Published in Apple Daily (Taiwan) on 2 September 2020
Translated from Chinese
Image source: Apple News
Luke de Pulford, the Director of UK Arise Foundation, called on government to combat human trafficking. Companies must implement social responsibility measures, starting with "ethical recruitment".
The Ministry of the Interior organised an international workshop on the prevention and control of human trafficking. Today (2nd September) was the second day of the agenda. Luke de Pulford, the Director of Arise Foundation, opened the meeting virtually from the UK. He called on the Taiwan Government to combat human trafficking. To implement social responsibility, we should start with "ethical recruitment" and trace the source of products to ensure that they are free from labour exploitation. Only then can we assist the government to combat human trafficking.
The Ministry stated that in 2015, Luke co-founded the Arise Foundation and still serves as its Director. Because of Arise's long-term commitment to combatting modern slavery and human trafficking in source countries, in 2018, the former British Prime Minister Theresa May thanked Arise for its positive contribution to the modern abolitionist movement.
Due to COVID travel restrictions this year, Arise expressed its support for the prevention of human trafficking in Taiwan over video call, and suggested that companies prioritise ethical recruitment. In addition to ensuring transparency in recruitment, they should employ fairness, fair wages, and ensure that employees are both informed of and able to exercise their rights.
Image source: Apple News
Huang Zhengzhong, Managing Director of KPMG Anhou Sustainability Development Consulting Co., Ltd., said that labour rights are an important topic of concern for corporate sustainability.
Huang Zhengzhong, Managing Director of KPMG Anhou Sustainable Development Consulting Co., Ltd., Chen Peiyu, Greenpeace Project Director, and Qiu Shaoqi, Project Director at British Environmental Justice, one by one emphasised the growing importance of corporate social responsibility in recent years. In addition to environmental issues, labour rights are central to sustainable business operations. As long as the product can be certified as free of labour exploitation, the source of the product is transparent, and the product manufacturing process does not involve environmental and labour rights violations, corporate image will benefit together with national human trafficking prevention.
Head of Immigration, Qiu Fengguang, said that international organisations and various advanced countries have successively issued legal frameworks related to corporate human rights, such as the United Nations Guidelines on Corporate and Human Rights, the European Union's Non-financial Information Disclosure Guidelines, the California Supply Chain Transparency Act, and the modern slavery laws in the United Kingdom and Australia. Etc.. These are constantly strengthening the obligations and responsibilities of the business sector.
Qiu Fengguang said that in 2019, the United States launched the "Cooperation on Prevention and Control of Forced Labor Initiative" to strengthen the ban on global imports with forced labour in their supply chains, including agriculture and fisheries, labour-intensive products, high-tech products, and so on. All major companies are free to examine the recruitment processes of their affiliates and suppliers. They are able to determine whether a supply chain is transparent and whether it safeguards labour and human rights. This will strengthen cooperation against human trafficking. (Gao Junlin, Taipei)