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Published
Jun 11, 2015
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Patagonia fights against human trafficking with new Migrant Worker Standard

Published
Jun 11, 2015

In a blog post last week, Patagonia discussed how it discovered a form of human trafficking in its supply chain in 2011 and the measures it then took to fix the problem.


The Patagonia R3 Yulex Nixen wetsuit, for surfing in cold waters | Photo: - Patagonia


In the blog post, Patagonia explains that Asian migrant workers pay labor brokers $7,000 in return for a job, well above the reasonable payment for a factory worker. The company discovered the red flag during its social responsibility audit that was conducted with Verité—an NGO dedicated to ensuring people around the world work under safe, fair and legal conditions.
 
With Verité, Patagonia developed a migrant worker standard for all of its factories including pre-hiring interactions, labor contracts, wages and fees, retention of passports, living and working conditions, grievance procedures and repatriation. The new standard also requires that foreign workers are no longer charged fees after June 1st 2015 and that all those hired before June 1st be repaid all fees that exceeded the legal amount.

This January, Doug Freeman and Cara Chacon, Patagonia’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of Social and Environmental Responsibility, respectively, presented their work at the White House Forum on Combating Human Trafficking in Supply Chains led by Secretary of State John Kerry and with leaders from Walmart, HP and SAP Cloud.
 
The migrant worker standard is made publicly available for any company that would like to adopt it.

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