Archive for August, 2012

Maid in Lebanon
Working in Other People’s Homes

This week at Media Voices, we celebrate the ratification of ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Labor by the Philippines, one of the primary sending countries for young women and girls working in other people’s homes as domestic servants. Uruguay was the first country to ratify; the Philippines is the second, and this ratification represents a [...]

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ILO Convention 189

The text of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers

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Many Indian Maids at Risk of Sexual Abuse

A short piece produced by Al Jazeera in 2011 on the risk of sexual abuse that domestic workers, particularly children, face in India.

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Foxconn Verification Report August 2012

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!

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Uruguay takes the lead to protect domestic workers

Providing protection for the world’s millions of domestic workers has taken a major step forward. In April 2012, Uruguay became the first country to ratify ILO Convention 189, the landmark treaty guaranteeing domestic workers get the same core labour protections as other workers. Uruguay has long been a leader in protecting the rights of domestic workers, but ratifying the convention demanded a unique approach; a group of Uruguayan housewives were called on to represent the employers of domestic workers at the bargaining table.

Questions and Answers on the Hidden Reality of Children in Domestic Work

The recently approved ILO Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201 on decent work for domestic workers aim to protect and improve working and living conditions of millions of workers worldwide, who have few – if any – labour rights. Many are children who spend long hours working as domestic helpers, performing tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, minding other children and gardening instead of being at school. ILO News spoke to ILO experts Martin Oelz (TRAVAIL) and José M. Ramírez (IPEC) on the current situation of child domestic workers and how the new Convention and Recommendation can help impact their lives.

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Maid in Lebanon

Every year thousands of Asian women leave their homes and families and become domestic workers in the Middle East. Carol Mansour’s excellent documentary produced for the International Labour Organization explores the struggles and experiences of these women, and the complicated relationships with their employers. This is part one of two. For the second half of the documentary (well worth the time), click here

Chump Change and Smoke

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.

The Real Price of Cheap Clothing

This week at Media Voices, we are excited to introduce a new contributor, Sarah Johnson. Between her graduation from high school and college, Sarah spent several months working with kids who were living in Egypt as refugees, either internally displaced or fleeing wars in Libya and other trouble spots. She discovered that while it’s important [...]

Sarah Johnson Head Shot
The Power of Soccer: Refugee Youth in Cairo

<   “The best way to explain something to them is to relate it to soccer” laughed Fatima, founder and director of the non-profit Tadamon, or “solidarity”. “These kids always understand soccer.” Tadamon is a small, urban-refugee-assisting non-profit located in Cairo, Egypt.

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Update on ‘Sumangali Scheme’

July 2012 update issued by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the Dutch NGO India Committee of the Netherlands on the efforts to combat the Sumangali Scheme at manufacturers in Tamil Nadu. Some brands have taken steps to distance themselves from questionable suppliers, but others, including “Diesel, Marks & Spencer, Ralph Lauren, Quicksilver and buying house Cristal Martin, that supplies well-known brands such as Mothercare, Next and GAP” still recruit poor girls to work for several years for a lump sum that is supposed to set them up with a dowry.

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Understanding the Sumangali Scheme

A May 2012 report by the Fair Labor Association on the Sumangali Scheme in the South India textile industry. The textile and clothing industry in India employs an estimated 35 million people, and much of the country’s production occurs in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Behind the scenes of this bustling industry, a troubling practice called the Sumangali Scheme continues to put the rights and lives of millions of young women at risk. In May 2012, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Solidaridad-South & South East Asia released a research report on the Sumangali Scheme – the practice of paying young women a lump sum to be used for a dowry at the end of a three-year term. Written by Solidaridad with support from the FLA, this report provides an overview of the Sumangali Scheme, presents stakeholder views, and offers the perspectives of some of the women and their families who are affected by this practice.

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Slavery on the High Street

2012 Anti-Slavery International report on the routine use of forced labor of girls and young women in the spinning mills and garment factories of five Indian clothing manufacturers that supply major western clothing retail brands.

These were SP Apparel, Bannari Amman, SCM, Eastman and Prem Group. Export data from two Indian ports confirms dozens of major western brands purchasing garments from these companies.

The Indian companies recruit unmarried girls and women from poor ‘lower’ caste families to be spinners in their mills or workers in their factories. Around 60 per cent have a Dalit (“untouchable”) background.

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2012 Global Humanitarian Assistance Report

The research and analysis within GHA Report 2012 reveals how the international response has coped with recent disasters and gives us cause for concern about the ability of the humanitarian system to respond and adapt to an unpredictable and risky world