Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Canned tuna brands making ‘glacial progress’ in tackling modern slavery

BANGKOK — The world’s top canned tuna firms are making “glacial progress” combating modern slavery in their supply chains, an advocacy group said on Tuesday, warning that the coronavirus pandemic had left fishers in Asia-Pacific more vulnerable to exploitation.

Of the 35 biggest tuna companies and supermarkets surveyed by the UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), 29 had made public pledges on workers’ human rights.

But most firms had yet to take any action to stop modern slavery by implementing human rights policies—with oversight of recruitment almost non-existent, the report said.

Six companies had policies to protect migrant workers but just one had evidence of having taken direct action, it added.

“The global fishing sector is rife with allegations of abuse—human trafficking, debt bondage … and even murder,” BHRRC’s Pacific representative Amy Sinclair told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“But despite continued high demand for canned tuna, our research found there had been glacial progress on action by leading brands when it comes to workers trapped in modern slavery in the Pacific,” she added.

The companies and supermarkets—representing more than 80 of the world’s largest canned tuna brands—procure much of their tuna from the Pacific region, which supplies about 60% of the world’s tuna, according to the World Bank.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to increased demand for tuna, as consumers worldwide have stocked-up on the pantry staple, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

As international borders have closed to curb the pandemic, modern slavery risks have heightened, with many fishers trapped at sea for longer periods—exposing them to heightened exploitation and abuse, the BHRRC report said.

While nearly half of respondents recognized that the pandemic exacerbated modern slavery risks, only a quarter had taken any action in response, it added.

The Seafood Ethics Action Alliance and the Seafood Task Force, a group of seafood buyers and companies, were not immediately available for comment.

BHRRC said only one company—US supermarket chain Kroger Co.—disclosed forced labor in its supply chain, suggesting the others either do not have adequate practices in place to weed it out, or are not disclosing it when found.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated inequality and human misery in the seafood supply chains,” said Art Prapha, a senior advisor for anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

“Investors, workers, and activists have raised these concerns well before the pandemic, yet many companies continue to ignore these critical calls.” — Nanchanok Wongsamuth/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



Lowering VAT charges on fuel may be politically attractive but is not good news for those who will struggle the most, say leading tax...


An estimated 3 per cent of the workforce was signed off in late December and a fifth of businesses reported increased cancellations amid the...


Mark Zuckerberg could be forced to pay most British Facebook users about £50 each if a landmark legal action alleging that the site abused...


France has reopened its borders to British tourists after ministers in Paris eased restrictions on non-essential travel. From this morning, Britons travelling to the...


People struck down with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus are buying so much paracetamol that supplies are running low in many shops. Official...


Covid Passports are to be abandoned within days after Sajid Javid effectively killed off the policy. The health secretary has concluded that Covid-19 certification...

You May Also Like


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...


As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.