Combatting Forced Labor and Enforcing Workers’ Rights Using the Tariff Act

Publication Date: 

February 25, 2020

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 25 million people are living in forced labor situations. An estimated $150 billion dollars in profits a year are generated off the backs of the men, women, and children who are forced to work. The trafficking of men and boys into the seafood industry is well documented. Recent reports revealed mounting evidence of the system of forced labor in camps in Xinjiang, China.  Meanwhile, in Malawi's tobacco and Indonesia's palm oil sectors, families are trafficked across their country only to be trapped in debt bondage.

Statement on U.S. Government Decision to Suspend Thailand’s Trade Preferences Due to Worker Rights Issues

Publication Date: 

December 10, 2019

On October 25, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the U.S. government would suspend $1.3 billion in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) based on its “failure to adequately provide internationally-recognized worker rights… such as protections for freedom of association and collective bargaining”.

Pakistan's Garment Workers Need a Safety Accord

Publication Date: 

September 11, 2019

On 11 September 2012, Ali Enterprises burned to the ground in Baldia Town, Karachi, killing over 250 workers, making it the most deadly factory fire ever. Today, textile and garment factories in Pakistan remain just as unsafe as they were seven years ago. Although multiple initiatives aimed at addressing workplace safety have been initiated in Pakistan since then, they lack the necessary elements that must be in place to ensure safety. All of these initiatives have limited transparency and none of them are enforceable.

Cotton Campaign Roadmap of Reforms for Uzbekistan: End Systemic Forced Labor, Enact Structural Reforms, and Empower Civil Society

Publication Date: 

June 15, 2019

This roadmap sets forth the Cotton Campaign’s recommendations to the Government of Uzbekistan at a pivotal point for efforts to end forced labor in the cotton harvest. It reflects significant consultations among Cotton Campaign partners and other parties—including governments, international institutions, and industry associations—with an interest and stake in a successful conclusion of this complex process of reform that is underway but incomplete.

Calling for Remedy

Publication Date: 

May 15, 2019
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has taken away the fear of entering the workplace for garment workers across the 1,674 factories it covers. Next to the inspections on fire, electrical, and structural safety that the Accord is most widely recognized for, it also operates an extensive Worker Participation program which includes a Safety and Health Complaints Mechanism.