Construction industry at greatest risk of modern slavery
The global construction industry is at greatest risk of modern slavery, according to a new report by LexisNexis BIS, which analysed articles from more than 6,000 licensed news sources in more than 100 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, Africa and Asia between January 2015 and May 2016.
It shows that throughout the global construction industry and its material supply chains, forced labour and other exploitation that constitutes modern slavery are common, concealed and subject to inadequate prevention, policing and prosecution.
The report follows a pledge by UK Prime Minister Theresa May in July to spend £33 million on global initiatives to tackle modern slavery. She described it as “the great human rights issue of our time”.
Director at LexisNexis Business Insights Solutions, Mark Dunn says given that the construction industry employs an estimated 7% of the global workforce, thousands of workers are leading lives of injustice.
“Forced labour needs to move up the global agenda,” he comments. “A wide range of stakeholders – international bodies, governments and the public sector, industry organisations, construction companies, investors, the media and civil society – have roles to play in preventing and avoiding collusion in worker exploitation in the construction industry. LexisNexis BIS is committed to actively working to advance the rule of law, through its day-to-day business, products and services, and its actions’.
Kevin Hyland OBE, UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said, “I am pleased to see numerous sectors waking up to the crime of Modern Slavery, and the Lexis Nexis BIS report excellently educates those in the construction industry on this evil crime.
“Businesses, government and civil society have a crucial role in combatting modern slavery, and this report highlights just that. Through responsible media reporting, businesses especially are encouraged to be open about supply chains, and ultimately protect those most at risk of exploitation.
“Those in construction are especially vulnerable to this crime; with high demand for low wage labour, we must therefore strive to see a thriving construction industry that values ethical recruitment and fair employment if we ever hope to end this evil trade in human beings.”