In the News

Deadly blooms

The Guardian
08/29/2001

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.

Deadly Blooms: Colombia's flower industry is based on the exploitation of women workers

The Guardian
08/29/2001

"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.

Up on the high plains of the Savanna region around the Colombian capital of Bogota, you get a different view. Here flowers are hieroglyphs not of nature, but of exploitation. "For me flowers mean hard work, bad conditions and bad health," says Elida Duarte, a 29-year-old flower picker working for the Dole corporation, which now controls one fifth of Colombia's exports...

U.S. Courts Beomce Arbiters of Global Rights and Wrongs

New York Times
06/21/2001

By WILLIAM GLABERSON

Last year, five Chinese natives sued the former Chinese prime minister, Li Peng, in an American court for his role in the Tiananmen Square crackdown that killed hundreds of civilians in Beijing.

While visiting the United Nations in September, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was served with a civil suit saying he ordered killings, torture and terrorism in his country and seeking $400 million in damages.

Anti-Sweatshop Movement Is Achieving Gains Overseas

The New York Times
01/26/2000

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

Apparel and footwear factories overseas have slowly improved working conditions in response to a highly vocal anti-sweatshop movement, labor rights advocates say.

Pressure from college students and other opponents of sweatshops has led some factories that make goods for industry giants like Nike and the Gap to cut back on child labor, to use less dangerous chemicals and to require fewer employees to work 80-hour weeks, according to groups that monitor such factories.

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