“Apparel Industry Trends: From Farm to Factory” ranks 300 apparel brands on their efforts to address child and forced labor in their supply chains. It provides a picture of the practices of industry leaders, and calls out brands that fuel modern slavery through their negligence.
Deadly Secrets, a new report by International Labor Rights Forum, reveals how major apparel companies are putting workers’ lives at risk by covering up fire safety hazards and other dangerous working conditions using confidential audits and ignoring known solutions.
For the last several years, ECPAT-USA has been collecting news articles, press releases and, particularly, court documents that identify hotels that have been used as venues for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. By now, about 350 hotel properties have been found. This is by no means a complete enumeration of the hotels that have [...]
A report on remediation efforts undertaken by Apple supplier Foxconn to improve working conditions issed by the Fair Labor Association August 21st 2012. Foxconn’s response is impressive. 100% of remedial actions due by May 2012 have been completed, and 89% of remediation due by 2013 are ahead of schedule. Very hopeful!
I’ve just attended the Global March Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Washington DC.The room was filled with people committed to ridding the world of products made by child labor labor. They have their work cut out for them.
In this report the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) present their findings on the labour conditions in the South Indian garment and textile industry. In Tamil Nadu young women workers continue to suffer exploitative working conditions while making garments for Western brands. Thousands of girls work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour.
‘Maid in India’ features case studies of four large Tamil Nadu-based garment manufacturers that produce for the European and US markets. The majority of the workers are Dalit (outcaste) girls younger then 18 hailing from poor families who are lured with promises of a decent wage, comfortable accommodation and, in some cases a sum of money upon completion of the contract that may be used for their dowry. A large number of these labour migrants live in (factory) hostels where they have little to no interaction with the outside world, let alone trade unions or labour advocates. Workers are expected to work long hours of forced overtime under unhealthy conditions. Trade unions are weak and face enormous opposition. Government enforcement of labour law is not robust. Garment brands and retailers have made promises to abolish labour abuses at their suppliers. Some companies are part of corporate compliance or multi-stakeholder initiatives; others are developing their own approach, including in-depth investigations and social audits at their suppliers. These efforts have had some positive effects, especially in the garment-producing units that supply directly to Western buyers. Still, SOMO and ICN conclude that major violations continue, especially in the spinning units were yarn is produced.
Open publication – Free publishing – More bonded labor
Over the last several months, Apple Inc, one of the most prominent and profitable companies on the planet, has been subject to charges of gross labor violations in its production facilities in China. It is fair to say that these charges, initiated by labor rights specialists and students in Hong Kong and backed by international [...]
U. R. Romano, director of Harvest (La Cosecha), speaks at the Tedx Fruitvale: Harvesting Change conference about children working in the fields in U.S. agriculture, and the costs to them in terms of health and educational opportunity, of migrating across the country for months during the picking season.
I’ve never considered myself a slave owner. My house is filled with normal stuff; some furniture, clothes, quite a bit of music and books and an 80-year-old piano. So imagine my surprise when I recently completed the survey at SLAVERY FOOTPRINT, a new web site and mobile app, to discover that my lifestyle is made [...]
Open publication – Free publishing – More bonded labor
Several years ago, Dr. Wangari Maathai told us something I’ve never forgotten. If you want to save children, you must save communities. Because children are part of their communities. This week at Media Voices, we have a report issued by the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human [...]
More than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years—the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. A great number of those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular. This Center for Human Rights and Global Justice Report focuses on the human rights of Indian farmers and of the estimated 1.5 million surviving family members who have been affected by the farmer suicide crisis to date. Economic reforms and the opening of Indian agriculture to the global market over the past two decades have increased costs, while reducing yields and profits for many farmers, to the point of great financial and emotional distress. As a result, smallholder farmers are often trapped in a cycle of debt.
The Naked Option, an hour-long documentary film, reveals the inspiring story of an organized group of Nigerian women who use the threat of stripping naked in public, a serious cultural taboo, in their deadly struggle to hold the oil companies accountable to the communities in which they operate. The women, at the risk of being raped, beaten or killed, are trained and armed, but not with anything you can see. Through the leadership of the courageous, charismatic, and inexhaustible Emem J. Okon, these women are taking over where men have failed, peacefully transforming their ‘naked power’ into 21st century political action and mobilization. THE NAKED OPTION: A LAST RESORT celebrates the perseverance and power of an organized group of women.
This week at Media Voices we draw your attention to an extraordinary documentary, The Naked Option, which tells the inspiring story of a grassroots group of women in the Niger delta who fight the oil giants, Shell and Chevron, using the threat of going naked in public, a serious cultural taboo, to make their voices [...]
I came across an article in a newspaper titled “Our Weapon is Our Nakedness” and it, of course, piqued my interest! My first thought was “what a great story about culture, about tradition and the roles of women especially in the way they lead this humanist movement.” I couldn’t think of a comparable traditional “weapon” [...]
June 12th saw the annual observance of World Day Against Child Labor. When it comes to protecting children’s human rights, progress can seem painfully incremental and slow. But this year, there are many substantial efforts that merit our respect and admiration and get a BRAVO from Media Voices.
In January 2011 GoodWeave India’s inspectors discovered 60 children as young as eight working as bonded laborers in three separate Bhadohi carpet weaving sites. All had been trafficked from the eastern states of Bihar and West Bengal, over 300 miles away. In reuniting one child with his West Bengal family, community members told GoodWeave that [...]
Investigative photographer and filmmaker U. Roberto Romano is one of today’s foremost creative minds when it comes to capturing images of wrongdoings which words cannot describe. He’s also a committed and well-versed advocate for human rights, particularly with regard to labor and production conditions in various countries around the world. A widely respected expert, his [...]
This report, jointly produced by SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations) and ICN (India Committee of the Netherlands) highlights several labour rights violations faced by girls and young women employed under the Sumangali Scheme in the Tamil Nadu garment industry. The Sumangali Scheme equals bonded labour, on the basis of the fact that employers are unilaterally holding back part of the workers’ wages until three or more years of work have been completed. In addition, workers are severely restricted in their freedom of movement and privacy. Workers work in unsafe and unhealthy circumstances. Local and international NGOs have reported extensively on the Sumangali Scheme. Inevitably, brands and retailers sourcing from Tamil Nadu have Sumangali workers in their supply chain. ICN and SOMO denounce the Sumangali Scheme as outright unacceptable and are of the opinion that sourcing companies have a responsibility to ensure that workers’ rights are respected throughout their supply chain.
When I walked in the door, the trouble began. Reaching into a basket, I pulled out my random lot for the night. I was to abandon my normal identity as a white Anglo-Saxon American male and become Farida, a low income mother of five who supports her family from small scale vegetable farming in rural [...]
I was 11 years old. My mom, a teacher in a middle school in Tashkent, came home in tears and said that she had to go work in the cotton fields to help with the harvest. My mom didn’t owe the government a thing, she never had anything to do with cotton or agriculture. But [...]
Sangita was in 3rd grade when she was forced to leave school because her family could no longer afford the tuition. When her family lacked the money for basic necessities like food, Sangita had no other option but to travel to Kathmandu and work in a carpet factory to send money home. She was only [...]
This report from As You Sow examines how apparel industry leaders have made changes to their internal purchasing practices and corporate structures as part of the continued efforts to improve factory working conditions.