London - Asos is strengthening its commitment to help protect workers rights. The online fashion platform is set to host an event together with the British High Commission in Mauritius which brings together local and international stakeholders to discuss the issues surrounding labour migration and to agree on a common framework for improving worker protection in Mauritius and beyond.
The event is part of Asos’s modern slavery commitments and is set to coincide with ongoing discussions between Bangladeshi and Mauritian government on workers’ rights and labour migration. Taking place in Port Louis, Mauritius, the event will include presentations from the Mauritian and Bangladeshi governments, the International Labour Organisation, the IndustriALL Union, the Ethical Trading Initiative and Anti-Slavery International. Executives from leading international fashion brands manufacturing on the island such as Adidas, zLabels, Puma, Woolworths and Whistles, will also attend the event today.
Asos joins forces with British High Commission to host modern slavery event in Mauritius
“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,” said Simon Platts, Sourcing Director, Asos, in a statement. “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.”
The move comes after Asos released its first Modern Slavery Statement in line with UK legislation, highlighting it dedicated to eradicating modern slavery from the supply chain. Following a review of all 11 factories in Asos’ Mauritian supply chain with labour right organisation Verite, Mauritius was found to be an area of risk with evidence of systematic labour violations which include debt bondage linked to the recruitment of migrant workers.
The British High Commission is supporting this event as part of the UK’s agenda to tackle modern slavery. “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,” said High Commissioner Keith Allan, who will be speaking at the event.
Last October saw Asos become the first e-commerce brand to sign a Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL, the world’s largest sectorial trade union organization representing 50 million workers. In late March, Asos will also 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 apparel sector for its supplier base.