Human Trafficking & Forced Labor

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Human Trafficking & Forced Labor

Basic Training Module of Human Trafficking and Forced Labor

Table of contents

What is Human Trafficking & Forced Labor?
How big is the problem?
Countries at high risk
Common issues
Problem of reporting
What does the Law say?
Prevention with Management Systems
Identification Practices
Recruitment Practices
Best Practices

What is Human Trafficking & Forced Labor?
Employees are in vulnerable state (cannot pay back loans, debts, cannot provide for his/her family, forced to stay in employment longer than expected)
Employees pay unlawful fees (transportation, recruitment, medical tests, uncertain training), taxes, deposits and/or bonds charged for the purpose of recruitment or employment/ as a condition of employment
Employees receive threats of terminations and/or repatriations (e.g. threats of repatriation for foreign workers or sending back home of migrant workers)
Human trafficking results in forced, bonded, indentured labor & sexual exploitation

The illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of exploitation, forced labor and slavery

Uncertain training: some brokers in labor-exporting countries charge high fees for training migrant workers (basic language, job skill, social manner) before they sent them to the destination country.

  • Can you think of examples of forced labor?

How big is the problem?

2,45 million people worldwide are trafficked & forced to work.

40% of people are being forced to work, which is a 10% increase compared to the 2007-2010 period.
33% of detected victims are children, which is a 5% increase compared to the 2007-2010 period.

Countries At High Risk of Human Trafficking
Not fully compliant but making significant efforts
Not fully compliant but making significant efforts:
number of victims very significant or increasing
failed to provide evidence of efforts
commitments by country for future steps
Do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so
Dominican Rep.
Hong Kong
El Salvador
Korea DPR
Russian Fed.
Sri Lanka

Where trafficked people are sourced
Where trafficked people are sourced and received
Where trafficked people are received


  • Where is your country listed under?

Common Issues
Severe debt (debt bondage, peonage) due to illegal recruitment
No legally required employee custody of original documents (e.g. passport, work permit, birth certification, official ID card, driver’s license, family record book)
Restrictions from resigning employment through threats, debts, deposits or other abusive means
Unlawful deposit requirements - Deposits above 20% of 1 month’s basic salary
Wage withholding for more than two pay periods
Unlawful mandatory overtime
Mandatory overtime beyond legal overtime limits in written policy
Mandatory overtime under the menace of penalty (e.g. abuse, financial penalties, loss of privileges)
Monetary deductions resulting from unlawful disciplinary actions
Monetary deposits for items not mandated by law or agreement (PPE, uniforms, tools etc.)

Can you describe how can a worker get into severe debt, in case of human trafficking?
From time of recruitment, hiring, and employment practices.

Problem of reporting
They do not want to jeopardize that job by exposing how they got it.
They may be in a country illegally and liable to (or afraid of) prosecution themselves.
The criminals involved make sure that the threat of sanctions is strong enough to deter exposure.

The victims of forced labor and modern slavery are usually reluctant to come forward because there is little benefit for them in reporting the crime.
Can you think of ways to encourage the workers to come forward in case of forced labor?
Does your factory have any grievance mechanisms? Do you know details?

What does the Law say?
Local laws

What does the Law say?
International laws
The ILO’s Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) of 1930 defines forced labor as, “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.” The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, adopted in 1956, defines debt bondage as “the status or condition arising from a pledge by a debtor of his personal services or of those of a person under his control as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt of the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined.”

California Transparency Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657)
Modern Slavery Act of 2015 (UK law)

What is slavery?
Is it legal in your country? Or any country?

California Transparency Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657)
Retailers and manufacturers must disclose on their website, by Jan 1, 2012, the extent that they have done the following related to human trafficking & slavery in their supply chain:

Assess, verify and address risks and identify if the verification is not conducted by a third party.
Audit suppliers to assess compliance to the company’s standards and identify if the verification did not involve an independent, unannounced audit.
Require direct suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into their products comply with the relevant laws of the countries in which they are doing business.
Maintain internal accountability standards and procedures for employees or contractors that do not meet the company’s standards.
Provide training on human trafficking & slavery and how to mitigate related risks, to employees and management who have direct responsibility for supply chain management.

Does your factory have to disclose whether they traffic people?
To whom?

Modern Slavery Act of 2015 (UK law)
The act is designed to tackle slavery in the UK and consolidates the current offences relating to trafficking and slavery.
Criminals found guilty will be arrested and prosecuted. 

The act contains a number of provisions:

A commercial organization must prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organization.
A slavery and human trafficking statement for a financial year is a statement of the steps the organization has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, and in any part of its own business, or a statement that the organization has taken no such steps.
An organization’s slavery and human trafficking statement may include information about—
(a) the organization’s structure, its business and its supply chains;
(b) its policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking;
(c) its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains;
(d) the parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;
(e) its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate;
(f) the training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff.

  1. Duties maybe imposed on commercial organizations due to this are enforceable by the Secretary of State bringing civil proceedings in the High Court for an injunction or, in Scotland, for specific performance of a statutory duty under section 45 of the Court of Session Act 1988.

Effective October 2015
all commercial organizations carrying on business in UK with a total turnover of GBP36m or more must publicly report on the steps they have taken to ensure their supply chains and business operations are human trafficking and slavery free.

Forced, bonded, indentured, slave and prison labor are prohibited.

No employee shall be in debt due to recruitment or employment. No employee shall be subject to any illegal deposits or deposits of more than 20% of one month’s wages. Suppliers shall not withhold wages for more than two pay periods.
Employees shall maintain custody and/or have free access to personal identity documents, must be guaranteed freedom of movement, and shall not be restricted from terminating employment (other than restrictions pertaining to legal notice periods).
Suppliers shall abide by all applicable laws on mandatory overtime. Mandatory overtime (if legally permitted) shall be within legal overtime limits in policy and in practice. Mandatory overtime shall not be implemented under the menace of penalty and employees shall provide written consent to mandatory overtime requirements prior to employment or overtime.
Suppliers shall not utilize prison laborers in its production processes, neither within nor outside a prison facility.
Use standards as example

Prevent non-compliances by setting up strong policies for forced, bonded and indentured labor

All hiring and termination practices meet or exceed legal requirements. Suppliers impose strict recruitment practices to mitigate the risk of trafficking in persons
Suppliers shall use registered or licensed recruitment agencies when recruiting migrant (domestic and foreign) employees.
Suppliers shall classify employees and provide terms of employment, as required by law. Employees shall be aware of their employment terms and provided with a copy of the labor contract, in a language understood by the employee. Employees shall not be required to sign an incomplete labor contract.
Terms of employment promised to the employee during recruitment and hire shall meet the actual terms of employment.
Employees shall be free from paying fees (e.g., fees for transportation, recruitment, and medical tests), taxes, deposits and/or bonds charged for the purpose of recruitment or employment or as a condition of employment. Employees shall not be indebted due to the recruitment or hiring process and, thus, be able to freely terminate employment.
Suppliers shall not use illegal recruitment and hiring tests for the purpose of recruitment or employment or as a condition of employment. Suppliers shall not test for pregnancy or HIV unless permitted by local law. Employees shall be hired and maintained in employment regardless of pregnancy or marital status.
Suppliers shall request original, legal documentation to verify the employees’ age at the time of hire and eligibility to work, and maintain documentation or copies of documentation to demonstrate due diligence.
Employee probation periods shall be in compliance with the law. Suppliers shall not illegally terminate employees and shall maintain termination records, as required by law, and at minimum for the past 12 months.
Employees shall be free from threats of termination and/or repatriation.

Use standards as example

Identification practices
Vulnerable Employees
Migrant workers
Guest workers
Seasonal workers
Illegal workers
Recruitment Practices
Complex recruitment process
Use of labor brokers
Labor fees
Visa restrictions
Contract substitution
Working Conditions
Passport retention
Deduction wage withholdings
Contract termination penalties
Physical isolation

Best practices for forced, bonded and indentured labor

Well established and open communication channels in factory
Workers trainings
Well established grievances mechanisms with no fear of retaliation
Reputable Agency Partners
Hiring in-country to avoid recruitment agencies
Management personal heart-to-heart talk with individual employee
Review official appraisal record of recruiting agency (when available)
Periodically conducting internal reviews
Making available to the public information on the company’s monitoring program and its process to remediate/improve performance
Grievance Process
Develop a written grievance policy and provide multiple channels for employees to raise concerns and suggestions confidentially or anonymously without fear of retaliation
Develop effective grievance procedures and inform all employees at the start of employment
Investigate and document all grievances, and communicate the decision for solutions back to the employee

Can you name a few grievance mechanisms?
Does your factory have any? Which?

Thank you!

Building factories’ sustainable compliance operations
Capacity building (CB) programs in the form of classroom trainings & seminars
Remediation services
E-learning programs and webinars
Easy access to our resources from the Sustainability Resource Center (SRC) website
Training programs offered:
Achieve compliance in terms of labor, health and safety, environment and ethics.
Achieving Sustainable Compliance
Identify and rectify existing and potential fire and electrical hazards.
Develop processes to manage risks .
Fire & Electrical Safety
Identify and assess general health and safety hazards.
Develop processes to manage risks .
Hazards Identification & Risk Assessment
Achieve environmental sustainability in the areas of energy use, wastewater, water use, air emissions, waste management, chemicals, soil and groundwater.
Environmental Sustainability
Develop and sustain positive employee relations and good employment practices based on effective recruitment & workforce communication .
Employment Practices & Employee Relations
Identify and understand the root causes of non-compliances issues by finding the fundamental reason(s) that caused the failure.
Root Cause Analysis
Prepare factory for successful C-TPAT validation by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), required for products shipped to the USA.
Achieving C-TPAT Standards
Identify and address human trafficking and forced labor in your recruitment practices and the global supply chain.
Human Trafficking & Forced Labor
Ensure responsible sourcing of products.
Meet Dodd-Frank Act’s reporting requirements.
Conflict Minerals