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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice Appendix G Submissions to the Workshop Prior to the meeting, experts from a variety of organizations were invited to submit comments on the framework. Several submissions were received and they are reproduced here. As You Sow Cadbury Monique Oxender, Global Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability, AIAG Sustainability Loan, Ford Motor Company Chisara Ehiemere, Transfair, USA CREA, Inc.
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice 1. As You Sow Actions Companies can take to Address Forced and Child Labor in Uzbekistan The following recommendations outline available options for companies to implement to assist in transforming Uzbekistan’s cotton sector. 1. Acknowledgemcnt Regardless of whether or not a company has identified Uzbek cotton in its supply chain, a viable first step is making a public statement renouncing the actions of the Uzbek government with regard to forced and child labor in the cotton sector. This could take the form of a press release, media report and/or announcement on the company’s website. 2. Identification Making the decision to not use Uzbek cotton is contingent upon identifying its presence in the first place. There are several ways of doing so: Communicate with suppliers that your company is concerned with sourcing Uzbek cotton and is currently reviewing its policies on the issue (see Sample Company Language) Ask suppliers to include country of origin information for the materials that go into their sourced products on all Textile Information Sheets (see Marks & Spencer example) Review previous Bills of Lading and product specification sheets to retroactively identify Country of Origin Employ tracing mechanisms such as Historic Futures String program Begin mapping the social and environmental footprint of your cotton procurement practices Implement an internal tracking system for all products (preferably online and via barcodes) Those companies that find they are not sourcing Uzbek cotton should publicly denounce the practice, and introduce a ban until the government has made efforts to correct this ongoing injustice. Those companies that identify Uzbek cotton in their supply chains should take immediate steps to procure cotton from other countries. 3. Engagement and Education Companies should engage shareholders, MSIs (Multi-stakeholder Initiatives), NGOs, trade associations and other stakeholders to coordinate efforts and strategic plans. Further, correspondence with the Government of Uzbekistan, own domestic government, and international organizations such as the ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank will raise the profile of the issue and help exert more pressure upon the Uzbek government. Further, companies that have taken the aforementioned steps could encourage additional companies to address this issue as they deem appropriate. Through industry associations, MSI gatherings or trade shows, this issue is an industry-wide concern that must be addressed in an inclusive manner. Sharing best practices and
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice experiences on how your company was able to take these steps will make it less cumbersome for those wishing to pursue a similar strategy. 4. Summary Below are three basic categories that should give an indication of where a company fits in comparison to other companies taking similar steps toward supply chain transparency and traceability generally, and in addressing sourcing Uzbek cotton specifically. Basic Acknowledge problem of forced labor in the cotton industry globally Acknowledge problem of systemic forced labor specifically in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry Publicly state that company is going to look into whether or not it is sourcing Uzbek cotton, and will take further action depending on conclusion of investigation lnitiate cotton footprint mapping (social and environmental) Engage with shareholders, industry associations, MSIs, and human rights activists Intermediate Communicate with own domestic government, government of Uzbekistan, and international institutions [USCIB/ILO, World Bank, ICAC, UNICEF) about concerns Trace chain of custody (internally or through suppliers) Formal Supplier communications Advanced Country of origin of cotton/fiber required on Textile Specification Sheets Internal system for tracking and reporting Trace cotton source back to originating farm Exert influence inside the ILO, with the government of Uzbekistan
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice Update on Forced & Child Labor in Uzbekistan As in past years, last fall state officials ordered up to 2 million children in Uzbekistan, aged 11 to 17, to leave school to work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, under hazardous conditions harvesting cotton for two months to fill government-mandated quotas. A diverse group of stakeholders have come together to address the situation. Update from the Field Approximately two thirds of schools are subject to compulsory recruitment of children between ages 11 and 17.1 Children are in the cotton fields for a total of 51 - 63 days without weekend breaks and under detrimental sanitary, health and nutritional conditions.2 School administrators used methods of physical abuse and public shaming to force children to meet daily quotas, which was 30-60 kg of cotton depending on age. In one case such treatment resulted in a suicide.3 Parents who resisted seeding their children to pick cotton were threatened by the authorities and risked having their welfare benefits and utility services withheld.4 Each year scores of children are injured or killed in the harvest due to the lack of safety measures and adult supervision. In the fall of ‘08 alone, there were five reported fatalities.5 Activities by Companies Eight companies have written to their suppliers, are taking measures to exclude Uzbek cotton from their supply chain, and/or are starting to trace the country of origin of the cotton they are using. 15 brands and retailers are partnering with other stakeholders on this issue by participating on conference calls, attending meetings and issuing public statements. In 2008, articles referencing company actions appeared in the Financial Times, Fortune Magazine, Reuters, Dow Jones, and Just-Style. Actions by Stakeholders The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) complaint filed by the International Labor Rights Forum in 2007 was held open for continued review through 2008. The U.S. State Department convened a meeting in May 2008, which was attended by 48 people from Trade Associations, Brands and Retailers, Social and Faith-Based Investment Firms, International Institutions, Human Rights Groups, and U.S. Government Agencies. Joint Trade Associations letters and joint Investor-NGO letters were issued to President Karimov, Former U.S. Secretary of State Rice, and International Labor Organization (ILO) Director General Somavia in August 2008. A panel of experts created by the International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC) issued a Literature Review and Research Evaluation relating to Social Impacts of Global Cotton Production where the issue of forced child labor in Uzbekistan was acknowledged.6 The International Organization of Employers (IOE) submitted an ILO complaint regarding forced labor in Uzbekistan in November 2008. Starting in September 2008, a group of U.S. investors started contacting cotton merchants and brokers, and engaging the CEO of the Dubai Multi-Commodity Center (DMCC). During the Universal Periodic Review in December 2008 (a new mechanism introduced by the UN Human Rights Council), nine states raised their concerns about the practice of forced child labor in Uzbekistan. A small U.S. multi-stakeholder group met with the Ambassador of Uzbekistan in December 2008 requesting the ILO be inviled into Uzbekistan; a response is pending. 1. “Still in the Fields.” Environmental Justice Foundation. October 2008. http://www.ejfoundation.org/page341.html 2. Ibid. 3. Child Labor in Fall 2008 Uzbek Cotton Harvest, International Labor Rights Forum, November 2008 http//:www.laborrights.org/stop-child-labor/cotton-campaign/resources/1843 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 6. ICAC, July 2008, http://www.icac.org/seep/documents/english.html
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice Government of Uzbekistan Compliance with International Instruments The Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) ratified two ILO conventions, the Worst Forms of Child Labor (Convention 182) and Minimum Age (Convention 138); however, it has not yet complied with the standards laid out by these conventions. C182 was ratified in June of 2008, but before going into effect one year later as per the usual process, multiple steps such as a comprehensive survey and a listing of affected sectors are necessary to be rendered “active”.1 As of March of 2009, no effort to complete these requirements has been initiated by the GOU. For a 2008 request for information from the ILO Committee of Standards on Forced Labor, the GOU has yet to provide the needed information. C138, the Convention on Minimum Age, was finally deposited appropriately in March 2009—eight months after its original submission— so it is now recognized as “ratified” by the ILO. The GOU Cabinet of Ministers passed a resolution to adopt a National Action Plan (NAP) on September 12, 2008 to monitor the implementation of ILO Conventions 138 and 182.2 Thus far, no documents on how the NAP will be implemented have been issued. The GOU has repeatedly asserted that it has banned forced child labor. However, reports suggest it continued to require children and other categories of youth and adult populations, including elders and housewives, to pick cotton during the fall ’08 harvest.3 Further Information Additional opportunities to learn more about the issue and share best practices by companies will be available throughout 2009 via seminars, webinars, and conference calls. To be informed of future activities or for more information, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (this is not a list serve). Companies Taking Action on this Issue American Eagle Outfitters C&A Columbia Sportswear Gap Inc. Hanesbrands, Inc. Jones Apparel Group Levi Strauss & Co. Limited Brands Inc. Marks & Spencer Nike, Inc. Patagonia Target Corporation Tesco The Walt Disney Company Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Collaborating Industry Associations American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) International Organization of Employers (IOE) National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail Industry Leaders’ Association (RILA) US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) US Council for International Business (USCIB) Additional Resources BBC News Night Story - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/7068096.stm The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) Cotton Campaign - http://www.laborrights.org/stop-child-labor/cotton-campaign Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) Cotton Campaign - http://www.ejfoundation.org/page141.html Photos - http://www.iwpr.net/galleries/centasia/grabka/01.html 1. “ILO Core Labor Standards.” International Labor Organization, 2008. http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/docs/declworld.htm 2. “Invisible to the World.” The School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London. 2008. http://www.soas.ac.uk/cccac/centres-publications/ 3. “ILO Uzbekistan update. November 2008,” International Labor Rights Forum, November 2008, http://www.business-humanrights.org/Links/Repository/670344/link_page_veiw
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice 2. Cadbery
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice 3. Monique Oxender, Global Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability, AIAG Sustainability Loan, Ford Motor Company Questions around impact and relevance need to take into consideration whether the project began with a root cause analysis including the entire system contributing to the abusive situation. Consequently, did action result in a change to the system contributing to the abuses rather than a band-aid? Reduction of these labor abuses is not easy to measure and should not be a single point in time measurement. Also included should be a rate of recurrence over x amount of time to account for cyclical behaviors. Take the example of forced labor in Brazil. One out of every 10 temporary work opportunities may result in a forced labor situation but due to the need for employment and income, lack of education as well as lack of interest in more permanent employment, laborers are willing to take that chance. And this cycle plays out over a period of months to years. I am unclear as to how program/practice effectiveness differs from impact. Sustainability questions should specifically require consideration of funding and stakeholder involvement. Actually, no where do I see stakeholders mentioned and I think this is an essential aspect to understand with projects such as this - both who is involved and how. Hope this helps. Looking forward to the discussion.
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice 4. Chisara Ehiemere, Transfair, USA Fair Trade Certification includes compliance criteria related to child and forced labor for both small farmers and hired labor situations, an addition to numerous other criteria for social, socioeconomic, and environmental development. As such, any impact, or goals of the program would not be limited to child labor or forced labor elimination, but to a much broader set of goals. That said, this is an important part of the standards, and discovery could lead to suspension or decertification. The standards are written to both recognize that small farmers may have their children perform some tasks on the farm, but these must be limited, and cannot interfere with schooling. For hired labor situations, discovery of child or forced labor cannot simply be “fixed” by ceasing employment, but also trying to ensure that these workers are not forced into worst forms of labor situations. In terms of replicability, the compliance criteria that are used are the same worldwide. Replicability can best be achieved by figuring out what types of labor situations a program wants to work with (small farms, cooperatives, large farms, small factories, large factories etc), and different levels of pervasiveness of these types of labor situations, and working out a compliance criteria for each type. For example, Auditor training materials and audit methodology may vary slightly by country/region based on local practices, and the type of labor set-up being reviewed. For Fair Trade certification, the practices must continue in order to retain the certificate. I would imagine that now that sensitivity and awareness to the issues exists, there may be some that would continue to comply, but in most cases, audit and certification is necessary to ensure that responsible choices continue to be made. Cost effectiveness is difficult to separate out because the audit is a comprehensive review of all compliance criteria, not just criteria related to child/forced labor. I imagine, however, that one might look at verification methods that include, for cooperative structures, internal control systems and scientific sampling techniques. For 100% certainty, you would almost have to have an auditor on the ground 100% of the time, but there are sampling techniques that can give a high level of certainty.
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice 5. CREA, Inc. Center for Reflection, Education and Action, Inc. CREA Inc. P.O. Box 2507 Hartford, CT 06146-2507 TEL: 860.527.0455 FAX: 860.216.1072 e-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.crea-inc.org May 1, 2009 Draft Criteria – with suggested revisions Establishing baseline information How was the baseline information collected? How did you measure reliability of the baseline data? What was the geographic area for the baseline data? What is regional? National? Local? How recent was the data collection? Did the data collection distinguish between child labor and forced labor? Did the data collection distinguish by gender? What are the specific program goals? How were the goals established Are they measurable Quantitatively Qualitatively How often will progress on program goals be measured? By whom will the progress be measured? What are the specific program components? How were the components designed? How distinguishable were the separate components in terms of measurability? How are/were the effects of each component measured? Relevance – at start of project Is there a set of assumptions about how activities will lead to outcomes? Do you understand why the program works?
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice Is there a logical connection between the inputs, activities and expected outcomes? Consequences How are you distinguishing between impacts and consequences? What were the direct consequences of the program? What were the indirect consequences of the program? How did you measure the consequences? Quantitatively? Qualitatively? What were the unintended consequences of the program? What were the direct impacts of the program? What were the indirect impacts of the program? How did you measure the impacts? Quantitatively Qualitatively Impact(s) Did the overall program reduce child labor? Did the overall program reduce forced labor? Did the program benefit child laborers? Did the program benefit forced laborers? What were these specific benefits? How were they documented? How were they measured? Did the program achieve its goals? How was this determined Qualitatively Qualitatively Could the program sustain its goals over time? Relevance – at completion of project Were the starting assumptions about how activities would lead to outcomes met? Do you understand why the program worked? Is there a logical connection between the inputs, activities and expected outcomes? Can these be documented? Sustainability Is the practice likely to continue (as needed)? Why or why not? Is the benefit likely to continue effectively? Does the institutional capacity necessary to sustain the benefits and/or exist? Does the will to sustain these practices exist
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Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice What is necessary for local ownership of the program or practices to continue? Replicability Could the practice be implemented with modest adaptation in other settings? What factors limit replicability? What factors encourage replicability? Cost effectiveness How is cost effectiveness measured? Were the benefits sufficient to warrant the cost in terms of money and time? Were the benefits adequate in relation to likely benefits from comparable investments? How was cost effectiveness measured? Can the business case be made for the project or work as a means of encouraging others to do the same work?