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Video Celebrates the 10-Year Anniversary of a Landmark Treaty

June 16 marks 10 years since the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a groundbreaking treaty establishing global labor standards to protect domestic workers’ rights. In that time, 32 countries have joined and dozens have improved labor…
Domestic worker and human rights organizations join forces in Geneva, to demonstrate alongside the opening policy negotiations. June 2010.
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Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
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Companies’ Respect for Rights at Particular Risk During Covid-19

This would have been the week: The German government had put the planned Supply Chain Act on its cabinet meeting agenda. If passed, the law would require companies to ensure that the rights of workers and communities in their supply chains are…
Workers sew clothes in a garments factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 25, 2020.
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Covid-19 Galvanizes Momentum for Regulating Companies

The European Union is a step closer to developing regulations for holding companies accountable for their actions. On April 28, European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, pledged support for binding rules requiring companies to conduct…
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Workers Fear Increase in Union Busting at Factories During Covid-19 Lockdown

In previous years on May 1, workers across Myanmar would rally and march in solidarity for workers’ rights and justice. But this May Day the streets will be quiet, as no marches are allowed with Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews in place…
Workers shout slogans during a May Day march in Yangon, Myanmar, May 1, 2019.
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Emergency Relief Urgent as Millions Face Losing Their Livelihoods

“When will those of us who were fired get paid?” “Should I go to the factory?” “When will I get my wages?” Concerned workers have been swamping Kalpona Akter’s grassroots organization, the Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity, for…
Garment factory workers wear face masks as they walk out at the end of their work shift March 20, 2020, near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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River Island Signs Pledge to Disclose Supply Chain

Last week, River Island, a United Kingdom fashion brand, signed onto a global effort to be more transparent about the factories that produce its products. In December 2019, Human Rights Watch, together with the Clean Clothes…
A branch of River Island seen on Oxford Street in London, United Kingdom
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43 Workers Dead in Delhi After Factory Fire

On Sunday morning in Delhi, a fire broke out in a factory that produced school bags. Many factory workers, migrants from other parts of India, were sleeping inside. More than 40 people, reportedly including several children, died in the blaze that…
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Governments Should Address Gaps in Prevention at Upcoming ILO Conference

Is workplace violence and harassment a human rights violation? The answer is a resounding yes. Human Rights Watch has documented sexual violence and harassment against women workers in garment factories, agriculture, meat…
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Companies Should Support New ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment at Work

Will the fashion industry throw its weight behind the global #MeToo movement? The next few months will tell us how committed apparel companies are to fighting harassment and discrimination in their supply chains.  Starting…
Garment workers take part in a May Day demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2017.
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Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
Khaled Hassan
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How Unions Help Workers Worldwide

How can a mango craving spiral into a labor dispute? I was talking with garment workers in Cambodia when I heard the mango story. A pregnant garment worker had been caught sneaking mangoes into the factory despite a rule forbidding food…
Garment workers take part in a May Day demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2017.
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Bangladesh’s Garment Workers Still Need Better Protection

Five years ago, the world watched in horror when an eight-story building collapsed in Bangladesh, trapping and killing over 1,100 people employed by garment factories. Rescue workers struggled valiantly for days to save lives, but for most, it was…
Relatives of victims killed in Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, mourn at the site during the fourth anniversary of the collapse in Savar, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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Philippines Should Demand Stronger Protections for Overseas Filipino Workers

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to cut off the flow of Filipino workers to the Middle East in response to incidents of rape and suicides of Filipinos in the region. “I’m sorry, all the Filipinos there, they…
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Government Should Publish Reports on Factories it Inspects

A fire in Ideal Textile Mills in Bangladesh killed at least six workers this week, reportedly after sparks from welding set ablaze inflammable chemicals stored close by. Soon, the blame game will begin. Perhaps there’ll be a…
In September 2016, another factory burned in the same district. Here, firefighters stand at the site of a fire at a packaging factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 10, 2016.
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Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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“Europeans should not wear clothes made by exploiting garment workers,” Lola Sanchez Caldentey, a member of the European Parliament, boldly declared yesterday. She was speaking at an event commemorating the victims of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, when…
An employee works in a factory of Babylon Garments in Dhaka January 3, 2014.
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Companies Pressed to Provide More Information About Suppliers

“Sometimes I just can’t sleep without pills. I keep remembering how many people died that day.” Shabana, her name changed to protect her privacy, survived three days buried in the rubble of Rana Plaza, an eight-story building with…
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Video Shows Moment That Domestic Worker Screams for Help, Falls

Last week, a horrifying video of an Ethiopian domestic worker falling from what media reports say is the seventh floor of an apartment building in Kuwait went viral. The video appears to have been filmed by the worker’s employer inside the flat with the…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.