Migrant Abuse Cases Tallied by BHRRC 

The companies most frequently linked to cases of migrant worker abuse this year were FIFA, Meta, Tesco and Ahold Delhaize & Hannaford, according to new data from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC). BHRRC looked at publicly reported human and labour rights abuses against migrant workers between 1 December 2022 and 30 November 2023. It found a total of 613 cases of abuse, linked to 389 named companies and warned this is likely to be higher owing to restrictions on journalistic freedoms, lack of access to remedy or grievance mechanisms by migrant workers, and the threat of reprisal for workers who said they were afraid to speak up. The most common category of abuse recorded was violations relating to employment standards (64%), including wage, working hour or leave violations, arbitrary dismissal or excessive performance targets. This was followed by arbitrary denial of freedoms (36%), occupational health and safety breaches (36%) and unfair recruitment practices (34%). Intimidatory, violent or harassing behaviour was also a concern (29%), closely followed by inadequate living standards (28%). At least 96 migrant workers died of alleged corporate abuse or neglect. Most deaths (86%) were explicitly linked to breaches in occupational health and safety standards. Isobel Archer, Senior Migrant Rights Researcher at BHRRC, said: “Migrant workers are often the invisible glue holding the global economy together. Yet, instead of being recognised for their value, migrant workers are subjected to a range of human rights abuses – often facilitated by government regulations and permitted to continue by multinationals at the top of supply chains, who are failing to monitor, investigate and remedy abuse sufficiently. Companies must realise it’s simply not enough to publish general labour rights policies; they must recognise specific vulnerabilities and urgently respond to them by adopting tailored and migrant worker-centric risk assessment, due diligence and remedy processes.” 

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