Forced labour - an introduction
Below are select introductory materials on business and forced labour. Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Forced labour" section of our site.
- Key international standards
- Key reports & guidance
- Concerns, company responses & non-responses
- Positive steps by companies
- Lawsuits regarding forced labour
Key international standards
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: articles 4, 23.1
International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 29: Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour
ILO Convention 105: Convention Concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour
ILO Convention 182: Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
Key reports & guidance
The Human Rights and Business Pages: Forced Labour [PDF], Amnesty Intl. Netherlands, Feb 2006
Forced labour, UN Global Compact - Human Rights Dilemmas Forum
Why Is Forced Labour My Business?, Anti-Slavery Intl.
The Secret World of Modern Slavery [PDF], Michael Smith & David Voreacos, Bloomberg Markets, Dec 2006
Concerns, company responses & non-responses
The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct. Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding forced labour. We also indicate when a company has not responded.
Angola: Security companies for diamond mining operations in Cuango responsible for killings, torture, beatings & other abuses, says report, Sep 2006. Response from ENDIAMA (Empresa Nacional de Diamantes de Angola), ITM Mining, Lazare Kaplan, Lev Leviev Group, Odebrecht.
Argentina: Allegations that Argentinean clothing brands sourcing from clandestine factories where Bolivians work in “slave-like conditions”, May 2006. Response from Graciella Naum, Olga Naum. No response received from Montagne
Burma: Burma Campaign UK adds 30 firms to "Dirty List", including Lotus Travel Service, Jan 2009. Responses from Djoser Reisen, Electric Power Development Company (EPDC), OrkideExpressen, Regent Holidays, Shellseekers, SpiceRoads, Studiosus, TUI, UMW Holdings. No responses received from Asiana, China Gezhouba Group Co. (CGGC), China Hydropower Engineering Group Co. (CHECC), China National Electric Equipment Co., Exotissimo, Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank), First Cabin, Gaffney Cline & Associates, Grand Circle Travels, Hunan Savoo Overseas Water & Electric Engineering Co., Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO), Kunming Hydroelectric Investigation, Lotus Travel Service, Malcolm Dunstan & Associates (MD&A) British, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Nobel Oil, Sputnik Petroleum, Wendy Wu Tours, Yunnan Machinery Equipment Import & Export Co. (YMEC), Yunnan Power Grid Co.
Burma: Two EarthRights reports accuse Chevron & Total's Yadana pipeline of links to forced labour & killings, undermining sanctions; also cites banks OCBC, DBS, Sep 2009. Responses from Chevron, DBS, OCBC, Total.
Jordan: Human trafficking & wide range of abuses at Mediterranean Resources, according to US-based National Labor Committee - supplies Hanesbrands, Wal-Mart, Sep 2008. Responses from Hanesbrands, Mediterranean Resources Apparel Industry, Wal-Mart.
Positive steps by companies
Related stories and components
Author: AAP [Australian Associated Press]
Papua New Guineans are being treated like slaves and forced to live in appalling conditions in logging camps run by a Malaysian timber giant...Huon Gulf MP Sasa Zibe...called on Forestry Minister Patrick Pruaitch to expel the company, Rimbunan Hijau,...
- Related stories: PNG [Papua New Guinea] timber workers 'treated like slaves'
- Related in-depth areas: Forced labour - an introduction Latest news on Pacific Business & Human Rights
- Related companies: Rimbunan Hijau
Author: Burma Campaign UK
The report Totalitarian Oil - TOTAL Oil: Fuelling the oppression in Burma, coincides with the launch of a global campaign against the company, supported by 40 organisations in 18 countries...Key findings of the report include: TOTAL as the largest...
- Related stories: Campaign supported by 40 organisations calls on Total to quit Burma
- Related in-depth areas: Complicity - an introduction Forced labour - an introduction
- Related companies: Total
Author: Peggy Joe Donahue, Professional Jeweler
Tiffany & Co. has notified its suppliers it will once again purchase ruby, spinel and jadeite mined in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) as long as the suppliers warrant the gems are cut and polished elsewhere, as most are. [also refers to Mason...