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Protecting Human Rights through Government Procurement

Publication Date: 

May 19, 2015

No other consumer in the world has greater influence on human rights worldwide than the US Government.  Yet, federal procurement policy is like a human rights sieve with gaping holes.  It still allows US government agencies and entities to purchase goods made in deathtrap factories in Bangladesh or in other factories that do not comply with internationally-recognized human rights without investigating risk to workers or seeking remedy for workers who have been harmed.  ILRF proposes five steps the US Government should take to exercise its duty to protect workers’ human rights through procur

Kalpona Akter's Remarks at WEP at United Nations

Publication Date: 

March 10, 2015

Twenty years ago, when the Beijing Declaration was developed, I was 18 years old. A few years prior, I had been fired from a garment factory in retaliation for trying to form a union in my factory. I had attended only five years of primary school before entering the workforce at age twelve.  In the beginning I earned $6 a month working for companies like Walmart. It wasn’t enough to feed my mom, my younger siblings and my disabled father. At 18, I had already been married, in what became an abusive relationship, and left the relationship.

Broad Coalition Seeks Stronger Labor Protections, Corporate Responsibility in Palm Oil Industry

Publication Date: 

March 4, 2015

While the world’s growing palm oil industry has long been (justifiably) the target of environmental NGOs for its role in land grabs and rainforest destruction, too often activists have overlooked another of its dirty secrets: the palm oil industry’s reliance on risky employment practices that place migrant workers and day laborers at risk of wage theft, child labor, and even forms of modern day slavery.