Reuters - Nestle on Monday disclosed forced labour was in its supply chain after a year-long investigation found migrants were sold and lured by false promises to work in Thailand's seafood sector, kept in debt bondage and degrading conditions.
The disclosure came as a surprise as international companies rarely acknowledge abuses in their supply chains despite coming under increasing pressure from consumers and governments to be transparent about how and where their products are sourced.
Verite, a charity fighting labour injustices, which carried out the research, welcomed Nestle's admission and said virtually all companies sourcing seafood in Thailand, the world's third-largest seafood exporter, were exposed to the same risks.
"Sometimes, the net is too heavy and workers get pulled in to the water and just disappear," Verite quoted one Myanmar fisherman as saying. Another person spoke of barely having enough money to survive despite working on a boat for 10 years.