Module 3: Complexities of Labor Trafficking

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

This module focuses on the various dimensions of labor trafficking in supply chains. Students will analyze the features of labor trafficking today, learn about the prevalence of forced labor in supply chains, and explore the range of responses as citizens/consumers.

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Course materials

Module Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze the dimensions of labor trafficking today, including the presence of forced labor in supply chains.

  2. Identify the components of supply chains and understand the challenges to minimize the risk of forced labor in supply chains.

  3. Explore the range of responses by citizens, consumers, civil society, business, and government to address forced labor practices and reduce its prevalence in supply chains.

  4. Have a basic familiarity with the relationship between Catholic social teaching and the issues in this module.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some difficulties related to identifying tainted supply chains, especially beyond the first two tiers?

  2. Does labor trafficking look similar or different globally? What are the elements of specific manifestations of labor trafficking around the world?

  3. What specific circumstances render migrants especially vulnerable to this type of exploitation? What are the legal, economic, and cultural factors leading migrants to become victims of forced labor?

  4. Are people who make no money for their work the only victims of labor trafficking, or can those who make very little be considered victims as well? Why or why not?

  5. How do we define “forced” in forced labor? Does it mean people that are physically and mentally obligated to stay in this work, or does it include those that have the power to say no, the power to leave, but have no other options for survival if they do?

  6. As consumers and citizens, what can we do to raise awareness of and combat labor trafficking?

  7. Delving into the specific case of Brazil, what are the scope and reality of forced labor in the agriculture, timber, and livestock industries there?

  8. What is the relationship between Catholic social teaching and the issues in this module?

Primary Resources

Survivor Stories

 

This is a story of human trafficking victims-turned-survivors that will evolve during the succession of the Modules. It elaborates on some examples of real life experiences. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2; discussion questions 1, 2]

Joseph's Sons

Brazil Case Study Materials

 

Preserving Dignity in the Amazon

This video shows CRS's efforts to combat slavery in Brazil. 5:21 minutes. [TAGS: learning objective 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 7]

Preserving Dignity in the Amazon: CRS’s work to combat Human Slavery in Brazil.  YouTube video with commentary from Catholic Relief Services, December 8, 2015. Web.

 

Heartache and Suffering: Slavery in Brazil

Al Jazeera America follows one man as he retraces his road to exploitation in his own country. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 7]

Matt Sandy. “Heartache and Suffering: Slavery in Brazil.” Aljazeera America. Al Jazeera America, LLC, July 18, 2015. Web.

 

Exploring Isolated Cases of Modern Slavery: Farmworker Protections and Labour Conditions in Brazil’s Coffee Sector

This Policy Brief, co-authored by Catholic Relief Services and Repórter Brasil, documents slave-like conditions on 15 coffee estates in Brazil and includes recommendations for addressing the problem, with the goal of bringing the reality of farmworkers into coffee value chain conversations. 42 pages. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7]

Catholic Relief Services and Repórter Brasil. Exploring Isolated Cases of Modern Slavery: Farmworker Protections and Labour Conditions in Brazil’s Coffee Sector. Baltimore: Catholic Relief Services, April 12, 2016. Web.

 

CRS Blog Post: Slave labor in Brazilian coffee. (And what we can do about it.)

This CRS Coffeelands blog post provides a brief overview and commentary on the above Policy Brief. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7]

“THE BLOG: CRS Policy Brief: Slave labor in Brazilian coffee. (And what we can do about it.)” CRS Coffeelands. Catholic Relief Services, April 13, 2016. Web.

 

CRS Blog Post: Brazil’s Supreme Court lifts ban on “Dirty List”

This CRS Coffeelands blog post explains the lifting of the ban on the "Dirty List." [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7]

“THE BLOG: Brazil’s Supreme Court lifts ban on “Dirty List.” CRS Coffeelands. Catholic Relief Services, June 8, 2016. Web.

 

CRS Blog Post: Brazil’s Congress Convenes Hearing on Modern Slavery in the Coffee Sector

This CRS Coffeelands blog post reports that Brazil’s Congress was convening hearings on modern slavery in the coffee industry. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7]

“THE BLOG: Brazil’s Congress Convenes Hearing on Modern Slavery in the Coffee Sector.” CRS Coffeelands. Catholic Relief Services, June 9, 2016. Web.

 

Investigation reveals slave labor conditions in Brazil’s timber industry

Repórter Brasil’s investigation reveals slave labor conditions in the timber industry and includes a short 1:55-minute video explaining how this reality came to be. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 6, 7]

Thais Lazzeri. Translated by Benjamin Blocksom. “Investigation reveals slave labor conditions in Brazil’s timber industry.” Repórter Brasil. Repórter Brasil.com, 3/17/15. Web.

Catholic Relief Services Resources

 

Strengthening Families and Opportunities in India

Catholic Relief Services and its partner Bettiah Diocesan Social Service Society work to provide families in Bihar, India with livelihood support, to emphasize education, and to raise awareness about the dangers of child migration. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 3; discussion questions 3, 4, 6]

Rebekah Kates Lemke.  “Strengthening Families and Opportunities in India.”  Catholic Relief Services, July 14, 2017.  Web.

 

Ending Child Trafficking in India

This video introduces CRS’ Bachpan Project and describes how it works with children and their families to restore lost childhoods and end child trafficking in Bettiah, Bihar, India. 3:50 minutes. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 3; discussion questions 4, 6]

Ending Child Trafficking.  YouTube video with commentary from Catholic Relief Services, August 15, 2017.  Web.

International Labour Standards on Forced Labour

 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) discusses the scope of labor trafficking and select relevant ILO instruments while providing links to other resources. [TAGS: learning objective 1, 3; discussion questions 2, 4, 5, 6]

“International Labour Standards on Forced Labour.”  International Labor Organization Promoting Jobs, Protecting People.  International Labor Organization, 2018. Web.

 

Profits and Poverty: The economics of forced labour “investigates the underlying factors that drive forced labour, of which a major one is illegal profits” and includes a breakdown of profits by type of forced labor and by region. Read an 8-page summary of the report or the full 66-page report.

Profits and Poverty: The economics of forced labour,  Geneva: International Labour Office, 2014.  Web.

 

While “(t)he challenge of ending child labour remains formidable …. (t)he dynamic picture indicates that we are moving in the right direction.”  Read more in the 68-page report Global Estimates of Child Labor: Results and Trends 2012-2016.  

Global Estimates of Child Labor: Results and Trends 2012-2016,  Geneva: International Labor Office, 2017.  Web

Polaris and Supply Chains

 

The Polaris Project, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, briefly describes the global issue of forced labor in supply chains and suggests transparency of supply chains as one solution to this kind of labor trafficking. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 6, 7]

“Supply Chains.”  Polaris Freedom Happens Now. Polaris, 2018.  Web.

Responsible Sourcing Tool: Visualize the Risk

 

This interactive map allows you to select different industries, countries, and commodities around the world to see what forced labor in these areas looks like. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 3 a bit; discussion questions 2, 3, 4, 6]

“Visualize the Risk.”  Responsible Sourcing Tool Understand Risk Visualize Risk.  Responsible Sourcing Tool, 2018.  Web.

Slavery Footprint

 

How many slaves work for you?

This interactive survey tells you how many slaves have produced the products you consume daily. [TAGS: learning objective 1, 3; discussion questions 1, 6, especially strong on 7]

“How many slaves work for you?”  Slavery Footprint. Slavery Footprint, 2017.  Web.

 

What on Earth is Slaveryfootprint.org Talking About Here?

“What on Earth is Slaveryfootprint.org Talking About Here?” helps to understand the shortcomings of the website Slavery Footprint, building critical understanding of what it does and doesn’t do. [TAGS: learning objective 4; discussion questions 3, 5]

Tim Worstall. “What on Earth is Slaveryfootprint.org Talking About Here?” Forbes Online. Forbes.com, January 6, 2013. Web.

Contribution of Catholic Social Teaching

 

Summary of Rerum Novarum

Rerum Novarum, written by Leo XII in 1891, was the first modern papal document on social teaching.  The fact that it focused on labor and the rights of workers is an indication of the importance of the rights of workers in Catholic teaching.  2 pages. [TAGS: learning objective 4; discussion questions 6, 8]

ACSJC Summary and Discussion Guide: Rerum Novarum (on Capital and Labour).” Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.  Web.

 

Summary of Laborem Exercens

Read a short summary of John Paul II’s encyclical Laborem Exercens, written in 1981, on the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.  Published: November 21, 2011. [TAGS: learning objective 4; discussion questions 4, 6, 8]

“Laborem Exercens (On Human Work).”  California Catholic Conference. California Catholic Conference.  November 21, 2011.  Web.

 

Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Labor Unions

This USCCB document offers a collection of quotations from Catholic social thought on these themes. [TAGS: learning objectives 3, 4; discussion questions 4, 6, 8]

“Selected Quotations from Catholic Social Thought on the Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Labor Unions.”  Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Web.

KnowTheChain

 

This website provides resources for companies and investors to investigate forced labor in their supply chains. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5, 7]

KnowTheChain.  KnowTheChain, 2017.  Web.

All Your Clothes Are Made with Exploited Labor

 

In this article,The Atlantic explores the issue of labor trafficking within the Patagonia clothing industry and the difficulties in finding which parts of the supply chain are tainted by forced labor. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 5]

Gillian B. White.  “All Your Clothes Are Made with Exploited Labor.”  The Atlantic.  The Atlantic.com, June 3, 2015.  Web.

Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

 

This in-depth article describes child labor in the West African cocoa industry, including how increases in chocolate demand have increased child labor, how children get coerced into labor, the issues with ending labor trafficking in the chocolate industry, and the difficulties of figuring out if chocolate brands are ethically sourced. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 2, 3; discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 6]

“Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry.” Food Empowerment Project Because your food choices can change the world.  Food Empowerment Project, 2018. Web.

Seafood from Slaves - An AP Investigation helps free slaves in the 21st century

 

This website compiles articles, investigations, and reports about forced labor in the seafood industry of Southeast Asia. [TAGS: learning objectives 1, 3; discussion questions 2, 3, 4, 6]

“An AP Investigation helps free slaves in the 21st century.”  AP Seafood from Slaves.  The Associated Press, 2015.  Web.
Secondary Resources

CRS's article “The Hidden Face of Human Trafficking in Peru” discusses how the illegal gold mining industry of rural Peru increases sex and labor trafficking in the area.  Author: Rebekah Kates Lemke.  Source: Catholic Relief Services.  Published: December 21, 2016.

Contribution of Catholic Social Teaching – Additional Resources

  1. Rerum Novarum: Leo XIII wrote this encyclical on the Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor in 1891.  Source: The Vatican.  Published: May 15, 1891.

  2. Centesimus Annus: John Paul II wrote this encyclical in 1991 to honor the one hundreth anniversary of Rerum Novarum.  Specifically these 6 pages of Centesimus Annus provide a great summary of Rerum Novarum.  Published: May 1, 1991.  

  3. Laborem Exercens: John Paul II wrote this encyclical in honor of the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.  Source: The Vatican.  Published: September 14, 1981.   

  4. Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.  Author:  National Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Date: 1986. 

  5. Six Key Church Documents Addressing Labor.”  Author: Clayton Sinyai.  Source: The Catholic Labor Network.  Date: 2018. 

The U.S. Department of Justice defines what specific actions are regarded as labor trafficking.  Source:  The U.S. Department of Justice.  Last updated: August 6, 2015.  

In “What is forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking,” the International Labour Organization defines what constitutes as labor trafficking, some laws that have been passed to combat these practices, and various manifestations of forced labor.  Source: International Labour Organization.  Date: 2018.

Verité’s “Commodity Atlas” provides a list of commodities allowing you to see where each is produced and what labor trafficking looks like in the production of each.  Its 8-page report, Corruption and Labor Trafficking in Global Supply Chains, explains how corruption enhances labor trafficking in supply chains and suggests way that companies can respond.  Source: Verité.  Report Publication Date: 2013.  

The documentary film The Dark Side of Chocolate discusses child labor trafficking in the cocoa industry in different parts of Africa.  The film explores child labor from Mali to Côte d’Ivoire and the difficulties of both uncovering and stopping this exploitation.   The first half is contextual while the second half provides human stories.  46:31-minute YouTube video.  Film by: Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano.  Published:  June 9, 2014. 

Case Study.  Kevin Bales’ Blood and Earth talks about modern-day slavery in various parts of the world in terms of its consequences on the natural environment.  In Chapter 3 “City of Rags” (pages 51-64), he discusses the extreme exploitation at the Bisie ore mine in the Congo and identifies the many individuals and organizations participating in the “dirty” supply chain, from the mine to our cellphones.  304 pages.  Access your university library for the chapter.  Publisher: Spiegel & Drau.  Date: January 16, 2016. 

Author Andrew Jacobs delves into the extreme abuse experienced by workers in a factory in China in his article “Behind Cry for Help: Cry from China Labor Camp.”  Source: The New York Times.  Published:  June 11, 2013.

The video A Life of Servitude: The modern-day slaves of Pakistan describes the brick kilns in Pakistan, where debt bondage forces workers into lifelong labor and workers face very abusive conditions.  3:03 minutes.  Published: AFP news agency.  Date: December 3, 2014.

The video Faces of Human Trafficking: An Introduction to Labor Trafficking gives an overview of labor trafficking, highlighting stories from people in the USA and detailing different signs to recognize when this phenomenon is occurring.  7:10 minutes.  Published: Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice.  Date: January 15, 2016. 

Restavek Children and Orphanages in Haiti 

  1. Painful plight of Haiti's 'restavec' children” follows the story of nine-year-old Sende Sencil, a restavec.  The United Nations condemns restavec as a "modern form of slavery" where children are forced to serve the families they have been sent to by doing domestic work.  Author: Elizabeth Cohen.  Source: CNN.  Published: January 29, 2010. 

  2. How traffickers exploit children in Haiti's orphanages” explains Haiti’s orphanage crisis and how it relates to human trafficking.  Includes several embedded videos.  Author: Lisa Cohen.  Source: CNN.  Published:  March 2, 2018.

  3. Beyond Borders helps people build movements to liberate themselves from oppression and isolation.  In Haiti and the United States, the organization is bringing people together for just and lasting change.

The U.S. Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), with the Department of Labor, has developed two mobile apps to raise awareness of and help track instances of child and forced labor throughout the world. "Sweat & Toil: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Around the World" compiles data for 135 countries and documents child labor and forced labor worldwide. The second "Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains", will help companies identify risks of child or forced labor in their supply chains.

The Seafood Slavery Risk Tool is designed to inform businesses about the risks of forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in fisheries.