine if any further action is needed.

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

Source: Personnel Today

TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TACKLES MALAYSIA TRAFFICKING, VIETNAM LABOR

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteMalaysia and Vietnam are looking to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will open up new opportunities for their electronics and clothing companies. However, in order for the two countries to be a part of the TPP, they are required to create regulations for minimum wages and work hours in both countries to prevent forced labor and create meaningful labor protections.

Malaysia was recently upgraded to “Tier 2 Watch List” in the Trafficking in Persons Report of 2015. Concerns have been raised over Malaysia’s upgrade and many doubt their commitment to end human trafficking because “dozens of suspected mass migrant graves” were found by the authorities and forced labor has been repeatedly reported in the palm oil, construction, and electronics industries. However, Malaysia is showing that they are trying to make a difference and will implement reforms to meet TPP’s standards and discourage all illegal employment in the country.

Criticized for cheap wages and weak worker protections, Vietnam will have to give rights to all workers to form their own independent labor unions as it applies to all TPP countries. Also, forced labor convictions will result in higher penalties and there will be strong protection for workers.

“Being tied to entry into force means we have the ability to certify whether or not a country has met those standards so it gives us significant leverage,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said.

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

THE COTTON YOU’RE WEARING COULD BE PICKED BY FORCED LABOR

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteMany are familiar with the issues in thesweatshops of Bangladesh and India, however, the forced labor controversy surrounding cotton production in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is not widely as known.

Much of the cotton we use every day is produced under Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan governments’ direction. In Uzbekistan, children and adults are forced out into the fields to harvest crops in a hazardous and unsanitary environment. The governments are solely in charge of buying and selling all obtained cotton, and gain massive financial gains while those subject to the forced labor gain little to nothing.

Each year, the government sets an annual quota that farmers and even teachers, nurses, doctors, and local administration employees must meet. Those who do not comply will be punished, humiliated, and/or lose leased properties. Non-farmers have to leave their jobs during the harvest season and to work long hours and sleep in barracks in poor conditions.

While Uzbekistan is making progress by working with the International Labor Organization to reduce forced labor, Turkmenistan shows no signs of change. The number of children forced to pick cotton during these annual cotton harvests has decreased since 2012, but that number has yet to reach zero.

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

Source: CNN

EVERY 10 MINUTES

Force for Compassion on 10 min HT_CHTCS intel

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES $44 MILLION IN GRANTS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteOn September 24th, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced $44 million grant funding to fight human trafficking. The fund will support fight trafficking, support victims, and in-depth research.

Lynch mentioned the fund is already supporting WashACT, a project by Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, the Seattle Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Washington.

Sixteen anti-human trafficking groups that work with law enforcement were picked to receive part of the funding of $23 million.

The rest of the fund will go to several victim service organizations, law enforcement, the National Conference of State Legislatures, American Bar Association, and other organizations to serve different purposes but achieve same goal to combat human trafficking.

“Human traffickers prey on some of the most vulnerable members of our society and their crimes—which are nothing short of modern-day slavery—have no place in this country,” Lynch said.

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

Source: American Bar Association

POPE’S U.S. VISIT CAN UNITE THE FIGHT AGAINST MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

CHTCS-Logo-For-SitePope Francis addressed Congress in Washington D.C. yesterday and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City this morning. Pope Francis, who is a leader in the fight against human trafficking, has urged the U.S. to take action to combat modern-day slavery among a variety of issues brought up during his U.S. tour.

More Americans are now aware of human trafficking, but continue think of the problem as one more prevalent in other countries. While human trafficking is certainly more prevalent in less developed and war torn countries, human trafficking is still happening here in the U.S., a top destination for human traffickers to send their victims.

According to the International Labor Organization, there are more than 20 million modern-day slaves in the world. It is important to target all perpetrators and secure more convictions. “With sufficient funds, we will be able to provide victims with essential aid, law enforcement with a comprehensive and collaborative framework, and prosecutors with the capacity to pursue cases at unprecedented levels.”

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

Source: CNN

INDIA HOME TO MORE THAN 14 MILLION MODERN SLAVERY VICTIMS

Daily Star on mod day slav unpunished_CHTCS intel

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CONSUMERS SHOULD REPORT COMPANIES THEY THINK USE TRAFFICKED WORKERS

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThe U.K. government predicts that there are about 13,000 victims of modern slavery in Britain, yet there have only been 130 convictions related to human trafficking.

The Modern Slavery Act was passed by Members of Parliament earlier this year, which increases maximum sentence from 14 years to life imprisonment and enhances techniques to identify victims. As a part of this act, the independent anti-slavery commissioner position was created and Kevin Hyland was appointed to fill the role.

Kevin Hyland has since said that both consumers and the police lack awareness of modern slavery in the U.K. He recently asked consumers who suspect business workers to be victims of trafficking or exploitation to boycott and report those businesses. “In cases that have been reported to the police, [workers] look hungry, worn out, their clothes are poor, things like health and safety aren’t there, the equipment they are using is cheap, shoddy. Boycott it, but contact the local authority, contact the police – once enough people do that, then there will be a response.”

The migrant crisis exposes vulnerable people to criminals who promise jobs and opportunities, but later become debt-bonded or face physical threats and abuse. Modern slavery can be found in many forms, from sexual exploitation to organized begging. “This is the complexity of it all and that’s why the public needs to be more aware of it…People really need to open their eyes and understand what this criminality is – it is the sale of human beings. It is not just hard work.”

For more information about CHTCS and how we can help your organization, please contact us.

Source: The Guardian

11 SECTORS MOST LIKELY TO HAVE A RISK OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Depart of State on sectors_CHTCS intel

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