WHAT IS MODERN SLAVERY?
“Modern slavery” is an umbrella term covering various forms of coercion into labour situations. This includes such crimes as human trafficking for forced labour, forced commercial sexual exploitation, and indentured labour. A typical typology of modern slavery involves a lack of consent, with victims unable to refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception and/or abuse of power.How does it impact business?
Over 50 million in modern slavery
16 million victims in supply chains
Over 60% of victims are in Asia
150 billion USD annual profits
Only 0.2% helped each year
Forms of modern slavery
FORCED LABOUR IN PRIVATE ECONOMIES
16 million people are affected by privately imposed forced labour, with the majority being women. Half of these people are in debt bondage. Privately imposed forced labour can be found in agriculture, domestic work, manufacturing, construction, and several other sectors.
This includes forced sexual exploitation of adults, imposed by private agents for commercial purposes, and all forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children. It encompasses the use, procurement, or offering of children for prostitution or pornography. Most victims of sexual exploitation are women and girls.
INDENTURED CHILD LABOUR
One in four victims of modern slavery are children. Forced labour of children is defined as work performed by a child under coercion applied by a third party (other than his or her parents) either to the child or to the child’s parents, or work performed by a child as a direct consequence of his or her parent or parents being engaged in forced labour. The coercion may take place during the child’s recruitment or once the child is working.
STATE-IMPOSED FORCED LABOUR
This includes citizens recruited by their state authorities to participate in agriculture or construction work for purposes of economic development, young military conscripts forced to perform work that are not of military nature, and those forced to perform communal services that are not decided upon at the community level.
This refers to situations where persons, regardless of their age, have been forced to marry without their consent. A person might be forced to marry through physical, emotional, or financial duress, deception or the use of force or threats. They then endure a situation that involves losing their sexual autonomy, and it often involves providing labour under the guise of “marriage”. Most victims are women and girls.
How does modern slavery affect businesses?
As technology develops, so does the threat of modern slavery. Modern slavery has allegedly been facilitated by popular online platforms for ride-sharing, home letting, and social networking, to name just a few examples.
Modern slavery impacts the banking world in many ways, from the money laundering risks, to risks of financing illicit activity through loans or investments. This multi-billion dollar crime is a key area of concern for any financial institution.
The majority of manufacturing operations use multiple tiers of suppliers all the way down to raw material level, and as a result the end user may not have full oversight the supply chain of their product.
The hospitality sector is impacted by potential use of their premises for forced prostitution, as well as risk when using sub-contracted staff, they also experience modern slavery risk in their supply chains.
Health & Beauty
Modern slavery in the health and beauty industry is known to exist in establishments such as spas, massage parlours and nail salons. Some of these establishments may also act as fronts for brothels, as well as a means through which the proceeds of the illicit activity may be laundered.
Food & beverage
The food harvesting, packing and processing industries have seen modern slavery in their factories and plants, whereby workers are forced to work long hours in terrible conditions, to pay back debts incurred or for little or no pay.
Often, illegal fishing boats will spend months at a time at sea, and some workers who board do not survive violent conditions onboard. Fish processing factories are also known to have used forced labour in assembly chains.
The smooth running of business and offices often require the support of subcontracted cleaning, maintenance, security staff and others. Often the employment conditions of these workers are hidden from oversight of the business that they are working within, due to layers of subcontracting.
Modern slavery can be found in large, small and domestic construction projects. The common use of subcontractors in construction can make understanding the true source of labour and treatment difficult for owners of the project.
Commercial sex work
Victims of trafficking into sex may become involved in selling sexual services on the streets, in bars, massage parlours, residential brothels, and hotels, or via online advertisements and/or escort services.
Farming and agriculture is heavily impacted by modern slavery, as workers are used to pick crops, tend to farmland, and process raw materials. Access a detailed list of goods identified as having a high risk of forced and children labour.
Modern slavery is found in the supply chains for various products that use mined minerals. A key example is cobalt, which is used in the production of lithium batteries that are part of the assembly of consumer goods such as smart phones.