Preventing Human Trafficking for Forced Labour and the Worst Forms of Child Labour

The Trades Union Congress (UK), Anti-Slavery International and ILO organized a joint workshop to feature a showcase of proven practices to prevent trafficking for labour exploitation by the ILO’s Mekong Sub-regional Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women and to discuss challenges in response to labour trafficking in the UK.

The first panel discussion was on prevention of trafficking for labour exploitation. Roger Plant, Head of the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour gave an overview of labour trafficking and global responses. Thetis Mangahas, Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO Mekong Project, presented lessons learnt for preventing labour trafficking of young migrants.

The second panel focused on the situation in the UK. Simon Steyne, TUC Senior International Officer and ILO governing body member, presented the work of the British trade union movement in countering trafficking for exploitative labour in the UK. Helen Anderson from the Organised Immigration Crime Policy Team (UK Borders Agency) shared experience and lessons learnt from a pilot project to assist workers trafficked for labour exploitation in the UK.

The last workshop panel linked labour trafficking in South Asia to CSR responses in the UK. Bernice Leppard, Ethical Trade Manager of NEXT, a UK based retailer for clothing, footwear, accessories and home products, pointed out about growing consumers’ demand for goods produced under fair conditions and shared good practice of NEXT in eliminating exploitative labour from supply chains.