PILnet’s commitment to ending human trafficking runs deep. One of our close partners, the Mekong Club in Hong Kong, shares this vision. Engaging the private sector in the fight against modern slavery, the Mekong Club has sought legal support through PILnet several times.
“PILnet helped us access excellent pro bono legal assistance on various occasions through its network of law firms. We could never have afforded or sourced this kind of support on our own.”- Mekong Club in Hong Kong
On one of those occasions, PILnet arranged to get legal research assistance for the Mekong Club so that it could educate its corporate members on the dangers that so-called recruitment fees present for workers. Recruitment fees can sometimes be legitimate, but too often they result in abuse, especially when they are far higher than merited or prohibited in the first place. They put workers at risk of exploitation, especially for those being recruited across borders. While many companies have made public commitments to eradicate recruitment fees in their supply chains, the reality is different. Reaching into its deep network of lawyers, PILnet obtained multijurisdictional legal assistance for the Mekong Club to help its staff make sense of varying regulations in selected jurisdictions in Asia and the Middle East. The legal research allowed the Mekong Club to create a tool that explains the recruitment fee legal framework for key sourcing locations and migration corridors. The Mekong Club can now easily educate companies in its network on what recruitment fees are and when they are legal and illegal, so that these private-sector actors can play their part in helping to end human trafficking.