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Analysts: More Robots, Greater Risk of Slavery in Asia

The rise of robots in manufacturing in Southeast Asia is likely to fuel modern slavery as workers who end up unemployed thanks to automation face abuses competing for a shrinking pool of low-paid jobs in a “race to the bottom,” analysts said Thursday. Drastic job losses because of the growth of automation in the region, a hub for many manufacturing sectors from garments to vehicles, could produce a spike in labor abuses and slavery in global supply chains, said risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.  More than half of workers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, at least 137 million people, risk losing their jobs to automation in the next two decades, the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO) says. Race to bottom The risk of slavery tainting supply chains will spiral as workers who lose their jobs because of increased robot manufacturing will be more vulnerable to workplace abuses...

 

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