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 University of Hong Kong evaluates a media campaign implemented as part of the Freedom Fund’s central Nepal program. The campaign, 18minus, targeted male customers who frequent adult entertainment venues in Kathmandu, where sexual exploitation of children is known to take place. Based on surveys with 1,204 customers between baseline and endline, the evaluation found the campaign raised awareness of exploitation in venues but had less effect on wider norms that lead to the sexualisation of young girls.
UNICEF and the International Labour Organization released their annual global report on child labour. Using 106 national datasets, covering nearly two thirds of the global population of 5 to 17 year olds, the report estimates that 160 million children are in child labour globally, with 79 million involved in hazardous work. As a result of the covid-19 pandemic, 9 million more children are predicted to be in child labour by the end of 2022.
SOMO and Arisa investigate the pervasiveness of forced labour in Tamil Nadu’s spinning mills. Interviewing 725 workers across 29 spinning mills, the researchers found indicators of forced labour in all mills studied, including deceptive recruitment, wage theft, abusive working conditions and forced overtime. Ten international garment brands were directly linked to the 29 mills where conditions of forced labour were evident.
Greenpeace and Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia document abuse of Indonesian migrant workers in the fishing industry. Focusing on 62 complaints filed from 2019 to 2020, the research linked these cases to 45 vessels belonging to companies from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Cote d’Ivoire and Nauru. Of the cases studied, 82 percent reported abusive living and working conditions, 87 percent reported withholding of wages and 80 percent reported deceptive recruitment.
The Remedy Foundation and the Freedom Fund highlight opportunities and barriers to local participation in anti-slavery litigation. Based on interviews with stakeholders in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, the study examined the vital role of local groups working with international actors on litigation for corporate accountability. Despite landmark cases in these countries, local organisations still had few pathways to connect with actors from the Global North. Interviewees also emphasised the risks of violence and harassment faced by local groups seeking litigation.
Our CEO Nick Grono spoke with Denver Frederick in the Business of Giving podcast about why modern slavery is so pervasive and what is being done to address it.
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