Forced Labor & Trafficking

Kenya, migration, human trafficking, forced labor, worker rights, Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center workers with partners like those in Kenya to end labor trafficking of migrant workers. Credit: Solidarity Center/Caroline Kasina

The Solidarity Center advocates an approach to combating human trafficking that puts worker rights at the forefront of solutions and calls for the labor movement to be involved.

Trafficking for forced labor results from the absence of human rights and effective governance. It often occurs in countries that restrict civic freedoms, have weak rule of law and prevent the exercise of the right to freedom of speech, assembly and association—including the right to form or join a trade union to represent their interests.

Trafficking for forced labor also thrives in un- or under-regulated supply chains and so combating trafficking must begin with empowered workers who can stand up to exploitation when it occurs.

Migrant workers are especially targets of human trafficking and forced labor. Corrupt labor brokers lie about the wages and working conditions workers should expect in a destination country and charge such huge fees for securing work that migrant workers cannot repay them even after years on the job, forcing them to remain in dangerous working conditions because their debt is too great. Employers use work visas and threats of deportation to exploit workers for forced labor.

With migrant workers, trade unions, human rights NGOs, governments and civil society coalitions around the globe, the Solidarity Center raises awareness about the causes and the extent of trafficking for forced labor and implements programs with our partners worldwide to combat this scourge. These programs address each of the four “Ps” that are part of the anti-trafficking toolkit: prevention, protection of victims, prosecution (access to justice) and partnerships. Solidarity Center programs recognize that we cannot eliminate forced labor without fundamentally changing how labor migration is managed around the world, how companies do business and how governments monitor and enforce human and labor rights.

Report: Ending Bonded Labor in Pakistan Brick Kilns

One of Pakistan’s most profitable sectors is also among its most prone to debt bondage, a form of forced labor considered to be modern slavery. While many administrative, legal, policy and social roadblocks prevent the up to 3 million brick kiln workers and their...

Turkmenistan: Forced Labor Remains in Cotton Supply Chain

Cotton bound for global markets from Turkmenistan—the ninth largest producer and seventh largest exporter of the world’s cotton—was again harvested with forced labor last year, finds a new report by the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights and turkmen.news. Students...

‘Information Is the Key’: Empowering Kyrgyzstan’s Young Workers

To promote youth civic engagement and the fair employment of women, workers with disabilities and those migrating outside the country to earn a living, the Solidarity Center’s second annual School of Young Leaders in Bishkek educated dozens of young people in...
Report: Ending Bonded Labor in Pakistan Brick Kilns

Report: Ending Bonded Labor in Pakistan Brick Kilns

One of Pakistan’s most profitable sectors is also among its most prone to debt bondage, a form of forced labor considered to be modern slavery. While many administrative, legal, policy and social roadblocks prevent the up to 3 million brick kiln workers and their...

Turkmenistan: Forced Labor Remains in Cotton Supply Chain

Turkmenistan: Forced Labor Remains in Cotton Supply Chain

Cotton bound for global markets from Turkmenistan—the ninth largest producer and seventh largest exporter of the world’s cotton—was again harvested with forced labor last year, finds a new report by the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights and turkmen.news. Students...

‘Information Is the Key’: Empowering Kyrgyzstan’s Young Workers

‘Information Is the Key’: Empowering Kyrgyzstan’s Young Workers

To promote youth civic engagement and the fair employment of women, workers with disabilities and those migrating outside the country to earn a living, the Solidarity Center’s second annual School of Young Leaders in Bishkek educated dozens of young people in...

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND WORKERS IN CAMBODIA

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND WORKERS IN CAMBODIA

As a new wave of COVID-19 hits Cambodia, a new study recommends urgent action to ensure garment and tourism workers workers do not experience widespread loss of jobs and wages as they did in 2020. The Center for Policy Studies survey is supported by Solidarity Center...

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What Happens Underground Stays Underground

What Happens Underground Stays Underground

Women working in South Africa's mining sector report being subject to sexual and gender-based violence and  harassment, inside mines and within the mining communities where they live and efforts to redress such abuse must address the nature of the workplace and...

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Made for this Moment: How ILO Convention 190 Addresses Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Made for this Moment: How ILO Convention 190 Addresses Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

This report highlights how C190, the first global treaty that recognizes the fundamental right to work free from gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH), addresses GBVH in  the world of work and identifies concrete steps to address it. Read the full report here in...

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