More countries at extreme risk from human rights abuses, warns Maplecroft

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
11 December 2014

Ukraine, Thailand and Turkey have experienced the steepest rise in human rights risks during 2014, according to Maplecroft.

“Heavy-handed government responses to civil unrest and failures in rule of law” have contributed to the countries’ deterioration, while Maplecroft’s Human Rights Risk Atlas (HRRA) shows the number of “extreme risk” countries has increased from 20 in 2008 to 35 in 2015.

The HRRA shows Thailand (34th most at risk) has become extreme risk for the first time in 10 years, following May’s military coup, which “prevented the implementation of necessary regulatory reforms to address abuses against migrant labourers and the country continues to be a hub of forced labour violations”. The fishing industry “remains a sector of concern” while heavy manufacturing firms “are at risk of being complicit in labour abuses”, said Maplecroft.

In Turkey (69th most at risk), “repression of civil and political rights” and “violations against demonstrators committed by security forces during country-wide protests” have contributed to its fall in the HRRA. Ukraine (44th most at risk) has experienced the greatest increase in risks globally, “exacerbated by the ongoing conflict” that includes “routine kidnapping, torture and summary executions”.

Lizabeth Campbell, director of human rights at Maplecroft, said: “Displaced populations, especially women and children, are exceptionally vulnerable to exploitation through trafficking and modern slavery. Aside from the obvious humanitarian tragedy, the displacement of these vulnerable groups carries significant risks for companies, as victims can appear in various stages of company supply chains, particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and mining.”

Maplecroft said in Ukraine it had identified “commercial exploitation of over 430,000 conflict-driven migrants as a serious issue”, while the conflict in Syria, number one in the HRRA, had created an estimated seven million displaced people.

Maplecroft’s top 10 countries most at risk of human rights abuses:

1. Syria
2. Sudan
3. Iraq
4. Somalia
5. Afghanistan
6. Democratic Republic of Congo
7. Pakistan
8. Central African Republic
9. Nigeria
10. South Sudan

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