Committing to human rights is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a business imperative. Customers are demanding that our products are made free of exploitative work practices, and Lam is committed to adhering to humane practices wherever we do business.
To mark Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, we caught up with Brandie Luis, operations contract and compliance manager, Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) and Charlie Vuong, also in GSCM, to hear about progress on our pilot initiative to prevent and eliminate forced and bonded labor of foreign migrant workers in our supply chain.
What is forced and bonded labor?
Bonded labor occurs when workers take out high-interest loans from employers to pay high fees to gain employment. These fees can add up to the cost of feeding a worker’s family for year and some struggle for years on low wages to pay back the debt. In “forced labor” situations, passports and documentation are confiscated so workers can’t move on.
How has Lam been working with suppliers to tackle the problem?
We’ve been working with specific suppliers to trace workers’ journeys from their home countries to place of work to identify how and where these practices could arise. Celestica received Lam’s first Annual Supplier Day, Supplier Excellence Award for CSR for their work identifying risks and fees facing foreign migrant workers journeying from Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines. By engaging at specific points of risk, Celestica was able to ensure that no fees were being charged to foreign migrant workers.
Has the pandemic had an impact?
Sadly, the United Nations University anticipates that working poverty rates will increase significantly because of the COVID-19 crisis – increasing risks of exploitation. This makes the work we’re doing even more important, so we can help protect people as business rebuilds post-pandemic.
We’re super-proud to be making a real difference to workers and their families – but we’ve a long way to go. We’re planning to expand the pilot program and conduct deeper supplier risk assessments and audits so we can protect the rights of all who are connected with Lam’s business.