Date of release: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Law conference, Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Human Rights RisksModern slavery and human trafficking in global business are among the subjects of a University of Greenwich conference on Thursday 8 December.

The event will focus on the conditions of millions of low-paid workers in the worldwide electronics supply chain, many of whom endure excessive working hours, punitive rules and hazardous conditions. It will also look at conditions in other supply chains, including clothing and food.

Dr Olga Martin-Ortega, from the university's School of Law, says: "We will be exploring the challenges and opportunities for public buyers to make a difference in the lives of those producing the products we purchase.

"We need to keep asking the question – how much do we know about the products we consume? Do we know who makes them, and in what conditions? It is no exaggeration to say that the global supply chain may lead to modern slavery, human trafficking and violation of human rights."

The conference features international experts involved with global supply chains. Speakers range from leading academics to public buyers and members of civil society organisations.

Representatives attending include those from Transport for London, the London Universities Purchasing Consortium, Stockholm County Council, the Gangmaster Licensing Authority and the international NGO Electronics Watch.

Lola Young, Baroness Young of Hornsey, a British actress, author and Crossbench peer, will make a keynote speech, and there will also be roundtable discussions.

Dr Martin-Ortega leads the university's Business, Human Rights and Environment Research Group (BHRE), which has been at the forefront of research into human rights, labour conditions and environmental issues related to the manufacture of popular consumer products, including electronic devices.

Last year the group hosted Behind Your Screen: Human and Environmental conditions in the electronics industry, a conference which investigated conditions such as extremely low wages, excessive working hours, forced overtime, discrimination and punitive rules.

To find out more about studying Law, part of the university's Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities:

Story by Public Relations

Picture credit: Ananta Chowdhury.