What is Freedom of Association?

By | Uncategorized

What is Freedom of Association?

Freedom of Association (FoA) is the right of workers to join and form trade unions or organizations of their choosing. FoA is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It includes the right to freedom of assembly, association, and trade union membership.

This means that:

  • Workers can form and join trade unions of their own choosing.
  • Unions have the freedom to function independently.
  • Elections and the duties of union representatives are free of interference.
  • Independently elected worker representatives should not fear intimidation, harassment, or reprisals. They are the measure of how freely workers can express and contribute to their industry or workplace through formal structures such as collective bargaining.
  • Workers and employers can be formally represented in negotiations to arrive at solutions for improving working conditions.
  • FoA also applies to workers in the informal sector (those not working under employment contracts).

It is important to note that FoA also applies to an employer’s right to join organizations of their choosing!

The Palestinian Decent Work Programme 2018-2022

By | Case-study, Palestina

Summary

This publication details the Palestinian Decent Work Programme as instituted by the ILO. Part of this programme is the strengthening of social dialogue through increased and enhanced bipartite and tripartite social dialogue for various sectors, especially construction. Priority II details this further, mentioning three goals of strengthening social dialogue: ensuring alignment with human rights treaties, improve freedom of association and representative decision-making and enhance labour inspections through database and grievance mechanisms establishment.

For the original source, please click here

Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

By | Guide, Social dialogue

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for States and companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations.

They were proposed by UN Special Representative on business & human rights John Ruggie, and endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011.  In the same resolution, the UN Human Rights Council established the UN Working Group on business & human rights.

HOW TO USE THIS PORTAL

Keep up to date on the latest news on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. Use the implementation hub for key tools, guidance and examples of uses of the UN Guiding Principles by companies, governments, and others. Navigate the in-depth areas below for background & introductory information; guidance materials; examples of implementation & failure to implement; examples of how NGOs are using the Principles; commentaries on the Principles reflecting diverse viewpoints; lawsuits against companies referring to the Principles; events related to the Principles. Keep up to date on related events, including the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

For the original source, please click here.

A practical CNV Guide to the RUGGIE principles

By | Case-study, Indonesia, Macedonia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Social dialogue, United States

Introduction: an important resource

Is this a situation you recognise? For some years you have been negotiating with the branch or a supplier of a large international company which by now has also firmly established itself in the ‘low wage countries’. You negotiate about collective bargaining agreements and you can’t manage to reach a good consensus about wages and working conditions for employees. Even though you know that the company
has arranged these things properly in its country of origin. So what do you do?

As a trade union leader you have a particular responsibility within your company, sector or industry: you protect and promote labour rights. It’s certainly not easy to protest against abuses or wrongs at the local branches of foreign companies.

With the help of your international network of trade union organisations and your status as a partner organisation of CNV Internationaal, you can in fact play an important role here. That’s because the CNV trade unions work to benefit people and the environment, and look further than the national boundaries. After all, CNV leaders, officials or members of the Works Council are active within international companies in the Netherlands that also operate branches abroad or purchase from foreign suppliers. Sustainability and international solidarity are two of CNV’s core values. We believe it is important that employees’ human rights are respected all over the world.

 

For the original source, please click here.

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Joint Agreement on international responsible business conduct in the garment sector

By | Social dialogue

Making sustainability the norm rather than the exception: that’s the aim of the Dutch joint sector Agreements on Responsible Business Conduct. Companies, trade unions, civil society organisations and the Dutch government are working together to ensure respect for human rights throughout international supply chains. The Dutch trade union confederation CNV and its international department, CNV Internationaal, are actively participating in the establishment of these agreements.

Doing business in other countries entails risks. Companies can become involved – either directly or indirectly – in child labour, unsafe working conditions or pollution of the local environment. Responsible Business Conduct means it is essential for businesses to carefully map these risks in order to avoid or mitigate them. The term for this is “due diligence”, otherwise known as RBC risk management. The sector greements (also called covenants) on Responsible Business Conduct offer companies the opportunity to work together at sector level in conjunction with the government, trade unions and civil society organisations to tackle the risks to people and planet in their global value chains. The textile and garment industry was the first sector to formally join forces when its agreement was signed on 4 July 2016. The
banking sector followed suit on 28 October 2016. Other agreements are being prepared in a broad range of sectors.

 

For the original source, please click here.

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Palming off responsibility – Labour rights violations in the Indonesian palm oil sector

By | Case-study, Indonesia, Social dialogue

The case studies in this research describe how two RSPO-certified palm oil companies structurally violate the labour rights of their workers. In both cases, workers are forced to work unpaid overtime in order to reach unrealistic production targets. Furthermore, these targets have motivated workers to bring their wives and children to work, thus giving rise to child labour. Other rights violations found in the field research included union busting, workers never receiving employment contracts, inadequate PPE provision and inadequate medical services. Thus, many workers’ rights violations were found that breach the RSPO standard, international law, Indonesian law, or all of the above.

This report provides a brief discussion of the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Indonesia, in an attempt to showcase some of the pitfalls that hamper this process. Two of these are uncertainty over whether Indonesia has a monist or a dualist legal system, and organisational and political issues with developing the country’s National Action Plan. The lack of implementation and enforcement of the UNGPs in Indonesia are illustrated by the company case studies, and the company’s violations of rights enshrined in UN conventions, such as children’s right not to work.

Furthermore, the international standing and reputation of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is discussed. Dutch companies that use palm oil in their products have joined the RSPO in an attempt to make their palm oil supply chains more sustainable and to ensure that the palm oil they buy has taken place free of labour rights violations and environmental degradation, among other criteria. NGO reports show that, at least on an incidental basis, the RSPO certifies palm oil produced by companies that commit exactly the types of human rights and environmental violations that motivated the creation of the RSPO.

Although further research would be needed to underwrite such a sweeping statement about the RSPO, the case studies presented in this report show that RSPO certification is not necessarily an assurance of sustainable palm production, and thus give cause for scepticism towards the initiative. Companies should therefore not depend solely on certification, but should undertake their own supply chain due diligence to ensure their business partners do not commit labour and human rights violations, so that they can safeguard their own compliance with the UNGPs.

For the original source, please click here.

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Vietnam country study: Labour Standards in the Garment Supply Chain

By | Case-study, Social dialogue

Introduction

The present country study on Vietnam, has been carried out in June 2016 for CNV Internationaal in the context of the
Partnership for Supply Chain Transformation. It is based on desk and original research on the current status of the industry structure, social dialogue, gender-based violence and living wage debates in the apparel industry in Vietnam for use in the first phase of this project.

The Fair Wear Foundation with its alliance partners CNV Internationaal and FNV Mondiaal has been selected by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a five year Strategic partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation starting 2016 as part of its “Dialogue and Dissent” policy framework. The primary goal of this initiative is to improve the lobbying and advocacy capacity of Trade Unions and labour related NGOs by enhancing their understanding of international RMG supply chains, access to critical information and know-how. Opportunities will be identified to develop pilot experiences in the supply chain resulting in good practices related to living wages, gender-based violence and freedom of association and collective bargaining, which will facilitate more effective social dialogue and monitoring of human rights compliance at the factory level and reinforce the value of NGOs and trade unions to all supply chain stakeholders.

 

For the original source, please click here.

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Pakistan country study 2016: Labour standards in the garment supply chain

By | Pakistan, Social dialogue

Executive summary

The present country study on Pakistan, has been carried out in December 2016 for CNV Internationaal in the context of the Partnership for Supply Chain Transformation. It is based on desk and original research on the current status of the industry structure, social dialogue, gender-based violence and living wage debates in the apparel industry in Vietnam for use in the first phase of this project. The Fair Wear Foundation with its alliance partners CNV Internationaal and FNV Mondiaal has been selected by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a five year Strategic partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation starting 2016 as part of its “Dialogue and Dissent” policy framework.

The primary goal of this initiative is to improve the lobbying and advocacy capacity of Trade Unions and labour related NGOs by enhancing their understanding of international Ready Made Garments supply chains, access to critical information and know-how. Opportunities will be identified to develop pilot experiences in the supply chain resulting in good practices related to living wages, gender-based violence and freedom of association and collective bargaining, which will facilitate more effective social dialogue and monitoring of human rights compliance at the factory level and reinforce the value of NGOs and trade unions to all supply chain stakeholders.
This report gives insight into the garment/ textile industry of Pakistan and its related industry, labour laws, industrial
relations and industry. The study was developed after a desk study and a subsequent visit to Pakistan to interview
stakeholders on issues related to the garment industry.

 

For the original source, please click here.

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Country study Cambodia 2016: Labour Standards in the Garment Supply Chain

By | Cambodia, Case-study, Social dialogue

The present country study on Cambodia, has been carried out for CNV Internationaal in the context of the Partnership for Supply Chain Transformation. is based on desk and original research on the current status of the industry structure, social dialogue, gender-based violence and living wage debates in the apparel industry in Cambodia for use in the first phase of this project.

The Fair Wear Foundation with its alliance partners CNV Internationaal and FNV Mondiaal has been selected by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a five year Strategic partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation starting 2016 as part of its “Dialogue and Dissent” policy framework. The primary goal of this initiative is to improve the lobbying and advocacy capacity of Trade Unions and labour related NGOs by enhancing their understanding of international RMG supply chains, access to critical information and know-how. Opportunities will be identified to develop pilot experiences in the supply chain resulting in good practices related to living wages, gender-based violence and freedom of association and collective bargaining, which will facilitate more effective social dialogue and monitoring of human rights compliance at the factory level and reinforce the value of NGOs and trade unions to all supply chain stakeholders.

 

For the original source, please click here.

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By | Social dialogue

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.   To see the original document, click here.

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