Precarious Work: How temporary jobs and subcontracting undermines women, migrants and workers’ rights to decent work

Publication Date: 

July 7, 2009

Employers around the world are creating precarious forms of work to destroy unions, cut labor costs and avoid being held responsible for their own employees. Precarious work is created when permanent, regular jobs are replaced by subcontracted labor and temporary, short-term jobs. Workers around the world are uniting to call for permanent, decent jobs.

This document provides a number of case studies of how US corporations abuse of contract labor and how women and migrants see the effects.

Forced Labor and Child Labor in Central Asia Event Agenda

Publication Date: 

June 11, 2009

On June 11, 2009, representatives from human rights organizations, the international trade union movement, international institutions, companies and governments came together in Geneva to discuss forced labor and child labor in Central Asia. A particular focus was on the continued use of forced child labor in the cotton industry, especially in Uzbekistan. The discussion was timed in coordination with the International Labor Conference, the International Labor Organization's annual conference.

‘We Live Subject to their Orders’: A Three-Province Survey of Forced Child Labor in Uzbekistan’s 2008 Cotton Harvest

Publication Date: 

June 4, 2009

This report highlights the continued use of forced child labor in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan in the fall 2008 harvest. While international pressure from retailers and consumers has had some effect in curbing forced child labor in the production of cotton in Uzbekistan, the practice is still pervasive.

Among other findings, the report states that:

- Since gaining independence in 1991, Uzbekistan’s authoritarian government has increased its reliance on forced child labor to harvest cotton.

Labor Considerations Regarding the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Publication Date: 

May 12, 2009

Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist and already in 2009, 17 union leaders have been murdered. Hundreds of union leaders have been killed since the Uribe Administration came to power in 2002, yet the Obama Administration is still considering the passage of a Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia. ILRF has outlined the reasons why the current Colombian government should not be rewarded with an FTA in the near future.

Roadmap for Ethical Product Certification and Standard Setting Initiatives

Publication Date: 

May 1, 2009

Any certification program for ethical products must truly tackle the root causes of factory and farm sweatshop conditions in global supply chains. These programs should address the power imbalance inherent in current sourcing relationships that lead to rock-bottom product prices, contractor non-compliance, and poverty wages for workers. Credible certification systems should incorporate as basic and starting principles: a living wage for workers, independent worker organization, and fair pricing for contractors.