Workers depend on independent trade unions and collective organising to protect their rights because existing resolution mechanisms in Cambodia do not work effectively. With effective and strong independent unions, workers enjoy better working conditions and wages as well as being able to draw attention from authorities, suppliers and brands to listen when issues arise and engage in a resolution process. Without unions’ voice, workers are powerless.Yang Sophorn, President of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions
Global inequalities in power allow the profit maximisation model of businesses to shape a global economy that prioritises profit over people. The dominance of this model facilitates various forms of exploitation including poverty wages, discrimination and violence, crackdowns on trade unions and collective organising, rising precarity of work, and lack of social protections. This labour exploitation and the relationship with lead brands and retailers is often obscured by the complex and opaque network of global supply chains.
This Big Issue area collects the latest news on labour rights issues in global supply chains, as well as our work to support and advance the labour rights demands of workers and the organisations representing them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities for workers in supply chains, with migrant workers especially vulnerable. Our work on the COVID-19 apparel action tracker, brief on union busting and report on wage theft in apparel supply chains has analysed the impact of company actions on workers during the pandemic and reveals a stark gap between human rights policy and practice.
Our 275 apparel company dashboards provide labour rights advocates and unions easy-to-access information about company performance and actions in protecting and respecting the rights of garment workers in their supply chains.
Our Modern Slavery Project works to strengthen corporate transparency and accountability on modern slavery in supply chains. The Modern Slavery Registry tracks compliance with modern slavery legislation.
Our other work includes strengthening corporate transparency and accountability for migrant rights in the construction and hospitality sectors in Qatar and the UAE; engaging brands and others on Syrian refugees in Turkish garment factories; and leading the development of the KnowTheChain benchmarks, alongside the project partners with Humanity United, Verité, and Sustainalytics.
COVID-19 Apparel Action Tracker
Monitoring garment industry responses, government actions and workers’ demands during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apparel Company Dashboards
Company pages for 275 global fashion companies providing easy-to-access information about company performance and actions in protecting and respecting the rights of garment workers in their supply chains.
COVID-19 Supply Chain Workers
Impacts on supply chain workers, vulnerable to job losses, infection and worsening labour conditions.
COVID-19: Migrant Workers
Latest news on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on migrant workers
Human rights implications and legal and policy rights protection frameworks for gig economy workers
Tracking compliance with modern slavery legislation, strengthening corporate transparency and accountability and engaging brands to combat modern slavery.
A resource for companies and investors to address forced labor in global supply chains.
Beyond Social Auditing
Numerous reports have found the social audits to be ineffective in capturing human rights abuses. What are the solutions and options for reform?
Trade and corporate accountability
News and analysis covering the overlap between international trade agreements and labour abuse