Allegations of abuse of Zimbabwean care workers: Statement from Zim UK Business Chamber
Zimbabwe UK Business Chamber is proud of entrepreneurs of Zimbabwean origin and
heritage who have established themselves as successful employers in the UK. However, we are also aware that there are some employers who have regrettably used unethical practices that are directly impacting their employees.
We unequivocally condemn the abuse of Zimbabwean care workers who are being tricked into coming to the UK by unscrupulous middlemen and forced to live in squalor. Many are also being charged exorbitant and unlawful fees and are exposed to difficult working conditions.
We stand in solidarity with all Zimbabwean care and support workers who are enduring this modern-day slavery. We recognise that this is a global issue, and we are committed to playing our part in supporting its eradication.
As an organisation built on empowering and supporting individuals and businesses to thrive, we have a duty to act, and an important part to play in actively confronting modern day slavery to achieve systemic change for our fellow Zimbabweans.
We are also committed to highlighting and stamping out the predatory and exploitative behaviour of companies who are targeting vulnerable people leaving Zimbabwe for a better life.
We are committed to inclusive capitalism: ensuring that people have equal opportunity irrespective of socio-economic background, gender, ethnicity, religion, or age.
We are aware that our position enables us to influence, lead and drive positive change in the communities in which we live and work.
We have links across a wide range of networks both locally and internationally and our main objective is to bring people together to establish a central platform that facilitates peer networking, support, business development and growth. We take this very seriously. Whether in our direct operations – as partners, sponsors or on behalf of our members.
What we intend to do:
Create an information hub: Providing information and advice resources, including details on how to support those experiencing difficulties and inequality.
Awareness: Spreading awareness to help Zimbabweans speak out.
Ongoing improvement: Addressing modern day slavery forms part of our wider human rights agenda. We plan to put processes and policies in place to ensure the effectiveness of our response to modern day slavery.
Setting up a sustainability committee – We have long-term plans to create a committee that will oversee aspectsof social sustainability that will help us coordinate governance and reporting of modern-day slavery issues within our business community.
Training – Develop training materials to educate different stakeholders and business members on the risk of modern-day slavery in workplaces, how to spot potential victims and how to report any cases.
Collective collaboration – Work closely with businesses and run workshops designed to drive better understanding, best practice within different industries, and how we can work together to eradicate forced labour.
There is a lot more we can do to ensure such inhumane practices do not happen. We are committed to being a part of the change. We understand that collaboration is vital to tackling modern day slavery in businesses and we will continue to work with business peers and the community to do this.
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