Millions of workers become slaves through the actions of unscrupulous labor brokers who charge exorbitant recruitment fees, either do not provide contracts or change contract terms, impose unreasonable deductions from promised wages and leave workers vulnerable to exploitation. For this reason, and with the support of a grant from Humanity United, ICCR has launched the “No Fees” initiative, an program designed to ultimately lead companies to create robust management systems which will ensure that workers in their immediate and extended supply chains are not forced to pay for employment. As the "pay for work" practice is especially prevalent at the commodity-sourcing level of the food supply chain, the “No Fees” initiative, will initially focus on promoting ethical recruitment in palm oil and seafood sourcing, and eventually scale up to the 50-plus companies already engaged by ICCR members on human rights issues including companies in the electronics, apparel, and extractives sectors. “No Fees” builds upon decades of productive ICCR corporate engagements on human rights and supply chain issues and further amplifies three years of ICCR member-led engagements with food and beverage companies on sustainable sourcing, production and labor practices for palm oil and seafood.
Featured ICCR Initiative
ICCR's No Fees Initiative: Corporate engagement with 12 companies sourcing palm oil and seafood either directly as food producers or indirectly as food retailers. Specifically, the companies will be asked to address the following:
- Create/supplement company policy and ensuing document regarding ethical recruitment. A robust company policy demonstrates a company commitment to respecting human rights, with reporting mechanism feeding into the current reporting on transparency in the supply chains act.
- Establish procedures that ensure suppliers are abiding by the company policy to recruit responsibly.
- Implement a supply chain traceability program to track the commodity to the producer
- Cease any relationships with suppliers that do not cooperate on the issue.
- Participate in the multi-stakeholder network of NGOs, investors, companies, trade associations and trade unions that are collectively working adopt better recruitment practices in given commodities (RSPO) and share the steps taken to ensure that the social/labor component stays on the sustainability agenda.
Featured ICCR Resources
Recruitment Revealed: Fundamental Flaws in the H-2 Visa Temporary Worker Program: Report from Centro de los Derechos del Migrante started a critical dialogue among policymakers about fraud and exploitation in the international labor recruitment process for H-2B and H-2A workers.
Picked Apart and Taken for a Ride - Also from from Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, these reports brought to public attention the systemic abuses affecting H-2B workers in the seafood and carnival industries.
Confronting Unethical Recruitment Practices: Modern Slavery in the Thai Seafood Sector: Listen to ICCR's webinar, featuring Valentina Gurney, associate program director, ICCR; Lisa Rende Taylor, director of Project Issara, Anti-Slavery International; and Genevieve Taft, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company.
Free and Fair labor in Palm Oil Production: Principles and Implementation Guidance. A key guidance document from Humanity United.
On the Hook for a Job. How migrant workers in the palm oil and seafood industries become trapped in slavery.
ICCR's Statement of Principles and Recommended Practices for Sustainable and Equitable Food Production: Integral to the sustainability of our food system is the health and prosperity of its workforce.
ICCR's Statement of Principles and Recommended Practices to Confront Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Upholding the dignity of the human person is the overarching principle upon which ICCR’s anti-slavery work is based.
Verite's Resources for Responsible Recruitment exposes risks in outsourcing recruitment to unscrupulous intermediaries, and lack of accountability measures at all levels of the supply chain.
Institute of Human Rights and Business' Fees and IDs: Tackling recruitment fees and confiscation of workers’ passports: Recommendations for business to prevent workers in their global supply chains paying recruitment fees.
Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity; A set of human rights-based principles to enhance respect for the rights of migrant workers from the moment of recruitment, during employment and through to further employment or safe return to home countries.
Verite's Fair Hiring Toolkit: The Fair Hiring Toolkit offers tools, guidance, and approaches to support the responsible recruitment and hiring of migrant workers in global supply chains.
The Equitable Food Initiative Compliance Criteria: Protection for H2A Workers