Updates

“Overworked & exposed” report highlights the perils of short-term contracts in Cambodia and Myanmar

A recent report co-authored by the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (Central), Cambodia; Action Labor Rights (ALR), Myanmar; and Future In Our Hands, Norway highlights the pervasiveness of short-term contracts and gender-based discrimination in the garment industry in Cambodia and Myanmar. Through in-depth interviews and group discussions with workers, the report presents the working conditions of female workers with consistent issues of sexual harassment, excessive overtime, personal safety and lack of access to basic labour rights.

The Bangladesh Accord continues to operate but its independence may be at risk

Photo: Kristof Vadino

By Clean Clothes Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network, and Worker Rights Consortium

As witness signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, we are concerned about the potential negative impact on worker safety, both short-term and long-term, of the recently concluded Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Accord and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the diverging interpretations that have emerged over the last few weeks.[1]

The #SeThemFree campaign demands freedom for political prisoners in Nicaragua

On May 22, following the release of 100 Nicaraguan political prisoners, and reports that those in prison were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment, the #SetThemFree Campaign put out a statement calling for the release of all remaining political prisoners.

The statement makes several demands including calling for an end to tortuous acts against those who remain in prison, and for a guarantee of the physical and psychological integrity of those released.

Questions raised about agreement on Bangladesh Accord

On May 19, 2019, the Appellate Court of the Bangladesh High Court accepted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached earlier this month between the Bangladesh Accord Steering Committee and the Bangladesh employers’ association in the ready-made garment sector, BGMEA. The MoU stipulates that the Accord will continue to operate in Bangladesh for a transition period of 281 working days, during which time brands, unions and the BGMEA will establish a new institution called the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), which will take over the Accord’s tasks in 2020.

Will the Accord be allowed to continue its life-saving work in Bangladesh?

Clean Clothes Campaign

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,100 garment workers and injured over 2,000 others. One positive outcome of this preventable tragedy was the creation of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which provides for independent factory safety inspections, transparent remediation of factory safety hazards, an anonymous complaints process, and health and safety training for workers.

IACHR expresses concern for ongoing repression in Nicaragua

On April 5, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released a statement on the continuing crisis in Nicaragua, condemning the persistence of arbitrary arrests, aggression toward people deprived of their liberty, the refusal to reestablish several organizations’ legal status, and the prevention of social protest – all of which are taking place alongside the negotiations between the government and the Civil Alliance for Justice and Democracy.

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