Report: Automation will trigger rise in slavery and abuse in SE Asia
By Malek Murison
Slavery and labour abuses will escalate in Southeast Asia as automation takes hold and the adoption of robot workers creates a race to the bottom. That’s according to a new report from global risk consultancy, Verisk Maplecroft.
Of five issues raised in the company’s 2018 Human Rights Outlook report, automation is identified as presenting the most “significant challenges to the reputations, operations, and supply chains of multinational companies, now and in the future.”
According to the UN’s International Labour Organisation, 56 percent of workers in the manufacturing hubs of Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam – collectively known as the ASEAN-5 – will lose their jobs to the rise of automation.
Those workers are particularly at risk, says Verisk Maplecroft, because of their countries’ economic dependence on low-skilled labour, while automation will exacerbate existing levels of labour rights abuses.
Photo courtesy of CIFOR.