When I first met Ram Kumari Chaudhary, she was an extremely shy, but solemn, 19-year-old. She told me she wanted to go to work in Jordan to support her parents, adding that there were few opportunities to find a decent job in Nepal. Soon afterwards, in 2017, I learned that she had found a job in Jordan’s booming garment industry, earning, on average, around US$350 a month. Every three or four months she faithfully sent back about three-quarters of her salary to her parents in Nepal. Continue reading
When you’re up against a challenge as big as improving conditions for workers in Haiti’s garment sector, it’s easy to lose sight of the progress being made and focus on the problems. Risks to health and safety are still among the biggest. More than three in four factories in Haiti don’t meet the requirements for emergency preparedness.
I work as an Enterprise Advisor for Better Work Haiti. It’s my job to assess factories and help workers and employers to solve problems and improve working conditions. When we first started operations in 2009, the words “Occupational Safety and Health” weren’t in the vocabulary here. When talking to workers and managers about the basics of how to keep safe, we were often starting from scratch. Continue reading