Andy Hall: Trendy Smartphone Apps Give No Power to Worker Organizing -

Andy Hall: Trendy Smartphone Apps Give No Power to Worker Organizing

  • Published on
    June 6, 2018
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Anti-Slavery Activists, Child Slavery, Debt Bondage, Domestic Slavery, Forced Labor, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, Prevention, Rehabilitation & Liberation, Supply Chain, Technology & Tools, Worker Empowerment
Hero Banner

Human rights campaigners say that companies who are looking to clean up their supply chains from labor abuses need to invest in improving workers’ lives and listening to employees instead of merely relying on tech interventions like smartphone apps to uncover exploitation.

Speaking at Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels, British labor rights activist Andy Hall explained that “Hotlines and smartphone apps (allowing staff to report abuses) are widely hailed…but do not give any power to workers to organise, bargain and improve their conditions.”

On top of this, Hall noted that supply chain auditing is often superficial. Audits are “too quick and just focused on paperwork, [they] need to go beyond factories and look at recruitment practices and housing,” he said.

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:

From cosmetics and clothes to shrimp and smartphones, supply chains are often complex. Multiple layers across various countries – whether in sourcing raw materials or creating the final product – makes it hard to identify exploitation.

Companies will only succeed at ensuring their entire operations are free of abuse if they adopt a bottom-up strategy to reforming their supply chains, said Daniela Colaiacovo of the Goldlake Group, a gold mining company that operates in Honduras.

“You need to engage with local communities, treat workers like partners, give them benefits and training and involve them in the business process,” said the co-founder of Goldlake, which produces sustainable gold for the luxury jewellery market.

Frida Arounsavath of campaign group Swedwatch added that the world will not achieve the United Nations’ 17 global goals — including ending extreme poverty — by 2030 unless companies take action against forced labor.

“Companies need to identify high-risk areas and consult with vulnerable groups such as women, children and indigenous groups,” she added.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Three Chinese companies face restricted imports due to forced labor ties

In an effort to eliminate goods made with Uyghur forced labor, the U.S. State Department added three more Chinese companies to the list of those facing import restrictions for goods coming into the U.S. This brings the total number of companies on the list to 27.  Goods from Xinjiang (Uyghur region) are guilty until proven innocent  The legal backing for these restrictions falls under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List (UFLPA) which

| Wednesday September 27, 2023

Read more