October 2017 Reports
The government of India has been advised to launch a campaign to “discredit” research into the country’s modern slavery problem because it has the “potential to substantially harm India’s image and exports”, according to an Indian news report.
The Walk Free Foundation, an anti-slavery organisation established by Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, was specifically singled out in a memo reportedly prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), an Indian security agency, and obtained by the Indian Express.
Business leaders from some of the UK’s largest companies have partnered with the UK government to form the Business Against Slavery forum. The leaders include CEO’s from Burberry, BT, HSBC, SKY and Barclays. The forum will work to increase transparency in supply chains building on the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The scale and complexity of the supply chain, which leads to outsourcing and subcontracting of labour, makes transparency incredibly difficult. It is estimated that forced labour creates $150 billion in illegitimate profits.
The apparel industry has seen the most exposure in relation to its connection with human rights violation. One of the biggest problems is its complex supply chain. The industry relies on migrant labour, labour outsourcing, and a large amount of subcontracting, providing fertile ground for exploitation. The article further references to issues in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan and bonded labour in India.
Child trafficking in areas of extreme poverty has become the norm. Children’s vulnerability is hugely abused making them a prime target for trafficking and selling into the workforce, for jobs in homes, hotels, farms and manufacturing. A child at such a young age is easily manipulated and does not challenge conditions as this has become the norm.
A self-titled “young girls’ club” has taken over the running of Thennamadevi, a small village in southern India. Thennamadevi is racked by alcoholism. Most of its 150 male inhabitants participate in ruinous daily drinking sessions. Around 90 women with families in the village have been widowed. The youngest husband to die was 21.
Since taking over the young girls’ club has made a number of improvements to the village, which have been noticed by aid agencies and politicians across the state. It is the possibility of change that sits behind the inspiration of these teenagers. As one of the senior club members, Gowsalya Radhakrishnan, said: “By not accepting our fate we will give others the knowledge they can shape the future.”
Ethical Shopping: Are We Really On Board? - Huffington Post
Due to greater consumer awareness of the environment and their impact on the environment when buying, many consumers are now making a conscious decision to purchase from brands with an ethical/sustainable ethos. However, price is a major factor in the buying process, and ethical/sustainably produced goods tend to be more expensive and focus on slow-fashion and anti-consumption.