How COVID has worsened modern slavery

Between The Lines


My guests are Sierra and Stephen. Moore. So a husband and wife team the CO founders and directors of the Anti Slavery Organization. On China now, sadly, even with all the framework implies to tackle slavery along comes twenty twenty, the covid virus complicated further by the recession of the world economy. Sarah keeping with you how has the pandemic affected the workers at the bottom of the supply chain? mean the depend makers having catastrophic effects on supply chains and the people within them. We know that right at the beginning of covid thousands of people lost their jobs overnight. For example, Bangladeshi workers in factories would just told simply not come back to work the next day I read a story of a Lady Fatima. Twenty six with one child and she said one minute I was working the Knicks I was told to go home and not come back. What will I do and we're doing this story I ever either again, just yesterday I read about full thousand Filipino workers have been laid off because they contracts have been canceled from big name brands on this side of the world. This is a reminder that lives of the poorest of the poor said they must affected. You know when factories closed down no water more krant leaving no access to medical care very disturbing stephen a terrible Arnie has come from the pen Jimmy can one of these stories can you tell us about the manufacturers of people? In Malaysia Southeast Asia. Yes so Malaysia is a major producer of rubber and therefore rubber products made from rubber, and so we know that prior to Kevin. tain they were upset in bands on on manufacturers in the US are guiding the manufacturing of a products because of the conditions of workers and the standards that were in place. What's interesting is that as the pandemic breakout at the Dimond four PPA products through those Restrictions were lifted so that those products could be made and so this is concerning regarding the explosia increasing the risk of on slavery in those areas, and that brings us to Australia I can just imagine those of you cheating gene. You'd like to think of yourself as an ethical consumer. You wouldn't buy anything from a supply that explored its employees off certainly thought that Sarah is it really true. Look here in Australia, the Global Slavery Index estimates that there around fifteen thousand people living in slavery. So they miceli in the agriculture construction domestic service hospitality and sex industries says as well as services provided often by subcontractors such as cleaning security. And even car washing. Stephen. I'm sure he made a lot of Astrid. Slavery. Happens in this country till us more. Conversations on a daily basis with lots of companies and receptionists and executive assistants who sort of take a second look in the modern modern what slavery does this sexually occur? So there is a growing understanding of this issue in certain sectors of society, which is great to say a growing desire among consumers, a young consumers to be careful in how they purchase and what they buying to know what's behind the brand and the backyard. But there is still a great need for consumers and businesses to understand what are the implications of the choices they make and to make sure that. Is for ethically my products is actually real. And you think of different types of slavery forced marriage debt bondage six slavery child labor in the strain context who are the most vulnerable groups to fall victim to exploitation soon. Well Australia we have a number of women and at times there underage who are forced into marriage. So married against the will. That is an issue. 'CAUSE estimates around four and a half thousand up to eight thousand in Australia in the new. Year. So. These these people are at risk. We also know that there a risk among temporary workers, migrant workers in Australia there's up to one million. Timber Workers in Australia and they have been badly affected by covid nineteen, and so they are now at risk of having to receive low pay and also to do jobs for no pay. As you say covers made it harder but Sarah how do you identify person or group WHO's being exploited? That's right. I mean I, guess, it depends on the industry. But for example, I read a story about a man quote Abdul who was a Bangladeshi man who was working on a construction site just outside of camera. He came here thinking that he was going to be able to earn a lot of money to send I am to his family to send his children to school. But in the end, he ended up working six days a week for around two hundred, fifty dollars and was forced to give one hundred dollars backup that to his employer for accommodation costs and so I guess it's if you're on a construction site, it's looking at WHO's there. Do they speak English do they have appropriate? Even having a conversation with them to find out. Are they. Okay. Because a lot of these people feel like they don't have a voice, they often don't speak English and. Attend to. So you know in the case of healthcare workers keeping your eye out for people who come through the emergency department who maybe controlled by an older man, for example, looking out for signs of physical sexual emotional abuse.

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