Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Janice Bellace (U. Penn. - Wharton) and George Dragnich (DC LERA) published yesterday an op-ed in “The Hill” entitled A path for business out of the China forced labor dilemma. Here's Janice's description of the op-ed:
It addresses the China Uyghurs forced-labor situation and the role the ILO could play. It is written to attract the attention of companies by pointing out why companies might want to explore this possibility and explaining one way employers could pursue this route could be in June at the International Labour Conference.
George and I wrote this to draw attention to the ILO and its role regarding the abolition of forced labour. As you know, in the U.S., the media nearly always totally ignore the ILO. Even though Kevin Cassidy in the Washington office of the ILO has done terrific work in trying to close this recognition gap, it is an uphill slog. For instance, truly annoying is when they are discussing ILO labor standards (as was done recently in an article about the Xinjiang situation) and they refer to "a UN agency" rather than "the ILO." Since the dilemma facing companies has received coverage recently, we thought this and the timeliness of the issue would be “the hook” for a piece (since newspapers and other media typically want to see what will attract readers to the item, what will hook them in).
George and I both believe that the ILO has an important role to play and in fact, the most useful role with regard to the abolition of forced labour in Xinjiang. We hope this op-ed piece makes a helpful contribution.