AmCham Kuwait collaborates with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to conduct an impactful training program aimed at preventing forced labor and trafficking in persons within the private sector. The comprehensive initiative, now completed, focused on familiarizing participants with the practical manifestations of forced labor (FL) and trafficking in persons (TIP), while providing essential information and practical guidance to employers.
The event commenced with opening remarks from Pete Swift, Chairman of AmCham Kuwait, who warmly welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of continuing the collaborative efforts in promoting ethical business practices and ensuring a fair and just work environment within the private sector. Swift then introduced Siham Nuseibeh, Technical Officer at the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO).
The training program, a collaborative effort between AmCham Kuwait and ILO, aimed to empower private sector companies by equipping participants with the knowledge to identify potential risks of forced labor in company recruitment, employment, and sourcing practices. Employers received practical guidance on how to effectively address, prevent, and eliminate these risks, fostering ethical business practices. This initiative not only contributes to the ethical framework of companies but also plays a crucial role in helping them enhance their reputation by ensuring fair and responsible employment practices throughout their operations.
The collaboration between AmCham Kuwait and ILO is particularly significant given that forced labor is a criminal offense. The ILO Convention 29 on Forced Labour (1930) defines forced labor as work or service exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty, and for which the person has not offered themselves voluntarily.
Understanding forced labor involves recognizing indicators such as isolation, restricted freedom of movement, retention of personal documents, abusive working conditions, violence, threats, abuse of vulnerability, excessive overtime, withholding/no payment of wages, and debt bondage, among others.
Similarly, the training addressed the definition of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, for exploitation.”
The session provided insights into the 11 most common indicators of forced labor and trafficking in persons, offering practical examples to enhance understanding.Employers were also presented with the business case for combating forced labor, emphasizing the importance of avoiding legal risks, managing supply chain risks, maintaining a positive brand image, and meeting buyers’ expectations. The training highlighted the session’s focus on addressing risks throughout the employment process—from pre-employment to post-employment.
AmCham Kuwait and ILO remain dedicated to sustaining endeavors to advocate for ethical business practices and uphold a work environment characterized by fair practices within the private sector.