World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos presents a New Global Fund to Reduce Modern Slavery

Significant progress was made at last week’s 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos.

The discussions emphasised the alarming figures of today’s modern slavery crisis, with estimates stating 40.3 million people are currently in slavery worldwide, Gary Haugen, CEO of the International Justice Mission said there are more people in slavery today than were extracted from Africa over 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade. Haugen was one of the panelists at the forum who discussed a new fund, led by the US and UK, whose goal is to raise $1.5 billion (€1.2 billion) combat slavery. “The modern slavery problem is massive … but it’s more stoppable than it’s ever been,” commented United States Senator Robert Corker, chairman of Committee on Foreign Relations”. What is needed is a collective effort by companies and individuals and transparency in supply chains. Governments and consumers also have a role to play in holding business accountable.

Read further on the discussion on modern slavery at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos.

Horrific Working Conditions Prevail in Thai Fishing Industry

Last week Human Rights Watch released reports bringing significant attention to the Thai fishing industry that highlighted human rights violations, including coercion or human trafficking.

The 134-page report, “Hidden Chains: Forced Labor and Rights Abuses in Thailand’s Fishing Industry,” describes how migrant fishers from neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia are often trafficked into fishing work, prevented from changing employers, not paid on time, and paid below the minimum wage. Migrant workers do not receive Thai labour law protections and do not have the right to form a labour union.

Despite previous warnings from the EU to ban Thai seafood imports and being listed under US human trafficking watch, the Thai government has struggled to enforce the stricter policies and reforms. Limited improvements for fishers were introduced through vessel inspections and maximum time at sea limited to 30 days, however the tangible results of these policy implementations have not met international standards.

Full article on forced labour in the Thai fishing industry.