Asos has teamed up with the British High Commission in Mauritius to host an event about the challenges of modern slavery.
The event, being held on 22 February in Port Louis, Mauritius, brings together local and international stakeholders to discuss labour migration and to agree a common framework for improving worker protection in Mauritius and beyond.
The day will include presentations and talks from the Mauritian and Bangladeshi governments, the International Labour Organisation, the IndustriAll Union, the Ethical Trading Initiative and Anti-Slavery International. Also attending the event are executives from other fashion brands manufacturing on the island including, Adidas, zLabels, Puma, Woolworths and Whistles, among others.
Last year Asos released its first Modern Slavery Statement in line with UK legislation. Following reviews of all 11 factories in Asos’s Mauritian supply chain with labour rights organisation Verité, Mauritius was highlighted as an area of risk with evidence of labour violations including debt bondage linked to the recruitment of migrant workers.
Simon Platts, sourcing director at Asos, said: “We’re grateful for the support of the British High Commission, the Mauritian and Bangladeshi governments and the many other speakers and guests attending today’s event. The hope is that by sharing experience and expertise, we can encourage efforts to prevent exploitation during recruitment, and engage governments to effectively enforce legislation to protect migrant workers. Ultimately, we believe this collective approach will help to protect the rights of workers in Mauritius, particularly those who are most vulnerable.”
British High Commissioner Keith Allan, added: “The UK Government is committed to the eradication of all forms of forced labour and is supportive of initiatives to ensure that migrant workers working in factories and plants are not in situations of debt bondage.”
In March, Asos will be co-hosting an event at the House of Lords with Baroness Lola Young, co-chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion and Anti-Slavery International, to identify and address shared risks in the clothing sector for its supplier base.