Human chains in the supply chain



Statistics about modern slavery

45.8 million: estimated number of people living in slavery worldwide. That's about the population of Spain.

75: number of countries where forced or child labour exists, according to the US Department of Labor. That's four in every 10 members of the UN.

50: potential number of supply chain links that go into making one electronic device. The more supply tiers, the harder it becomes to know if human rights are being respected.

How does modern slavery touch Australia?

Prawns from Thailand

In 2014 fishmeal suppliers to Thai prawn giant CP Foods are exposed using forced labour, keeping slaves trapped on fishing boats for years at a time. The prawns are sold in supermarkets all over the world. A scandal in 2015 revealed another company, Thai Union, using forced child labour on its production lines, peeling prawns headed for Australian supermarket freezers.

Electronics from Malaysia

Supply chain analysts Verité say that a third of foreign workers in Malaysia's electronics industry are in forced labour involving deceptive recruitment methods, destruction or withholding of ID documents, and no freedom to resign. Australia imported $1.1 billion of electronic goods from Malaysia in 2016 alone.

Exploitation in Australia

There are an estimated 4,300 in slavery in Australia, predominantly in agriculture, seafood processing, and the sex industry. In March 2017 WA Police found more than 40 farm workers from South-east Asia living in a Pemberton motel. It was alleged that a labour hire firm was exploiting the workers, hiring them out to local farms, stealing their wages, and charging them to stay in the overcrowded rooms. The fact that victims of trafficking are often here illegally makes them less likely to seek help from authorities.

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