Press Releases

For media inquiries please contact Rachel Cohen: racohen78 [at]

RSPO Can’t Be Trusted to Provide Truly Responsible Palm Oil

Key gaps in labor standards and enforcement leave palm oil workers vulnerable to exploitation
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - At the opening of the annual meeting of the palm oil industry certification system, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), in Kuala Lumpur, a group of international, Malaysian and Indonesian environmental and labor rights organizations are calling on the RSPO to fix significant gaps in its monitoring and enforcement of labor standards.

Faulty RSPO Audit Misses Forced Labor on Palm Oil Plantations

International coalition finds audit “troubling” and calls for improvements to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil system and for FELDA customers and financiers to independently investigate forced labor and human trafficking

San Francisco, CA – In the wake of serious reports of modern day slavery, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)––the palm oil industry certification system––recently released an audit report assessing compliance for three estates of RSPO-member, and Malaysian palm oil giant, FELDA. The audit found several major issues with FELDA operations, which would put the palm oil grower in non-compliance with the RSPO standard, resulting in a “fundamental failure to achieve the objective of the relevant RSPO requirements.”

Uzbekistan: Human Rights Defender’s House Burned Down


Today, October 29, human rights defender Dmitry Tihonov returned to his home to find the office in his home burned down, the door sealed, and property stolen from rooms untouched by the fire. Mr. Tihonov had been staying with friends since the police in Angren brought disorderly conduct charges against him on October 20. The trumped up charges, which carry a fine or up to 15 days in detention, and fire, which has all signs of intentionality, have forced Mr.

H&M Fails to Honor Commitment to Make Fire and Building Safety Repairs in Bangladesh

Workers at supplier factories continue to face deadly hazards

H&M is dramatically behind schedule in correcting the dangers faced by the Bangladeshi workers who produce its clothing, according to a report published today by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), and Worker Rights Consortium (WRC).

Norway Refuses to Assess NBIM’s Financial Link to Forced Labor

NBIM urged to exclude Daewoo International for profiting from forced labor

Six months after receiving a complaint that Norges Bank Investment Management’s holdings of Daewoo International supports forced labor, Norway’s National Contact Point (NCP) for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) decided to close the complaint without further examination.

Kentex Factory Fire: Statement of the fact-finding team


Seventy-two workers, many of whom were women, were burned to death and 20 more are still missing in the biggest factory fire that hit the Philippines – the fire that gutted the factory of Kentex Manufacturing Incorporated last May 13, 2015. The company, located along Tatalon Street in Barangay Ugong in Valenzuela City, manufactures rubber slippers for sale and distribution in various parts of the Philippines.

Uzbek Government Forces Labor & Extorts Funds From Citizens and Companies

New report highlights how the cotton harvest fosters modern day slavery and extortion

In 2014, the government of Uzbekistan forced more than a million of its own citizens to pick cotton, and officials extorted individuals and businesses, including multinational companies, at a larger scale as part of the annual Uzbek cotton harvest, according to a new report released by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF). 

Uzbek government arrests and deports international labor rights consultant

Action calls into question Tashkent's commitment to international labor rights

(Moscow, March 24, 2015)-  The arrest and expulsion from Uzbekistan of an international labor rights expert raises serious concerns about the government of Uzbekistan’s commitment to international human rights conventions and the feasibility of the World Bank’s agricultural programs in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan operates what is perhaps the world’s largest state-organized system of forced labor, forcibly mobilizing more than a million of the country’s citizens to pick cotton each fall.

Pressure increases on Benetton as nearly 1 million activists demand they immediately pay into Rana Plaza victims’ compensation fund


Campaigners are calling for compensation to victims of the world's worst ever garment factory disaster as an Avaaz petition, demanding that Italian fashion giant Benetton finally pay compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza, is set to top one million signers.
The petition adds to ongoing campaign efforts by the Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum, urging multinational brands to contribute to the fund for the victims of the 24 April 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse.

Child Labor May Be Hiding In Your Favorite Holiday Treats

Report Highlights Poverty Among Farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire as Root Cause of Chronic Labor Woes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the holiday chocolate buying season moves into high gear in the United States, a report out today sheds light on the struggle of West African cocoa farmers to earn decent livelihoods, despite increasing demand for cocoa and higher prices. Approximately 60% of the world’s cocoa comes from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Walmart Refuses to Pay, Despite Competitor’s Agreement to Help Victims of Factory Fire

Two Years After Deadliest Fire in Bangladesh, C&A Foundation commits significant funds to full and fair compensation of victims; Still no commitment from Walmart, Sears, Disney

Two years after Bangladesh’s deadliest factory fire, IndustriALL Global Union, their Bangladeshi affiliates, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and C&A have reached an agreement on a system for delivering compensation to the injured workers and to the families of the workers killed in the disaster.

Malawian Government Must Kick Tobacco Habit

Farmers’ union calls on leaders to help farmers grow more sustainable crops

A letter delivered to the Government of Malawi today calls on leaders to address child labor and modern-day slavery in Malawi’s tobacco industry. The letter calls on land reform and support for efforts to diversify crops to help lift Malawi’s 300,000 tenant farmer families out of poverty. The Tobacco and Allied Workers Union of Malawi (TOAWUM) sent the letter, with a coalition of labor, human rights, and health groups. The full letter can be downloaded below.

"Uzbekistan: No Advancement," concludes United States Labor Department

The U.S. Department of Labor reports forced labor and child labor remained entrenched in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector in 2013

(Washington) 8 October 2014: The U.S. Department of Labor concluded the Government of Uzbekistan maintained its system of forced labor of children and adults in the cotton sector, in its report 2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, released yesterday.

Global Action Demands End to Forced Labor in Uzbek Cotton Fields

Protestors call on government to stop using education system as source of modern-day slavery

October 1 is National Teacher’s Day in Uzbekistan, but many classrooms will be empty as teachers and, in some cases, their students are sent to the fields to harvest cotton. The government of Uzbekistan, as the sole organizer and beneficiary of this forced-labor cotton harvest, could return them to classrooms where they belong.