Fresh from a lengthy investigative article by the Washington Post and increased international attention to cobalt, Amnesty International announced it is calling on electric car manufacturers to be more transparent about this key ingredient in their vehicles and its possible connections to modern-day slavery and child labor.
Alliance 8.7 was launched on September 21 during the UN General Assembly in support of meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7, to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of
The Washington Post’s latest story exposes the often dangerous conditions faced by African workers in cobalt mines, adding to the increasing worldwide attention paid to human rights issues in global supply chains and raw material sourcing.
Foreign migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitative labor practices and at risk for forced labor. In 2014, Hewlett-Packard Company was the first IT company to develop its own Foreign Migrant Worker Standard, which sets requirements for the recruitment, selection, hiring, and management of foreign migrant workers by or on behalf of suppliers doing business with us. The standard requires direct employment of foreign migrant workers, protects workers from passport and personal documentation retention by management, and prohibits worker-paid recruitment fees.
On Thursday, the US State Department removed Thailand from the human trafficking blacklist. Though Thailand has been a spotlight country when dealing with forced labor, the State Department made their decision based on the criteria outlined in the Human Trafficking Persons Report.
Over the past decade, state and national regulations have been put in place to increase the efforts of mitigating slavery from the supply chain of global enterprises. The goal of anti-slavery regulations is to identify and take steps to eliminate modern day slavery from supply chains. The regulations and laws put in place can be broken down into three major categories; affirmative conduct, disclosure, and liability provisions.
Affirmative Conduct Requires companies to declare a violation to the government.
Forced labor generates $150 billion in illegal profits every year. From hazardous conditions in Congo mines to factory workers trapped in bonded labor debt, major companies have faced reputational risks through their supply chain processes.