Blog: Forced Labor

ILRF Board Member Kailash Satyarthi Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The International Labor Rights Forum congratulates Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for winning the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their struggle against the oppression of young people and exploitation of children for their labor, and for the right of all children to education.

Seventeen-year-old Malala is an incredibly inspiring role model for young women everywhere with her fearless advocacy against the Taliban's efforts to deny women an education.

Justice for the Earth and all its workers

Today, hundreds of thousands of people are marching across the globe in a historic effort to demand action on climate change. The People's Climate March is a challenge to the world's leaders to focus on developing policies that will establish a more sustainable world. At ILRF, we work closely with environmental groups to include labor rights as part of the sustainability agenda.

Ten Reasons the U.S. Should Maintain Uzbekistan at Tier 3 in the TIP Report

The US Government releases the TIP Report June 20. “The Government of Uzbekistan remains one of only a handful of governments around the world that subjects its citizens to forced labor through implementation of state policy,” reported the US Government in the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report. This tragic reality has not changed.

How Companies Can Address Human Trafficking in Thai Seafood Industry

Last week, the Guardian reported that Thai exporter CP Foods purchases fish meal for its shrimp stock made with fish caught by human trafficking victims aboard Thai fishing vessels. The fishermen reported brutal physical violence, even murder, regularly occurring on boats.

Workers Give Message to RSPO: Don’t Certify Abuse!

Medan, Indonesia—This week hundreds of oil palm workers and their allies crashed the 11th annual meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multi-stakeholder organization that promotes “sustainable” palm oil, to protest the organization’s failure to uphold its own labor standards. 

Arriving in colorful rain jackets on motorbikes and small pick-ups, the protesters braved a torrential downpour to deliver a blunt message to the RSPO: Stop certifying worker exploitation.

The U.S. Government Should Require Progress on Human, Land, and Labor Rights Prior to Reinstatement of GSP Trade Benefits for Burma

ILRF and other concerned organizations urge the Obama Administration to require concrete, measurable progress on labor and land rights and environmental protection in Burma before its trade benefits could be reinstated under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). In addition, the products of extractive industries and plantation agriculture should be excluded from any initial grant of GSP eligibility so a more deliberate path to GSP can be created for those sectors.

No More Child Labor Chocolate! Can Hershey Be Trusted?

1. Established Certifiers: Is Hershey going to use established third party certifiers or vendor assurance programs, like Armajaro’s SourceTrust program, which do little to address the problems of farmer income, cocoa sustainability, and child labor? If Hershey is going to use established third party certifiers, which one(s) are they going to use?  

Beggar-Thy-Neighbor: How Burma Will Take Bangladesh’s Sweatshop Jobs

Should either country be getting new trade benefits? Bangladesh has certainly been doing its best to get kicked out of US favor as of late; beginning in 2009, activists asked that Bangladesh’s trade privileges be revoked for horrendous labor rights abuses, including tragic factory fires, arbitrary detention of labor rights activists and rampant nepotism and corruption in the industry.

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