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Human trafficking, commonly in the form of labor trafficking, is considered one of the greatest human rights violations of today. With over 27 million estimated victims of human trafficking, this is a problem that cannot be ignored. Child labor and forced labor are major problems facing the apparel industry. More is being done in reducing the use of trafficked victims in the textile exportation phase of clothing production. However, the use of forced and child labor is prevalent in the production of resources, such as cotton. While some policies have been put in place to combat the abuse of labor, there is still much more to be done. The Not For Sale organization evaluates many apparel companies and promotes the necessary changes to improve the production of clothes. The companies are rated on their efforts to combat child and forced labor, their enactment of anti-trafficking policies, the traceability and transparency of their production, and the monitoring and training in regards to workers' rights. Along with the Not For Sale organization, there is also a Fair Trade Federation that has its own Code of Practice that explains how organizations translate fair trade principles into business decisions that create sustainable change. The Federation has recently revised its Code of Practice to strengthen practices for members who sell agricultural products. Few companies ensure that their factory employees are paid higher than minimum wage and many companies are not enacting their corporate social responsibility programs.
Anthony N. Talbott
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
Gorbett, Samantha M. and Schneider, Theresa M., "Research exercise: What Isn't Considered in the Dressing Room: Human Rights Violations Behind the Clothing Industry." (2013). Stander Symposium Posters. 337.