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Labour rights advocates raise concerns about role of social media companies in facilitating exploitative recruitment & modern slavery

Author: Aliya Ram, Financial Times, Published on: 29 August 2018

"Modern slavery campaigners turn to online exploitation," 28 August 2018 [Subscription only]

A recent report co-ordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation... cited the Locuri de munca in strainatate page [Facebook page meaning “jobs abroad” in Romanian] for featuring adverts that raised concerns about potential risks to workers. It said job ads that promised unrealistically high pay, offered no address for a recruitment agency or only shared a general description of work were “common red flags” for potentially exploitative recruitment... [According to] Phillip Fishman, a senior adviser at the International Labour Organization... “I do think they [social media companies] have a responsibility... if Facebook knows that there is an entity targeting a Nepalese audience to go work in the Gulf and promising $50,000 to $60,000 [a year], the question for Facebook is how much responsibility do they have to take to ensure that the advertisement is connected to reality?”

... Caroline Robinson, director of the Focus on Labour Exploitation campaign group [said]... "There is an urgent need to advance global debates on minimum standards for safe recruitment and to monitor compliance with such standards... No single country can act to end this, international co-ordination is essential."... Facebook said it was working with the UN and grassroots organisations to raise awareness of human smuggling and trafficking. "We also continually consult with experts in this area to ensure our policies appropriately account for emerging trends in this space, and we remain committed to keeping this illegal activity off Facebook," a spokesperson said.

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