WASHINGTON – Global Labor Justice - International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) and partner organizations in the Seafood Working Group (SWG) are calling on the Biden Administration to ensure U.S. companies do not import fishing nets made by Thai companies that use forced prison labor.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of State released its 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report on Thursday, downgrading Thailand to Tier 2 Watch List. The report found the Thai government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts to address trafficking compared to the previous year nor has it effectively addressed the forced labor of migrant workers. Numerous reports and investigations have implicated Thailand in labor abuses and trafficking of migrant workers, particularly in the fishing, seafood and garment sectors.
Robbinsville, New Jersey — Yesterday, caste-oppressed workers in New Jersey came forward to demand changes in the BAPS global supply chain of temple construction which was revealed to rely on forced labor.
The Seafood Working Group (SWG) has submitted its recommendation that Taiwan be downgraded to a Tier 2 Ranking in the U.S. Department of State’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The recommendation is based on SWG’s research and analysis that determined Taiwan is yet to meet the minimum standards set forth in the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The group’s submission also includes steps the Taiwan government can take to end forced labor and human trafficking in its distant water fisheries (DWF).
Thailand should be downgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List ranking in the U.S. Department of State’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, recommends the Seafood Working Group (SWG) – a global labor rights advocacy coalition. This is necessary due to the continuation of violations of internationally recognized labor rights that make migrants particularly vulnerable to human trafficking as well as a deterioration of rights for vulnerable workers stemming from COVID-19 policies.
Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) stands in solidarity with union activists in Uzbekistan organizing the country’s first independent, democratically elected union and joins the Cotton Campaign’s calls on the Uzbek government to end the intimidation of union activists from local officials. Workers from the Indorama cotton plantations founded “Xalq Birligi” (Peoples’ Unity) in response to low wages and deteriorating working conditions in the transnational company, Indorama.
(Bangkok, October 28, 2020) – A group of 45 organizations composed of NGOs, trade unions, companies, and multi-stakeholder initiatives sent a letter today to Valdis Dombrovkis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, urging the European Union to require labor reform in Thailand as a precondition to the resumption of trade negotiations with the Government of Thailand.
The October 21, 2020 conviction of 13 State Railway Union of Thailand (SRUT) leaders by the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Bangkok continues setbacks on Freedom of Association and health and safety protections in Thailand. We call on U.S. brands to ensure freedom of association in their supply chains in Thailand. Too many U.S. companies are profiting from the repression of workers’ rights including the chilling of freedom of association, expression, and assembly that cases like this create. Now more than ever, workers must be free to individually and collectively refuse unsafe work as allowed by the ILO’s International Labor Standards without fear of retaliation and reprisals.
As Global Labor Justice - International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), we call on the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation to act in accordance with their mandates to block union busting and respect freedom of association and collective bargaining where workers have chosen to be represented. This must include the reinstatement of hotel union General Secretary Amadou Diallo and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo, who were both terminated on October 7th, 2020 as leaders of the newly elected union, raising awareness around fundamental workplace issues, including health and safety.
Palm oil supplier to major brands including Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Mondelez, and Colgate-Palmolive sanctioned for use of forced labor
Washington, D.C.— On September 30th, US Customs and Border (CBP) announced a ban on palm oil imported from FGV Holdings Berhad (FGV) — one of Malaysia’s largest palm oil companies and a joint venture partner and major palm oil supplier to Procter & Gamble — due to its use of forced labor.
Groups file petition with Customs and Border Patrol for a regional Withold Release Order on cotton products from the Xinjiang Region
Today a group of human rights, labor and investor organizations, filed a formal petition with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), urging it to issue a regional withhold release order (WRO) on all cotton-made goods linked to the Xinjiang region of China based on evidence of widespread forced labor. Under U.S. law 19 U.S.C. §1307 it is illegal for the United States to allow entry of goods, “produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by convict labor or/and forced labor or/and indentured labor.”
The Cotton Campaign welcomes the commitment of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade to seek responsible investment in Uzbekistan‘s cotton sector and to support reforms to end forced labor.
Today, 72 Uyghur rights groups are joined by over 100 civil society organisations and labour unions from around the world in calling on apparel brands and retailers to stop using forced labour in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Uyghur Region”), known to local people as East Turkistan, and end their complicity in the Chinese government’s human rights abuses. The groups have issued a call to action seeking brand commitments to cut all ties with suppliers implicated in forced labour and end all sourcing from the Uyghur Region, from cotton to finished garments, within twelve months.
Today, I am excited to announce the merger of two allied organizations — the International Labor Rights Forum and Global Labor Justice. Developed over many months with the strong support of our allies, board, and staff, our new partnership is coming together at a critical time. As quite literally every person in the world faces a common threat in the form of a global pandemic, workers are simultaneously more isolated and connected than ever before. At a time when state and corporate responses leave workers around the world in crisis — locked into dangerous working conditions or locked out of jobs with essential wages and benefits — it is clear we must work together to build durable transnational alliances that advance a new strategic vision with labor and human rights in the foreground. Progressive economy efforts can no longer be seen as a parochial, national issue. Transnational movements and strategic campaigns are fundamental to a future that includes decent work,development, and democracy in the U.S. and around the world. Together we will strengthen the force behind these efforts by providing greater strategic capacity, support, and momentum.