Asian businesses mull tech solutions to fight modern slavery

September 14, 2017 by Teresa Cerojano

Asia's business leaders are working on recommendations for protecting migrant workers from slavery and other abuse, according to Australia's ambassador for people smuggling and human trafficking.

One might be to create a regional website that rates employment recruiters—something already being done in Vietnam, Andrew Goledzinowski said. Another idea could be to designate a common telephone number as a regional hotline, similar to what the sportswear company Adidas provides to its factory workers in China and elsewhere.

Goledzinowski suggested the ideas at a forum of officials and business leaders from 45 Indo-Pacific countries known as the Bali Process, aimed at ensuring supply chains were not tainted by slave labor.

Participants agreed at the meeting in Perth, Australia, to submit recommendations to governments next year "for how to better manage the recruitment of migrant workers and the protection of migrant workers," Goledzinowski said in an interview Wednesday.

The idea is to improve supply chain transparency "so that businesses are not just responsible for what happens in their , but also who they buy from," he said.

Participants also suggested freeing workers from having to paying for their own recruitment. That often leads to workers dealing with recruiters they do not know, being charged high fees and then having their passport taken away when they reach their destination.

"And very quickly you are trafficked, in fact, you are in debt bondage," he said, expressing hope that agree that " should not have to pay for their own recruitment."

The recommendations will cover employment ethics, transparency standards and safeguards for victims and whistle-blowers. Some will be classed as minimum standards, and some as more ambitious targets.

"There's a lot that can be done which actually is quite easy, but it only works if everyone does it," Goledzinowski said.

Explore further: Employee outsourcing hides slaves in the workforce, shows research

Related Stories

Wives of migrant workers at higher risk of HIV in Nepal

May 23, 2017

Travelling abroad to work or study has become a national trend in Nepal, especially in the young male population. Over three million Nepali migrant workers are in the Middle East, Malaysia and India. Particularly in India ...

Recommended for you

Secrets of extinct cow with face like a bulldog revealed

June 15, 2018

An international team of scientists have used the latest genetic and anatomical techniques to study the remains of a cow with a short face like a bulldog that fascinated Charles Darwin when he first saw it in Argentina 180 ...

Ancient mammal ancestor found and identified in China

June 14, 2018

A team of researchers from China and the U.S. has identified a new ancient mammal ancestor recently found in a part of China. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes the creature, which they have ...

New research unveils true origin of ancient turquoise

June 13, 2018

New research published today in the journal Science Advances overturns more than a century of thought about the source of turquoise used by ancient civilizations in Mesoamerica, the vast region that extends from Central Mexico ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.