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Comments to the Marine Stewardship Council regarding proposed labor requirements

Publication Date: 

May 14, 2017

We are deeply concerned with the proposed policy to include labor standards into MSC's Fishery and Chain of Custody (CoC) programs. With a carefully structured approach, the MSC could serve a positive role in this space by encouraging transparency in fishing supply chains and using your position as a well-regarded environmental certification program to encourage meaningful social dialogue that could address labor problems in the industry. However, the voluntary self-declaration approach currently proposed is utterly insufficient.

Bangladesh Accord: Brief Progress Report and Proposals for Enhancement

Publication Date: 

April 24, 2017

Founded in 2013, three weeks after the deadliest disaster in the history of the global apparel industry, the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety has made factories safer for more than two-and-a-half million garment workers. The improvements in structural, fire, and electrical safety accomplished under the Accord have helped avert further factory fires and building collapses in an industry long plagued by grossly unsafe working conditions.

Update on the Labor Rights Crisis in Bangladesh

Publication Date: 

April 21, 2017

In December 2016, the government of Bangladesh and garment manufacturers initiated the most severe crackdown on workers’ rights in Bangladesh since the Rana Plaza building collapse. The campaign of repression followed a largely peaceful protest by thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers calling for higher wages, which are the lowest among major garment exporting countries.

Follow the Thread: The Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment Industry

Publication Date: 

April 20, 2017

The garment and footwear industry stretches around the world. Clothes and shoes sold in stores in the US, Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world typically travel across the globe. They are cut and stitched in factories in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, or other regions. Factory workers in Bangladesh or Romania could have made clothes only weeks ago that consumers elsewhere are eagerly picking up. When global supply chains are opaque, consumers often lack meaningful information about where their apparel was made.

Reporting Guidance for Responsible Palm

Publication Date: 

January 24, 2017

A wave of companies has committed to sourcing responsibly produced palm oil; yet, problems still persist in their supply chains.

The rapid clearing and burning of forests and carbon-rich peat lands to make way for palm plantations has led to rampant deforestation, forced labor, biodiversity loss, massive health problems, and land rights violations. These issues also pose major regulatory and reputational risks for companies that threaten their market access and overall brand value.

Bangladeshi Union Leaders Detained in Crackdown on Labor Movement, Bail Denied

Publication Date: 

January 24, 2017

Last month, during the peak of the holiday shopping season, tens of thousands of garment workers in Ashulia, Bangladesh, who produced clothing for export, held nonviolent protests calling for a new minimum wage in the range of 15,000 to 16,000 taka (US$191-203) per month. The current 5,300 taka (US$67) monthly wage is insufficient to provide for nutritious food for a family, let alone to cover other basic household expenses.

Open letter to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha regarding conviction of Andy Hall

Publication Date: 

December 10, 2016

Dear Prime Minister Prayut:

On this International Human Rights Day, we, the undersigned, write to you concerning the conviction of Andy Hall for criminal defamation and violations of the Computer Crime Act. Hall’s conviction was in relation to research he undertook by interviewing migrant workers and sending raw interview data to Finnwatch, which then analyzed the information and published it in the Finnwatch report Cheap Has a High Price. Finnwatch wrote and published the report online in January 2013 in Helsinki, Finland.

Dangerous Delays on Worker Safety

Publication Date: 

November 21, 2016

Three and a half years after the catastrophic Rana Plaza building collapse, major apparel brands and retailers that are part of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety – including Gap Inc., Target, VF Corporation, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), and Walmart1 – are failing to fulfill their commitments to make their supplier factories safe, leaving hundreds of thousands workers at risk.