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Showing blog posts by Charlie Fanning

On International Mandela Day, Lessons for U.S. and African Leaders

On International Mandela Day, Lessons for U.S. and African Leaders

Today marks Nelson Mandela International Day, a celebration of the great South African leader’s birth, life and legacy. It was launched in 2008 with a unanimous decision by the U.N. General Assembly. Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for equality, justice, democracy and the dignity of working people. He encouraged us all to act together to change the world for the better. And around the world today, people are committing to service projects in his honor.

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'Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,' Urge Workers, Women and the LGBTQ Community

'Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,' Urge Workers, Women and the LGBTQ Community

Today, workers, women, and activists from the LGBTQ community protested outside the Embassy of Brunei in Washington, D.C., as part of an international day of action against the sultan of Brunei’s ongoing union-busting and human rights violations. Brunei is a tiny, oil-rich country in Southeast Asia, ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who has used his role as absolute monarch to amass an estimated wealth of $20 billion and maintain strict control over society. Under the banner of “Don’t Sleep with the Sultan,” UNITE HERE Local 25 led a broad array of workers and activists in the demonstration, which drew attention to labor and human rights violations in both the United States and Brunei.

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On Anniversary of Historic ILO Convention, Domestic Workers Speak Out Worldwide

Image via the National Domestic Workers Alliance

By caring for our homes and loved ones, domestic workers do the work that makes all other work possible. Unfortunately, the important labor of some 100 million domestic workers worldwide frequently goes unrecognized. In fact, domestic workers are vulnerable to labor exploitation, sexual assault and even forced labor and trafficking because they are mainly women, their workplace is behind closed doors and, in many places, they still are not covered under labor laws. In the United States, domestic workers are excluded from the most basic fairness and safety regulations on the job, including minimum wage and hour laws.

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The International Labour Organization Adopts New Standards to Eradicate Forced Labor

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new treaty, known as a forced labor protocol, to fight modern forms of forced labor and to protect and compensate victims.  The new treaty strengthens the outdated 1930 ILO convention on forced labor, and contains two sections that will bring the international community’s response to forced labor into the modern era with regulations and guidance on practices such as human trafficking, forced labor in the private sector and the exploitation of migrant workers.   

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21 Million Workers Toil in Conditions of Forced Labor—Call on Governments to Take Action

Today’s global economy conceals a vicious, virtually invisible underworld of modern-day slavery. More than a century since most of the industrialized world outlawed slavery, more than 21 million workers toil in conditions of forced labor. These workers are generally the poorest among us, with the fewest opportunities. They can be found in fields, mines and factories in distant lands or down the street in a local restaurant or in a neighbor’s home—and their collective work generates a growing illegal profit of more than $150 billion.

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Unions and Civil Society Speak Out for International Migrants’ Rights and Decent Work

Unions and Civil Society Speak Out for International Migrants’ Rights and Decent Work

International migration drives the global economy. There are about 232 million migrants in the world, the overwhelming majority moving to work and building a better life. Governments have a responsibility to answer a fundamental question that impacts the entire global labor market: How should people be treated as they move from their communities and across borders? 

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The Shameful U.S. Record on Temporary Worker Protections

Photo courtesy Melissa Gira Grant on Flickr

In the past decade, temporary work arrangements grew steadily in the United States—20% since 2003. In 2013, there were 2,673,800 workers employed in the temp industry, which accounted for 24% of all job growth in the United States during the tepid economic recovery from 2009 to 2012. Often these workers perform the same work as permanent employees for lower wages, little training, no benefits and no promise of security. Unfortunately, according to a recent ProPublica investigation, the United States lags far behind other industrialized countries in labor protections for temporary workers. Of 43 “developed and emerging economies” tracked by the OECD, the United States ranks near the bottom, at 41st, for temporary worker protections.

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Stand with Sangeeta

Stand with Sangeeta

Tensions between the United States and India continued into the new year over the Devyani Khobragade case.

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In Diplomatic Row, the State Department Must Stand Strong for Domestic Workers' Rights

How would you get by in New York City earning $3 per hour? For Sangeeta Richard, a domestic worker from India, a little more than $3 an hour was all she had to support herself while working for a prominent consular officer in one of the most expensive cities in the world, according to recent news reports.

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The Labor Movement and Civil Society Forward Migrants’ Rights at the International Level

The Labor Movement and Civil Society Forward Migrants’ Rights at the International Level

For the past few days, representatives from more than 300 diverse international organizations gathered at the United Nations in New York to tackle these critical questions, begin building connections across borders and discuss and develop strategies for bringing these issues to the forefront of the international development agenda.

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