ASOS, the online British fashion and beauty store, is strengthening its commitment to fighting modern slavery by hosting an event with the British High Commission in Mauritius. The conference will bring together both local and international stakeholders to discuss workers’ rights in Mauritius and migrant labor migration.
Representatives from Mauritian and Bangladeshi governments, the International Labour Organization, the IndustriALL Union, the Ethical Trading Initiative, and Anti-Slavery International are expected to attend. International fashion brands that manufacture on the island such as Adidas, zLabels, Puma, Woolworths and Whistles, will also be in attendance.
Fashion United reports:
“We’re grateful for the support of the British High Commission, the Mauritian and Bangladeshi governments and the many other speakers and guests attending today’s event,” said Simon Platts, Sourcing Director, Asos, in a statement.
“The hope is that by sharing experience and expertise, we can encourage efforts to prevent exploitation during recruitment, and engage governments to effectively enforce legislation to protect migrant workers. Ultimately we believe this collective approach will help to protect the rights of workers in Mauritius, particularly those who are most vulnerable.”
The move comes after Asos released its first Modern Slavery Statement in line with UK legislation, highlighting it dedicated to eradicating modern slavery from the supply chain. Following a review of all 11 factories in Asos’ Mauritian supply chain with labour right organisation Verite, Mauritius was found to be an area of risk with evidence of systematic labour violations which include debt bondage linked to the recruitment of migrant workers.
High Commissioner Keith Allan explained that the British High Commission was supporting the event as the UK is committed to fighting modern slavery around the world. “The UK Government is committed to the eradication of all forms of forced labour and is supportive of initiatives to ensure that migrant workers working in factories and plants are not in situations of debt bondage,” he said.
Last October ASOS became the first online retailer to sign a Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL, the world’s largest trade union organization representing 50 million members.