New 12-part report Confronting Root Causes: Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains– Genevieve Lebaron, Neil Howard, Cameron Thibos and Penelope Kyritsis, shines a light on key questions we need to ask when examining forced labour in global supply chains.
While Policy makers, business leaders and civil society organisations call for a determination of the root causes, commonly used terms such as ‘poverty’ and ‘globalisation’ tend to obscure ‘’a web of decisions and processes that maintain an unjust status quo, while being used as euphemisms for deeper socio-economic structures that lie at the core of the capitalist global economy. ’’ (Lebaron, Howard, Thibos and Kyritsis, 2018).
Working from the classic economic metaphor of ‘’Supply and Demand,’’ the report explores the understanding of an over-supply and imminently exploitable workforce versus the demand for their labour, integral to the contemporary constructs of global supply chains.
On the Supply side, the report identifies four dynamics which contribute to creating a corpus of workers who are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation: specifically, Poverty, Identity and discrimination, Limited labour protections and Restrictive mobility regimes.
On the Demand side, the report proffers Concentrated Corporate Power and Ownership, Outsourcing, Irresponsible Sourcing Practices and Governance Gaps, as the four dynamics which ‘’either create pressure within the market for highly exploitable forms of labour or open up spaces within which labour can be exploited.’’ (ibid).
Poverty and labour exploitation are frequently inter-linked with forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery and this particular report attempts to provide the reader with the tools to navigate the global value chain, which binds all of us and therefore implicates all of us in the responsibility to play our part in bringing an end to human trafficking and modern slavery.
Full report at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/genevieve-lebaron-neil-howard-cameron-thibos-penelope-kyritsis/confronting-root-causes
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.
New 12-part report Confronting Root Causes: Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains.