Nearly 40 investors, led by UK charity fund manager CCLA, have written to companies with significant operations in the Gulf, asking them to provide details on how they are protecting migrant workers - amid concerns over debt bondage and slave labour in the region, which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
38 investors - among them Aviva Investors, Schroders, Brunel Pension Partnership, The Church of England Pensions Board, Boston Common Asset Management, and Mercy Investment Services - penned the letter.
More than 50 firms were targeted in the engagement, including well-known multinationals such as Shell, McDonald’s and Exxon Mobil.
The engagement is in response to reports that many migrant workers in the region have been “coerced” into paying large fees to agents and middlemen as part of recruitment for roles at major international firms.
Workers often pay for these ‘fees' by taking out loans at high interest rates, leaving…