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2022 Assembly

 

The Freedom Fund: SLAVERY RESEARCH BULLETIN, 17 JULY 2023

 

JULY 17, 2023 / BULLETIN: THE FREEDOM FUND / @FREEDOM_FUND

Welcome to the Freedom Fund’s monthly bulletin designed to bring you new and compelling research from the global anti-slavery movement.

2023 Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State

The 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report emphasises the importance of partnering with survivors and survivor-led organisations to advance anti-trafficking efforts and minimise harm. Concerns were also raised about unreliable social audits of companies, misconceptions surrounding the trafficking of boys, and trafficking for forced criminal activities in cyber scam operations. The annual assessment of government responses resulted in the upgrading of Ethiopia, Hong Kong and Indonesia to Tier 2, while Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam were promoted to the Tier 2 Watch List. Conversely, Namibia and Slovenia were downgraded to Tier 2, and Algeria, Chad, and Djibouti were relegated to Tier 3.

Exploitation of Kenyan child in domestic work

The African Institute for Children Studies and The Freedom Fund examine the conditions faced by child domestic workers (CDWs) in Kenya. Based on surveys and discussions with over 500 CDWs, employers and child protection experts, the study found that children as young as seven years old were in domestic work. Many of the CDWs reported exploitative conditions, including physical and emotional abuse disguised as “discipline” and being unable to leave their workplace to seek healthcare when ill or injured (29 percent). It was also common for parents to draw their children’s salary in advance from the employer, locking the child into bonded labour.

Poor reporting of ethical practices in violence research

A systematic review led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assesses the ethical protocols among 75 peer-reviewed studies that collected primary data on violence against women and children. The researchers used a 14-item ‘best practice’ checklist and, on average, the studies only adhered to 31 percent of the items. Studies most frequently described the ethical clearance and informed consent process, but were least transparent about referrals for minors in adverse events and soliciting participant feedback. The authors call for the development of standardised ethical procedures for study on violence against women and children.

Modern slavery disclosure by UK companies

Research led by the University of Westminster investigates the correlation between companies’ level of modern slavery disclosure (MSD) and board gender diversity. Based on content analysis of MSD statements from 100 UK-listed companies, the analysis finds a positive and statistically significant link – companies with more females on the board are more transparent about their actions to fight modern slavery. A critical mass of at least four female directors is necessary before any positive impact on MSD can be observed. Despite a gradual improvement in MSD, companies tend to focus more on symbolic actions like policy-setting rather than substantial practices such as due diligence.

“Change” from the perspectives of women workers

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) reintroduces its e-magazine, titled “Our Work Our Lives”. This e-magazine emerged from discussions among GAATW members on the organisation of women workers and their perceptions of “change” in their lives. This latest issue showcases women who serve as community organisers and union leaders in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Sri Lanka, and their endeavours to bring about changes in the workplace.

For more news, please visit The Freedom Fund website