Beate Andrees, Chief of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch
Nearly a quarter of the adult population in Uzbekistan—over three million people—take part in the country’s cotton harvest each year. Some two thirds of them are women.
The ILO has been monitoring the cotton harvest for child labour since 2013. In 2015, it began monitoring the harvest for forced labour and child labour as part of an agreement with the World Bank. Continue reading →
Beate Andrees is Head of ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour. You can follow her on Twitter at @beateandrees
Tomatoes were once grown by indigenous people in the Andes and then exported to Europe and North America by Spanish colonizers. And while the delicious fruit has found a home in many parts of the world, many of the workers who pick it have not. Many are irregular immigrants, tolerated because they provide cheap labour, but not welcomed.
One of the most prolific tomato growing regions is the state of Florida in the United States, the area focused on by film director Sanjay Rawal and actress/producer Eva Longoria in their film Food Chains. It tells the story of a group of courageous migrant farm workers resisting their exploitation.
Kuanruthai Siripatthanakol, National Project Coordinator (Thailand), GMS TRIANGLE Project
In an icy cold room in the fishing port of Samut Sakhon, a labour inspector reads over the payroll ledger of a small shrimp peeling shed. Most of the workers are from Myanmar and some of them appear to be very young. They are hesitant to discuss their situation with the inspectors, especially as their employer looks on. The ledger reveals discrepancies in the number of hours worked and payment of the daily minimum wage of 300THB (about US$ 9.15).
I’m here as part of a five-day training course for labour inspectors from the coastal provinces of Thailand.