Trafficked & Forced Labor


Rob Lederer
Executive Director

Trafficked & Forced Labor

According to International Labour Organization statistics, approximately 21 million people worldwide are forced to work – a form of modern slavery. Unfortunately, the electronics industry supply chain also sees incidences of trafficked and/or forced (bonded) labor, particularly in Asia and particularly via means of debt bondage and document seizure.

While the EICC Code of Conduct explicitly bans trafficked and forced labor, completely eradicating it in the global electronics industry supply chain remains a challenge for EICC members. To explore how the entire industry – represented in EICC membership – can work together to eradicate trafficked and forced labor in electronics industry supply chains, the EICC began a taskforce to address this topic in 2014. For years prior to the beginning of the taskforce the EICC had also offered members online trainings and special educational opportunities during member events. For a summary statement about our work over the past decade to combat forced labor in supply chains, please click here.

The taskforce’s first priority is to analyze information from members and their supply chains to better understand the true extent of the problem, and look for trends such as high risk countries and common methods used by traffickers and agents of forced labor. With a solid understanding of the problem particular to the electronics industry, a range of activities will then be considered to support members to uncover, remedy and prevent future incidences of trafficked and forced labor in their supply chains. These activities may include better and broader training of key on-the-ground actors, review of labor agencies to help members make informed choices about working with labor brokers or a range of other actions to be taken by the taskforce.