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U.S. TIP Report 2019: A missed opportunity for Freedom of Association in Thailand?

The 2019 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report was released last week. Rightly so, Thailand remained at its previous ranking of Tier 2. This ranking is reserved for countries that do not meet the minimum standards to address human trafficking but are making efforts to do so. Maintaining the Tier 2 status is consistent with the Thai Seafood Working Group’s recommendation, yet the U.S. government missed an opportunity to focus Thai authorities and businesses on the structural changes needed to prevent labor trafficking in the country.

Our Own Best Defense: How Unions Can Stop GBV at Work

Even with every effort being made to prevent gender-based violence at work, it’s not possible to eliminate it entirely in a world that prioritizes the desires of men over the safety of women and people of other/no genders. As the International Labour Organization prepares to adopt a Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, it is paramount that it identify that unions and collective bargaining are critical to preventing gender-based violence. Whether it be global, national or local labor unions, worker centers, or any organizations that genuinely represent the interests of workers, labor must be an integral creator and implementer of any programs to address violence and harassment.

A Worker By Any Other Name

No category of worker is immune to gender-based violence at work. Interns, trainees, and contractors hired through a temp agency are at no less risk of harassment and abuse than workers who have signed regular employment contracts. Precarious workers – those who frequently fill permanent job needs but are denied permanent employee rights – are at a higher risk of gender-based violence, since the employer may not renew their short-term contract if they exercise their rights, especially those related to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

In the Drivers’ Seat: Why the ILO Should Care about the Commute

Hold your keys in your hand. Stick to that street, not this one, it has more lights. Don’t go down that block, whatever you do – there’s a group of gamblers on the corner ready to scream drunkenly at you as you pass by.

It’s a dance every woman around the world is familiar with: minimizing your risk and exposure, keeping yourself safe, while trying to get from point A to point B. For garment workers in Cambodia, that dance takes place nearly every night. So much so that the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL), keeps a crowdsourced map up on the wall. Workers who come through the center for trainings and meetings add to the map. They draw arrows down the safest paths, and mark hazards with orange dots.

CSR helps hide workers’ rights abuse until brands can quietly exit

Corporations have been selling ‘ethical’ products and services to consumers for over three decades. Many of these efforts have been organised under the banner of corporate social responsibility (CSR), with proponents advocating this as a means to secure workers’ rights. Despite their well-documented limitations and brands acknowledging the need for improvements, most CSR initiatives continue to resist the structural changes needed. They instead prefer to tinker around the edges of a failed model.

The Definition of Violence

On International Women’s Day, how much has the Trump administration back-tracked on what counts for those of us who say #metoo?

There is power in a definition. A definition is a shared understanding among people, a social knowledge. Yet in April of last year, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women quietly changed their definitions of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Peer Review Calls for Strengthening of U.S. NCP; Fails to Account for Key Stakeholder Input

As the global business landscape continues to expand and shift, there is a pressing need for corporate accountability in the world. Effective avenues where people can seek remedy for harm caused by businesses are crucial. In the United States, the U.S. National Contact Point (U.S. NCP) is meant to serve as a forum in which people harmed by American companies’ activities and operations can raise grievances.

Are Amazon, Walmart, and eBay’s online 'marketplaces' providing a refuge for goods made with forced labor?

Last month, while browsing online, we were surprised to find that we could buy cotton hand towels advertised as “made in Turkmenistan” on the websites of Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.  In May 2018, U.S.

International Buyers Must Prevent Thailand Backtracking on Convention

Many people around the world have been horrified by reports of human rights abuses in the seafood industry. A 2014 article in the Guardian sounded alarm bells that all seafood purchasers large and small should answer. But the issue of slavery in the seafood supply chain is larger and more complex than consumers or even companies can tackle alone. Large multinational companies have had to band together to form the Seafood Taskforce, and yet government action is still needed.

Modern-Day Servitude in U.S. Port Trucking: A Call to Retail Brands

Today, southern California’s port truck drivers and warehouse workers - many of whom are Black and Latinx workers and TPS recipients – begin a three-day strike to send a clear message to their port trucking employers (XPO Logistics and NFI Industries) and the country’s most powerful brands and retailers: put an end to rampant wage theft and the misclassification of port truckers.

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