‘Towards the urgent elimination of hazardous child labour’, International Labour Organisation

Report description:

This report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) builds upon a previous report from the ILO published in 2011 called ‘Children in hazardous work: What we know, what we need to do (ILO-IPEC, 2011)’. This new report is said to  be based on new evidence ‘aiding better understanding of why this worst form of child labour persists and uncovering new interventions that might have more chance of eliminating it’. It was estimated by the ILO in 2017 that there were 152 million children in child labour and that almost 73 million of these were engaged in hazardous work.

Read the report here: https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_30315/lang–en/index.htm?mc_cid=01c926b680&mc_eid=4743844cbe

‘Seeing slavery in seafood supply chains’, by Katrina Nakamura et. al., Science Advances

Article description:

The authors of this paper won the grand prize in the Partnership for Freedom challenge 2016 for their work developing technological solutions that can identify and address slavery and trafficking in goods and service supply chains. They designed a five-point-framework, called the Labor Safe Screen, and collaborated with eighteen food companies to test the results of implementing the framework. The results showed that companies can reduce forced labor using the framework. 

Read the article here: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/7/e1701833

‘‘Body of work’ needed on slavery in supply chains’ by Darragh O’Keeffe

Article description:

As demonstrated by Darragh O’Keefe there is a lack of awareness of the existence of modern-slavery not just in the community but also by sourcing businesses and procurement professionals. Further, as important as increased awareness is increased preparedness to address the issue. The Commonwealth’s Modern Slavery Bill and the NSW Modern Slavery Act that was passed in June have both helped raise the issue’s profile, but in a survey conducted by Deloitte with sustainability managers, one third were unaware of the Modern Slavery Act and many thought there was only ‘a possibility’ of modern slavery in their supply chains. Further, a survey conducted in May by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) showed ‘one in five [organisations] did not know who in their organisation was ultimately responsible’ for the issue of modern slavery in their supply chains.

This said, despite a lack of awareness and preparedness, informed organisations are ‘tending to embrace the legislation’, says Mark Lamb, general manager of CIPS Australasia. Dr Black from Deloitte states that one of the key challenges for organisations will be ‘getting visibility on supply chains’. The article goes on to discuss the importance of technology to address this issue as well as the predicted transformation of current procurement manager’s processes.

Read the article here

Confidence In Certified Seafood – Global Benchmark Tool

As Confidence in Certified Seafood- front Cover the GSSI note the problem in confidence in the seafood industry is:

As seafood production increases to meet rising global demand, so have concerns of members of the seafood supply chain, consumers and environmental NGOs over the impact that production is having on the environment. One way of providing assurances of more sustainable practices in both aquaculture production and wild capture sheries is the use of seafood certi cation schemes. The report is a about a response to this where the solution is seen as:

The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) is a unique solution to this problem. For the rst-time members of the seafood supply chain, NGOs, governmental and intergovernmental organizations and a number of independent experts have come up with a collective, non-competitive approach to provide clarity on seafood certi cation and ensure consumer con dence in certi ed seafood.

They’ve done this by following the reference documents at the heart of the process: the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), the FAO Guidelines for Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine/Inland Capture Fisheries and the FAO Technical Guidelines for Aquaculture Certi cation (FAO Guidelines). GSSI used this foundation to create a Global Benchmark Tool for seafood certi cation schemes.

The report can be read at: http://www.ourgssi.org/assets/GSSI-Benchmarking-Tool/GlobalBenchmarkTool-18apr15-2.pdf



Greenpeace and Thai Union Group Summary of Agreement – July 17

Greenpeace released a very critical report on the Thai Fishing industry and Thai Union – who are the largest canner of tuna in the world and process prawns and other seafood for the Australian market – have come to a very helpful agreement with Greenpeace on ways forward. They recognise:

Greenpeace and Thai Union share an understanding that the problem of labour and human rights violations in global tuna supply chains include, but are not limited to, the following:Forced labour and human rights abuses in the extended seafood supply chain, especially in commercial fleets that stay out at sea for extended periods of time.

  • The lack of fair remuneration and decent working conditions for workers in the fishing sector.
  • The absence of collective bargaining rights and freedom of association, especially for migrant workers in the fishing sector.
  • The lack of contracts in a language that the workers can understand.
  • The method of recruitment for workers on fishing boats through brokers that perpetuate labour and human rights abuse.

What they agree to in the labour section of the paper is:

  • Vessel code of conduct – Thai Union commits to create a vessel code of conduct with an accompanying auditable standard across its global supply chain by January 2018.
  • Audits will be conducted on an ongoing basis by a reputable third party with a proven track record of delivering comprehensive and respected social audit reports. The audit program will be initiated by 2018 in line with Thai Union’s SeaChange program, and continue beyond as part of continuous improvement. The Vessel Code of Conduct will be communicated to all vessel suppliers in 2018, with the notification that they can expect to be audited against this Code at any point.

And other agreements in the areas of:

  • Support for organizing rights and collective bargaining
  • Electronic Catch Data and Traceability (eCDT)
  • Audits and transparency
  • Ethical recruitment

The report can be downloaded or read at:

Advancing Traceability in the Seafood Industry White Paper – Fishwise

Fishwise released their first White Paper in 2012. This is an updated one and gives key insights into the possibilities and challenges to traceability in the industry. As they state:

It is hoped that this document will create connections across businesses, organizations, and governments to spark conversation and action as to how the seafood stakeholders can collaborate to help improve seafood traceability and eliminate human rights abuses and illegal products from supply chains.

It contains a very good diagram on the Seafood Supply Chain:

FishWise (2017) Advancing Traceability in the Seafood Industry: Assessing Challenges and Opportunities.

It can be read or downloaded at:


Thai Union Sustainability Report 2016

Thai Union realised they had slavery in their chain of supply – mainly, but not exclusively in the fishing boats. They have been working at changing the culture and the supply chain traceability and transparency. This 2016 Sustainability Report tells what they have been aiming to do and how. Key areas in their Safe and Legal Labour section include:

  • Thai Union Business Ethics And Labour Code Of Conduct

    Human Rights And Ethical Labour Practices

    Supplier Approval Process

    Migrant Worker Recruitment Policy

    Opting For Zero-Recruitment Fees Policy

    Continues Its Transition To Digital Payments Worldwide

    The full report can be read or downloaded