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Freight industry urges to be aware of labour exploitation in products it moves

The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations is hosting its annual conference in Cape Town.

Shipping cargo freight

CAPE TOWN - The Association of Freight Forwarders said the industry needed to become more aware of labour exploitation in the products it transported.

The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (Fiata) is hosting its annual conference in Cape Town.

The three-day conference started on Thursday and will conclude on Saturday at the Cape Town Convention Centre.

The director of the association, Mike Walwyn said the supply chain for the production of cellphones was one example where labour exploitation was present.

“Every cellphone has in it a lovely mineral called Coltan which is only produced in the DRC, and where it is very often dug out of the ground by small children in small dark holes, where if it rains they run the risk of drowning,” he said.

Walwyn added that the industry needed to transform but there was a long road ahead.

“The message to our industry was, we sit in the center of all of this, we can see it happening, we should be aware of it, and we should be making efforts to avoid handling those products. I'm not sure it'll take root immediately. It's a new concept for a lot of freight forwarders,” Walwyn said.

Timeline

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