Verité’s vision is a world where people work under safe, fair, and legal conditions. Yet, as we scan the globe, it’s all too obvious that women workers are still particularly vulnerable to labor rights abuses across all sectors and geographies. Therefore our work requires a special focus on how women are treated in the workplace and how gender inequality can exacerbate labor and human rights abuses in global supply chains. Looking just as the most severe form of labor exploitation – forced labor – the gender dimensions are clear: according to the International Labour Organization, nearly 60 percent of workers in conditions of forced labor are women.
For more than 20 years, Verité has seen how gender inequality exacerbates labor and human rights abuses in global supply chains. Inequality based on gender comes in many forms including restrictions on the types of work women do, limited access to labor protections, and disparities in compensation. In honor of Women’s History Month, we would like to take this opportunity to touch on the many ways in which Verité sees, and seeks to change, differential impacts on women from prevailing supply chain dynamics in a variety of sectors.
Verité, in partnership with Winrock and Lawyers without Borders, is helping to implement CLEAR II, a project to reduce the prevalence of child labor in eight countries. This four-year project which began in 2014, is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and addresses the circumstances that contribute to child labor and builds on the CLEAR I project, which is being implemented by the ILO. Verité’s role in this partnership includes providing technical support to public officials and private companies to reduce child labor. Eight countries are involved in this project including Nepal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Honduras, Panama, and Belize, with two others still to be named.