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Slavery and Forced Labor Submission

It is estimated that currently (2016) there are 45.8 million people “in some form of modern slavery”1 (e.g. human trafficking and forced labor) in 167 countries around the world. The Global Slavery Index ranks countries based on slavery as a ‘percentage of total population’ and as an ‘absolute number’. “The ten countries with the largest estimated absolute numbers of people in modern slavery include some of the world’s most populous countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Russia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Indonesia. Several of these countries provide the low cost labor that produces consumer goods for markets in Western Europe, Japan, North America and Australia. Some of these countries are taking important steps towards stamping out abuses in key industries. For example, Indonesia’s work on rescuing and repatriating 2,000 trafficked fishermen is commendable”2.

It is the responsibility of every supply chain to address the repugnant practice of slavery and the seafood industry and its global stakeholders are actively doing so. Forced labor and human trafficking have been identified in Asia in the seafood industry, most notably in the fishing and processing sector in Thailand and as previously stated the fishing sector in Indonesia. The global seafood industry and stakeholders have worked diligently and continue to work, setting in place open and transparent systems for legitimate fishing operators, aquaculture enterprises and seafood processors to demonstrate their fish and seafood are not tainted with human trafficking or forced labor.

Certified aquaculture is one tool for eradicating forced labor at the farm and processing plant level.  The GLOBALG.A.P. risk assessment on social practice (GRASP) is a mandatory set of requirements farms and processing plants must comply with to be awarded GLOBALG.A.P. Certification. GRASP requires compliance with the International Labor Organization of the United Nations (ILO) core conventions, including ILO convention 29 and 105 which address forced labor. Additionally, through traceability and rigorous documentation, certified aquaculture enables legitimate operators to establish compliance with globally recognized practices respecting human rights and human dignity.

Certified aquaculture encourages transparency, the adoption of stringent standards and good practices throughout the supply chain. These efforts, which are aimed at eliminating human trafficking and forced labor tainted products from the marketplace, are ongoing and are making progress. For more information on the how the seafood sector and associated stakeholders are addressing forced labor and human trafficking visit the ‘Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force:

Source: Shrimptaskforce

[1] www.globalslaveryindex.org/findings/

[2] Global Slavery Index 2016.pdf (p.8)