An association of global electronics companies voted to prohibit the charging of recruitment fees to workers, either by recruiters or directly by employers. The Electronics Industry Citizenship Council said excessive recruitment fees can lead to forced labor, trapping workers in debt to the labor broker or employment agency that recruited them.
The coalition’s 100 members include Dell Inc., IBM Corp., Samsung Electronics, Toshiba Corp., Microsoft, Lenovo, Qualcomm and more.
Members voted March 27 to add this wording to the coalition’s code of conduct: “Workers shall not be required to pay employers’ or agents’ recruitment fees or other related fees for their employment. If any such fees are found to have been paid by workers, such fees shall be repaid to the worker.”
Other provisions aimed at ending forced labor were also added last year and went into effect on April 1. They include a prohibition on the holding of passports and other key worker documents as well as unreasonable restrictions on movement and access to basic liberties. It also requires workers be provided with a written contract in their native language prior to departing from their country of origin.