Areas of Focus

women stood in a line looking at the camera after harvesting crops
Our work spans across borders, addressing issues of modern slavery and labour exploitation in a range of industries and communities. Explore our current areas of focus below.

Improving Human Rights in the Fishing Industry

Over the years, HRC has built a strong expertise in countering human trafficking and labour exploitation in the commercial fishing industry. The fishing industry is vulnerable to human rights abuses, with fishers on distant water fishing vessels being subjected to forced labour, violence, lack of drinking water and food, and even facing death – recent findings estimate that over 100,000 fishers die annually. A lack of transparency across the fishing supply chain has resulted in a lack of regulations surrounding labour standards for fishers at sea, revealing persistent cases of human trafficking and forced labour. This is an issue that largely affects migrant fishers, who often work on board foreign fishing vessels as a way to make ends meet. HRC are working to increase transparency in the fishing supply chain and improve the livelihoods of fishers.

Ending Slavery in Scamming Compounds

In July 2022, HRC got word of a 24-year-old Taiwanese girl being sold four times, forced to conduct online scams in a compound in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Soon after, thousands of similar cases came to light and this trend rapidly emerged as a form of organised crime of an unprecedented severity and scale. We have witnessed its impact on victims from over 60 different countries across the globe, from Brazil, to Uganda, to Taiwan. In June 2023, Interpol issued an orange notice on this emerging trend of human trafficking, marking it as a serious and imminent threat to public safety. In the same year, the UN stated that hundreds of thousands of victims were being held in scamming compounds, forced to conduct online fraud. HRC has been a trailblazer in countering this crime, forming and working with a network of organisations and individuals across the globe to assist victims and gather much needed information to combat this form of human trafficking.

Knowledge Generation on Survivor Experience and Survivor Agency

We recognise the importance of generating knowledge on the lived experience of survivors and amplifying their agency. Through their lived experience, survivors are experts in counter human trafficking and slavery, yet can often be overlooked by professionals in the field. Approaches to counter trafficking should be survivor led and centred. Over the years, HRC has worked on many projects to better understand survivors’ experience, learning from them to generate knowledge on how trafficking happens, responses to trafficking and appropriate means of reintegration.