International Labor Rights Forum

101,204 Supporters

ILRF is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide.

Millions of workers around the world toil under inhumane working conditions. In a globalized economy, corporations from developed countries produce consumer goods ranging from coffee to cellphones in poor developing countries, where they can take advantage of cheap labor and lack of environmental or community protections. Workers, including child workers, must toil extremely long hours for wages that are barely subsistence wages, and often under unsanitary and unsafe conditions. In many countries there is little or no labor law enforcement, and many workers are prevented from joining organizations to advance their interests.

Alarmingly, an estimated 211 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are compelled to work around the world. These children produce rubber, cotton, coffee and work in mines to produce goods that are traded to the United States and other developed countries. Unable to go to school, these children face little hope of escaping poverty in their future.

Advocacy for these workers is essential to ensuring their protection, strengthening their voice, and ending abuses that violate their rights and dignity. ILRF is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. ILRF serves a unique role among human rights organizations as advocates for and with working poor around the world. We believe that all workers have the right to a safe working environment where they are treated with dignity and respect, and where they can organize freely to defend and promote their rights and interests. We are committed to ending the problems of child labor, forced labor, and other abusive practices. We promote enforcement of labor rights internationally through public education and mobilization, research, litigation, legislation, and collaboration with labor, government and business groups.

Started 5 petitions

Victory
Petitioning Janet Dhillon

J.C. Penney: Don’t break your promise to families of workers who died making your clothes

On December 14, 2010, 30 Bangladeshi factory workers were burned alive when an easily preventable fire broke out in the unsafe, multi-story sweatshop in which they were working. These men and women worked for “That’s It Sportswear” producing clothing for famous U.S. brands. Thanks to pressure from Change.org members, seven of the eight brands (including J.C. Penney) doing business with the factory owners – the Hameem Group – signed a commitment to ensure fair compensation for the injured workers and surviving family members of the workers who died and to take meaningful steps to stop the epidemic of workplace deaths at US brands’ apparel factories in Bangladesh. Now J.C. Penney has shamefully broken this pledge. Today, six of the eight brands continue negotiating in good faith to establish an adequate worker compensation fund and sustainable fire safety initiatives. J.C. Penney, however, has dropped out. We need your help to send a message to J.C. Penney to honor the commitments they made in January. In Bangladesh, nearly 500 workers have died in factory fires during the past five years. Establishing effective initiatives to prevent fires like this from occurring again is critical. Nothing less than workers’ lives are at stake. Don’t let J.C. Penney walk away from workers in Bangladesh.

International Labor Rights Forum
95,771 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Michael Casey

Carter's: Stop Forced Child Labor in Cotton

The government of Uzbekistan continues to remove millions of children across the country from school and force them to pick cotton during the harvest season. While over 70 of the world’s largest apparel brands and retailers have developed policies related to Uzbek cotton, Carter’s, one of the biggest children’s clothing retailers in the country has remained silent while its top competitors like The Children’s Place, Gap and Gymboree have all taken action. Carter’s has a policy against using child and forced labor, but it has not publicly addressed the unique state-sponsored practice of forced child labor in Uzbekistan nor has it provided any information about how it ensures that its suppliers do not use Uzbek cotton tainted by these egregious human rights abuses. Your actions make a difference! In the past, your e-mail actions targeting Abercrombie & Fitch, Gymboree and the Children’s Place have led these companies to announce policies prohibiting the use of Uzbek cotton. Take action NOW to tell Carter’s to respect international labor rights in their cotton sourcing.

International Labor Rights Forum
846 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Jane Elfers

Tell the Children’s Place to Stop Forced Child Labor in Cotton!

  The government of Uzbekistan continues to remove millions of children across the country from school and force them to pick cotton during the harvest season. While over 70 of the world’s largest apparel brands and retailers have developed policies related to Uzbek cotton, the Children’s Place, one of the biggest children’s clothing retailers in the country has remained silent. The Children’s Place has a policy against using child and forced labor, but it has not publicly addressed the unique state-sponsored practice of forced child labor in Uzbekistan nor has it provided any information about how it ensures that its suppliers do not use Uzbek cotton tainted by these egregious human rights abuses. So far, the Children’s Place has refused to support human rights and speak out against forced child labor in the cotton industry, unlike its top competitors like the Gap and Gymboree.  Your actions make a difference! In the past, your e-mail actions targeting Abercrombie & Fitch and Gymboree have led these companies to announce policies prohibiting the use of Uzbek cotton. Take action NOW to tell the Children’s Place to respect international labor rights in their cotton sourcing.  

International Labor Rights Forum
359 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Michael Mayo

Tell Gymboree & Abercrombie to Stop Forced Child Labor!

Despite international condemnation, the government of Uzbekistan is continuing to remove millions of children from schools across the country and forcing them to pick cotton during the current harvest season. Once again, the government is mandating that teachers shut down their classes and force children to meet government-imposed cotton production quotas.  While over 65 of the world's largest apparel brands and retailers have developed policies related to Uzbek cotton due to the well-documented forced child labor in the country's cotton fields, one company has remained silent. In a sad twist of irony, the children's clothing store Gymboree has refused to support human rights and speak out against forced child labor in the cotton industry. The forced labor of children will continue in Uzbekistan until companies like Gymboree refuse to support these egregious abuses.  Please take action NOW to tell Gymboree to respect international labor rights in their cotton sourcing. Your messages are making a difference! Abercrombie and Fitch has announced that it is instituting a policy of banning Uzbek cotton from its supply chain. However, the company has not provided additional information about how it ensures that this policy is effectively implemented through all of its suppliers. Let's keep up the pressure on Gymboree which continues to remain silent on forced, child labor!

International Labor Rights Forum
3,452 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Dan Adomitis

Tell Firestone to Play Fair in Liberia!

As sports fans gear up for the NFL Super Bowl next week, the Halftime show sponsor, Bridgestone/Firestone, continues to exploit workers on its rubber plantation in Liberia.   The majority of workers who labor as "rubber tappers" must carry two heavy buckets of raw latex weighing 75 pounds each on both ends of a stick on their back for miles.  This back-breaking system of transportation has long been left behind by other rubber production companies globally and it's time for Firestone to stop this abuse.  It's unacceptable that a tire company has not provided some wheels to workers to help transport rubber.  Firestone workers in Liberia have faced severe abuses for 84 years, but have recently made major advances in securing their rights.  After a major organizing campaign, workers finally held the first free and fair union elections on the plantation in 2007 and signed an historic collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in 2008.  (Check out this video for more background)  The union is currently negotiating a new contract with Firestone.  This is a crucial opening for workers to finally remove Firestone's heavy load of exploitation from their backs. Please take a moment to tell Firestone to enter 2010 with a humane system of transporting rubber on its plantation in Liberia!  

International Labor Rights Forum
776 supporters