In the News

Senate Panel to Defy Bush, Vote on Women's Treaty

Washington Post

Excerpt from article:

In an almost unheard-of challenge to presidential prerogative, the Democratic Senate is preparing to consider ratification of an international treaty the White House has indicated it may not want approved.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) has scheduled a committee vote today on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a 23-year-old United Nations document that was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and has languished ever since.

U.S. Ban Sought on Cocoa Produced by Child Slaves

San Jose Mercury News

By Steven Thomma

A labor-rights advocacy group asked the U.S. government Thursday to ban

imports of cocoa from Ivory Coast, saying a new investigation revealed that little

had been done to stop the use of child slave labor in its harvesting.

The group, the Washington-based International Labor Rights Fund, asked the

Customs Service to invoke a 1997 law that prohibits imports of any good

"produced or manufactured with bonded child labor." The group said the only

Ecuador Border Tainted by U.S. Coca Killer

San Francisco Chronicle

by Reese Ehrlich, Chronicle Foreign Service

San Francisco Chronicle - May 18, 2002

San Francisco 2 Ecuador -- Walking along a dirt trail in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, subsistence farmer Santiago Tanguila says life in this village on the Colombian border has always been difficult.

But now, he says, pointing to trees with yellow, withered leaves, the village's 32 residents are facing a new challenge.

Pattern of Sexual Violence Against Women & Their Daughters Revealed in Production of Imported Kenya Coffee


May 17, 2002

"Our research shows that the US imports Kenyan coffee processed by women who suffer routinely from violent sexual abuse by their employers and supervisors. Even their daughters, who live with them on the agricultural plantations, have been raped. Senator Baucus' amendment to the Fast Track bill will help Americans say no to such practices and help working women protect themselves," says Natacha Thys, Director of the International Labor Rights Fund's (ILRF) Rights for Working Women Campaign.

US May Press Countries Over Labour Rights

Financial Times

Excerpt from article:

The US is considering the first revision in almost 20 years to the list of workers' rights that African and other developing countries must respect in order to sell their goods duty-free into the US

The US Senate is likely to approve next week a revision to the 25-year-old Generalised System of Preferences that will for the first time require beneficiary countries to prohibit discrimination with respect to employment and occupation.

Deadly blooms

The Guardian

Colombia's flower industry is based on the exploitation of its women workers

By Kevin Watkins

"Flowers," wrote Goethe, "are the beautiful words and hieroglyphs of nature, with which she shows us how much she loves us." Then again, he never had to make a living by picking them.