Trafficking and slavery analysis: China and Vietnam

We recently reported a story to our SCREEN subscribers that Chinese police arrested members of a gang that trafficked migrants from Vietnam to work illegally in factories in the southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. 

Intersecting labor trafficking and economic trends

We see this within the context of a number of intersecting trends and macroeconomic data.
  • Increasing wages in China have put pressure on employers
  • The Chinese economic slowdown has exacerbated this pressure even further
  • Heightened expectations and dissatisfaction of Chinese workers has led to a sharp increase in strikes, particularly in Guangdong Province, the site of these arrests
  • The per capita income disparity between China and Vietnam makes China an attractive destination from the perspective of a Vietnamese migrant
  • China and Vietnam both have a High risk rating for Supply Chain Corruption in BSI’s SCREEN intelligence platform, decreasing the effectiveness of government controls to manage legal migration

“Illegal labor trafficking is a major issue that threatens responsible sourcing practices in China. Vietnam represents one of the primary sources of illegal migrants smuggled to work at factories and in other jobs in China. Due to the illegal status of trafficked workers, these laborers are often exposed to human rights abuses such as extremely low pay and poor working conditions.” – BSI Intelligence 

Managing complex supply chains

From this perspective, it’s likely that these types of threats emerge. Companies with complex supply chains put themselves in a stronger position to identify and mitigate these types of risks by establishing formal supply chain due diligence programs, including systematic means of assessing risk. Effective systems such as this allow companies to place more emphasis on engaging the right suppliers at the right time to understand how they recruit and manage these kinds of risks.

What kind of strategies and programs do you have in place the help mitigate these threats?