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World Bank Petition Delivery

Uzbek civil society activists and allies presented a petition signed by more than 140,000 people from around the world to World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim last week, calling on the Bank to suspend lending to the agriculture sector in Uzbekistan until the Uzbek government changes its policy of forced labor in the cotton industry. Contracts between the Bank and Uzbekistan stipulate that funding will be suspended if forced or child labor is found in project areas. A report released by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights released the same day documents extensive forced labor in project areas. Learn more here!  

Andy Hall

New Report Released: Building a Rights Culture

A new report from ILRF and our grassroots partner in Thailand, the Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN), analyzes the successes and limitations of current worker-driven efforts to improve working conditions in Thailand's seafood export industry. Egregious labor rights abuses, including forced labor and human trafficking, have been documented across Thailand's seafood sector in dozens of reports over more than a decade. Despite a growing number of government and industry initiatives, migrant workers in Thailand remain as vulnerable to abuse as ever. This report shows that despite the limitations on unionization, organizing migrant workers to negotiate for better conditions in their own workplaces and changing factories from the inside is the best solution for long-term industry change. Download the full report here.


Honduran Melon Workers Make History

Farmworkers on melon plantations in Honduras, 70% of them women, face wage theft, exposure to toxic chemicals, and verbal abuse at work. But they achieved something historic in January, and things may be changing. Read ILRF's latest blog post to learn how women helped lead the way in forming the country's first-ever melon workers' union to demand respect for their rights. Their employer, a subsidiary of the Irish multinational Fyffes, is fighting dirty, but ILRF and our allies are standing with them in their fight for dignity and justice on the job. 

Members of Congress Act to Protect Honduran Trade Unionists

In January, ILRF and our allies prompted 30 members of Congress to push Honduras to address threats against leaders of our partner organization, agricultural trade union federation FESTAGRO. But despite this pressure, the trade union leaders still lack protection and their cases have not been investigated. After over 1,600 ILRF supporters took action, 23 Representatives led by Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) sent a follow-up letter to Secretary John Kerry on March 16. The letter urges Kerry to push the Honduran authorities to publicly condemn the threats, arrange for the activists’ private protection, document official investigations, and act decisively to reduce impunity for violence against human rights defenders.

Over 200 Organizations Call for Justice for Berta Cáceres

ILRF joined a group of over 200 organizations in signing a letter from the Latin America Working Group to Secretary John Kerry on the March 3rd assassination of the world-renowned Honduran environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres. The letter is a powerful call to change “business as usual” and instead take sweeping action to address the reasons why Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for human rights defenders. Read the press release and text of the letter here.

Join us for the 2016 Labor Rights Defenders Awards!

Save the date for 2016 Labor Rights Defenders Awards, celebrating leading workers' rights advocates from around the world. Join our honorees:Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur; The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; and Human Rights Defenders from Uzbekistan, including Elena Urlaeva, Uktam Pardaev, Dmitry Tihonov, at ILRF's 30th Anniversary on May 12th at Studio Theatre (1501 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005).

Click here for more information or sponsorship opportunities.

Mark Your Calendar: May 3rd Global Day of Action 

Join H&M customers, students, unions, and concerned citizens around the world in a global day of action on the day of H&M’s Annual General Meeting. Nearly three years after signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and committing to make its supplier factories safer, the majority of H&M’s strategic suppliers in Bangladesh still lack fire exits. Take action: Urge H&M to end the delays and ensure worker safety now! Sign up here to receive more information and to join the May 3rd actions.
Demonstration at H&M, photo by USAS

We want to hear from you! 

ILRF turns 30 this year! As we reflect on ILRF's amazing work over the years, and our dedicated long-time supporters, we want to hear from YOU. Just as our work is about lifting up the voices of workers in global supply chains, your voice matters to us too! If you haven't done so already, please take 5 minutes and fill out the survey and let us know your vision for ILRF's next thirty years. Ten survey respondents will be entered to win an ILRF T-shirt. 


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