by Amanda Kloer
Well-Made, a new campaign from Verite, focuses on one of the root causes of labor exploitation and slavery: hiring traps aimed at migrant workers. Hiring traps are a common way for people to end up in human trafficking. But human trafficking can be prevented by tracing supply chains back to hiring traps and exploitative hiring practices.
What is a hiring trap? Basically, it’s a situation where a labor recruiter uses some combination of deception and coercion to lure a worker into an exploitative work situation. Hiring traps and deceptive hiring practices are used by recruiters to lure workers into unfair or exploitative labor. Sometimes the job offers involve outright lies, and sometimes just omission of key details (like substandard living conditions). You can read some examples of hiring traps here.
If hiring traps are the problem, the Verite’s Well-Made Campaign has an answer. The initiative focuses on giving companies and investors the tools to trace supply chains back to the labor recruiters who are often behind hiring traps. Addressing these fair hiring issues at their root can help address many of the labor exploitation issues which show up in product supply chains. Migrant workers and contract workers are particularly vulnerable to labor broker abuses. Companies can solve a number of their labor compliance issues by monitoring the practices used to recruit and place workers in their supply chain.
At this point, Well-Made is mostly questioning companies, investors, and others who should ask to reduce exploitation in hiring practices. However, this is one of the most important first steps to developing a culture of corporate responsibility that leads all the way down the supply chain. It’s a good tool for companies committed to do the right thing, but what about those who are reluctant? Those who don’t see their supply chains as their responsibility? Or those who claim their supply chains are too complicated to monitor? We still need tools for them. Well-Made may not be the only campaign we’ll ever need, but as far I’ve seen, it’s the only initiative trying to follow a supply chain all the way from corporate headquarters to the hiring trap that leads to trafficking.
You can check out the Well-Made campaign for tools for companies, advocates, investors, and others to trace labor exploitation and human trafficking to one of its most common sources: hiring traps.
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