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Top 5 Issues to Track in Cotton Harvest

Every year for their entire history, the governments of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have systematically coerced their own citizens to cultivate and pick cotton, with the profits benefiting the government elite rather than the people. To harvest cotton last year, the Uzbek government forced over a million citizens to the fields, and the Turkmen government forced tens of thousands.

Obama Administration grants unwarranted TIP Upgrades

The State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) is a potent annual assessment of governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking that subjects the worst offenders to sanctions. At its best, it provides human rights organizations, unions, and others committed to the fight against human trafficking with a tool to hold governments accountable for their efforts to prevent this egregious crime, protect its victims and prosecute the offenders.

Focus on Fixing the Streetcar, Not Fighting Workers

Streetcars made their last run in Washington, D.C. back in 1959. For the past 5 years DC City government is on track to rebuild the system, this time via a problematic public-private partnership. Plagued with delays and mismanagement, the new line is about to start service. More than $200 million has been spent to establish the first of what some hope will be several segments of new streetcar service in the growing city. Even prior to operation the D.C.

What is Bangladesh’s Position on Freedom of Association?

One of the reasons the Accord on Fire and Building Safety is such an important safety program in Bangladesh is that they understand that dangerous workplaces are not just failures in building engineering or fire and electrical safety, but also of failures of a social system that ignores and excludes workers and denies them their voice.  Workers know the safety problems in their factories better than anyone else.  When they are denied the opportunity to report on those problems and suggest solutions, their workplaces are not sa

Ten Years after Uzbekistan’s Massacre, the Tragedy Continues to Unfold

This is a guest post from Open Society Foundations, a long-time ILRF partner in the Cotton Campaign to end forced labor in Uzbekistan's cotton harvest, to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Andijan Massacre in Uzbekistan. For more on this tragic event, please watch this chilling video from Human Rights Watch, another ally in the Cotton Campaign.

The TPP's dirty labor laundry

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is being touted as a “21st century” trade agreement that will contain strong and enforceable labor standards to ensure our trade partners honor their promise to uphold workers’ fundamental rights.  

But if history is any guide, labor rights advocates should remain deeply skeptical of any such claims.

Remembering Rana Plaza

Today I revisited the Rana Plaza factory site where the eight-story building collapsed two years ago, horrifically killing 1,138 workers and seriously injuring more than 2,500 others.  The site has not changed much since I came here in 2013, a month after the collapse.  You can still find spools of thread, fabric, the occasional lost scarf or shoe, and remnants of the Joe Fresh jeans, which were being produced for JC Penney and Loblaw’s at the time.  Most of the building has been demolished, but the rubble remains.  In the cen

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