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Exploited Labor: News & Updates

News Article

On behalf of IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) members, we wrote six letters this month to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries.  We join with civil society groups in Latin America to: (1) protect people living under threat, (2) demand investigations into human rights crimes, (3) bring human rights criminals to justice.

IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) volunteers write six letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn , or ask us to mail you hard copies.

News Article

For the second consecutive day, workers at the textile maquila Gildan, in the Nance River Sector, Choloma, department of Cortés, are on strike demanding their labor rights and other agreements, especially a salary readjustment. The workers are also demanding the right to establish a workers' union that truly represents them. Members of the National Police went to Gildan's facilities in Choloma to talk with the protesters, who continue with the gates closed and say that they will not let the loaded trucks enter.

News Article

Just months after Florida Atlantic University “booted the braids“, confirming that their university would not be renewing its contract with Wendy’s after years of student organizing, the Florida State University Student Senate passed a resolution recognizing the achievements of the Fair Food Program and endorsing the national boycott of Wendy’s. With this historic resolution in the state’s capitol, FSU joins other universities like the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Florida Gulf Coast University that have added their voices to the nationwide movement of student and city governments calling for universities and communities alike to refuse to give so much as a dollar of business to the hamburger giant until it joins the award-winning Fair Food Program.

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More than 900 construction workers in Honduras building a new U.S. embassy went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday to demand fair treatment. The workers in Honduras say they were forced to sign illegal labor contracts that do not protect them from work injuries, according to HCH. The workers are also asking for permanent contracts. Some were made to sign hourly contracts, which is also illegal, according to Radio America. 

News Article

On behalf of IRTF's Rapid Response Network (RRN) members, we wrote six letters this month to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries.  We join with civil society groups in Latin America to: (1) protect people living under threat, (2) demand investigations into human rights crimes, (3) bring human rights criminals to justice.

IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) volunteers write six letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn , or ask us to mail you hard copies.

News Article

When you walk down the grocery aisle, you’re bound to see any number of stickers and labels – more every passing year – proclaiming the sustainability, fairness, and transparency of a product. Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions farmworkers in Immokalee get is this:  What’s different about the Fair Food label, anyway?  What makes the Fair Food Program stand out in the field of social responsibility?

News Article

Fairtrade America – part of Fairtrade International, the world’s most recognized label for social justice and sustainability – has announced the results of a decade-long study that found farmers who are part of Fairtrade certified Producer Organizations experience better economic resilience, social wellbeing, environmental sustainability and governance of their cooperatives than farmers not in Fairtrade certified organizations, particularly in times of global crisis. 

The Assessing the Impact of Fairtrade on Poverty Reduction and Economic Resilience through Rural Development study, implemented by Mainlevel Consulting, reveals that Fairtrade Standards, Fairtrade pricing and producer support programs positively impact certified farmers and their communities. While the findings outline encouraging evidence of Fairtrade’s benefits, the study also presents the grim reality that farmers’ gains – especially in regards to incomes and farm investments – have been undercut in recent years due to the challenges of COVID-19, climate change, and increasing costs of production. “In times of crisis, it becomes evident that Fairtrade enhances farmers’ economic resilience and supports them in continuing their profession,” said Tatjana Mauthofer, researcher at Mainlevel Consulting and co-author of the study.

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