Big Brands, Big Meetings, Big Summits, but Modern Slavery Still Problem for UK

It’s rather ironic that while british lefties and liberals agonise over the use of several kinds of slave labour in the clothing and electronics sweatshops of South-east Asia and Africa, their American counterparts are still grizzling over a form of slavery that was abolished in their country 150 years ago, constantly whining about how people whose grand – parent were not born when the slaves were freed are still suffering because of the Atlantic slave trade, but happy (and some seem ecstatic but maybe that’s the drugs,) to walk around wearing their Adidas or Nike trainers, clothes from Primark or H&M, or their Apple iPhones or iPads, or Samsung Galaxies. The case is that anything you have which is made in China, India, Bangla Desh, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigerea, Ghana or any other third world nation that manufactures for the global brands propable uses indentured (i.e. slave) labour in some stages of the production chain.

Online fashion giant Asos hosted an event in Mauritius this month to discuss issues surrounding modern slavery in the retail industry, meanwhile the UK is holding a Modern Slavery Summit to see how law enforcement agencies can prosecute more perpetrators of human trafficking. Will thins help? Well judge for yourselves but who can forget the story of the Romanian girl sold to a crime network that trafficked girls to western Europe to work as prostitutes. She was free by do-gooderfuckers in the UK, only to be shipped back to Romania where the authorities handed her back to her father … who immediately sold her back to the traffickers. The stotu came to light when she was freed a second time. but back to the most notoriously reliant on slave labour, the fashion industry.

Brand executives from Adidas, Puma, zLabels, Woolworths and Whistles which all manufacture goods in Mauritius, met anti-slavery lobby groups including the International Labour Organization, the Ethical Trading Initiative and Anti Slavery International and agreed that ‘something needed to be done. So they decided to have a few more meetings. Asos was the first online fashion business to sign up to the Global Framework agreement which aims to improve working conditions for 50 million people, making a public commitment to eradicate slavery from its supply chains but is rather vaguer about how it will achieve its aims.

Valter Sanches, General Secretary of IndustriALL, a federation of trade unions representing 70 milion people globally, said, “This agreement provides mechanisms and standards to empower our unions to safeguard workers’ rights across ASOS’ global supply chain. The GFA deepens our relationship with ASOS, and is an important step for supply chain industrial labour relations.”ASOS has long been committed to protecting the human rights of those who work in its
supply chainvia a dedicated Ethical Trade programme, which ensures sourcing practices are continually reviewed and improved, ASOS launched its first Modern Slavery Statement in 2017.
READ MORE: British Businesses Must Do More to Stamp Out Modern Slavery in Supply Chains

It’s all good PR to be sure, but while the big brands will use it to polish their image, will it actually make any difference in the sweat shops of the third world.?

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