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ILRF Lauds Brazil's Progress at the III Global Conference on Child Labour

Speech given at the III Global Conference on Child Labour, Brasilia, Brazil, October 9, 2013.

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of my organization, the International Labor Rights Forum and as a representative of the US Child Labor Coalition, where I chair the international committee.  Brothers and sisters in the fight against child labor, we are making progress, but the progress is not enough.  There are still 168 million child laborers; 85 million of them toiling under hazardous conditions.[1]

I want to congratulate Brazil on its progress in reducing the incidence of child labor. 

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.

Urgent Clarity Needed as 4-Year Thailand Migrant NV Deadline Expires

There are an estimated 3 million foreign migrant workers in Thailand, over 80% originating from Myanmar. Since the late 1980s, these workers have irregularly crossed borders to work in mostly dirty, dangerous and demanding jobs in Thailand thereby significantly contributing to Thailand’s economy and providing billions of dollars in remittances to support relatives in origin countries. These workers continue to face significant exploitation and confusing piecemeal government migration policies.

US Brands Fail Victims of Bangladesh Disasters

The horrific catastrophes at Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza exposed the callous indifference of the US brands and retailers that sourced from these factories and the systemic failure of the garment industry to ensure worker safety in Bangladesh. It's been more than four months since the Rana building collapse of April 24th, 2013 and nine months since the Tazreen fire of November 24th, 2012, but injured workers and the surviving families of the deceased have yet to receive even a cent of compensation from the US brands and retailers whose clothing they and their loved ones risked their lives to make.

Supporting Workers at Home and Abroad this Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is a bittersweet marker of the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. It is also a commemoration of labor rights struggles in the United States and a time to reflect on how far we have yet to go. This Labor Day, in addition to enjoying barbecues, picnics, and the beach, let us remember all the workers who don’t get the day off and take time to learn about how workers who are fed up with increasing inequality are standing up to fight back.

Cancelled Labor Day w Hashtag

Three Months Since Rana Plaza, 200 Orphans Call for Compensation and Safe Jobs

Today, three months after the Rana building collapse of April 24 and eight months after the Tazreen fire of November 24, two hundred orphans participated in a demonstration organized by the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF). The demonstration called on all apparel brands and retailers that sourced from Tazreen and Rana to pay full and fair compensation to the injured workers and families who lost loved-ones, as well as urged all clothing companies that have not yet signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to do so immediately.

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