The programme targets GBVH in 4 Lesotho garment factories producing denims for the worldwide market
Levi Strauss & Co, The Children’s Place and Kontoor Brands are funding a programme that targets gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in 4 Lesotho denims factories using as much as 10,000 employees.
The venture, which is exclusive in that it’s binding and worker-led, will empower Lesotho unions, human and ladies’s rights teams to successfully deal with GBVH.
To fight widespread abuse, the programme is offering garment employees with GBVH consciousness coaching, a confidential reporting system, and enforcement processes administered by an entity unbiased of employer affect.
It comes after Levi Strauss, The Kids’s Place, and Kontoor Manufacturers launched a complete pilot programme to stop GBVH in garment factories in Lesotho final summer time after an investigation documented a “deeply regarding” sample of abuse and harassment at a key provider’s factories within the nation.
The brands signed a set of “unprecedented agreements” with 5 Lesotho-based commerce unions and ladies’s rights organisations, in addition to US-based Employee Rights Consortium (WRC), Solidarity Heart and Employees United, and Nien Hsing Textile to handle GBVH at 5 factories owned and operated by the Taiwan-based attire producer in Lesotho.
A survey of employees at three Nien Hsing factories in Lesotho by WRC discovered that just about two-thirds of the ladies from three factories who had been interviewed reported “having skilled sexual harassment or abuse” or having data of harassment or abuse suffered by co-workers. Ladies employees from all three factories surveyed recognized GBVH as a central concern for themselves and different feminine staff.
The agreements construct on the Bangladesh Accord on Hearth and Constructing Security, during which unions had been key contributors. The Accord recognises the basic position of collective bargaining in reaching an settlement that’s binding and enforced, backed by worldwide manufacturers’ dedication to hyperlink their ongoing enterprise with their provider to their compliance.
Companions within the new programme, which launched earlier this month, embrace Lesotho-based unions and ladies’s rights teams that can play a key position in implementing the initiative to make sure that the binding agreements change the tradition and apply at Nien Hsing’s factories and supply a treatment for victims of GBVH.
These embrace the Federation of Ladies Attorneys in Lesotho (FIDA), the Unbiased Democratic Union of Lesotho (IDUL), the Nationwide Clothes Textile and Allied Employees Union, Lesotho (NACTWU), the United Textile Staff (UNITE) and Ladies and Legislation in Southern Africa Analysis and Schooling Belief (WLSA)-Lesotho; worldwide rights organisations Solidarity Heart, Employee Rights Consortium (WRC) and Employees United.
Levi Strauss, The Kids’s Place, Kontoor Manufacturers, and Nien Hsing are signatories to and contributors within the binding agreements and GBVH programme. Funding comes from Levi Strauss, The Kids’s Place, and Kontoor Manufacturers along with the Solidarity Heart and WRC in collaboration with the US Company for Worldwide Growth (USAID).
Underneath the programme, Employees’ Rights Watch, an unbiased Lesotho-based non-profit entity established by the agreements, is absolutely empowered to analyze complaints of GBVH and decide cures to redress violations of the agreements’ GBVH code of conduct.
In the meantime, a confidential, toll-free info line run by one of many ladies’s rights organisations is obtainable six days every week for garment employees to debate GBVH points and cures with skilled counsellors, together with figuring out their rights underneath the code of conduct and the right way to take part safely in a grievance and treatment course of.
Schooling and consciousness campaigns and programmes are additionally being offered to garment employees and their supervisors that “get at the foundation causes” of gender discrimination and violence in opposition to ladies, define the GBVH code of conduct and cures underneath the programme, and encourage reporting by the data line.
As well as, a new Solidarity Heart GBVH coaching video in English and Sesotho can be extensively disseminated to garment employees throughout coaching programmes and by way of social media.