Welcome to the Slavery Research Bulletin, the Freedom Fund’s monthly brief designed to bring you new & compelling research from the global anti-slavery movement.
The International Labour Organization estimates that lockdown measures are affecting 2.7 billion workers, or 81 percent of the global workforce – the most severe employment crisis since the Second World War. The 2 billion workers in the informal economy are most at risk of falling deeper into poverty and debt, with little income replacement during periods of lockdown or in case of sickness.
A working paper by the Center for Global Development identifies pathways in which a pandemic can be linked to increased violence against women and children. For example, a survey of 400 frontline workers in Australia reported a 40 percent increase in calls for help during this current period of isolation due to covid-19.
A note from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee recommends best practices for integrating protection against sexual exploitation and abuse in responses to the covid-19 outbreak. Suggestions include strengthening existing commitments, such as training first responders on codes of conduct and providing access to safe reporting mechanisms.
Jan Sahas conducted a survey of over 3,000 migrant families in response to India’s lockdown due to covid-19. The report explains that 94 percent of workers stated that they don’t own a Building and Other Constructions Workers card, meaning that they are not able to receive benefits. Sixty-six percent stated that they would not be able to support themselves and their families after 21 days.
Research carried out by Focus on Labour Exploitation argues that Worker-driven Social Responsibility is a successful model in addressing forced labour in supply chains. Key features of this model include education for workers on their rights, a complaints mechanism to report violations and support from the lead company to its suppliers.
A report from the International Labour Organization shows that the average cost for a migrant worker to come and work in Thailand was USD 461, equivalent to 2 months of salary. Migrants who used an agency or broker ended up paying USD 100 more, on average. Out of the 1,200 workers surveyed, a quarter were given a job without a written contract, and only one in four were paid at least the minimum wage.
Delta 8.7 evaluates the impact covid-19 will have on modern slavery.
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