Browse by Theme: Dignified Work

CARE’s Gianluca Nardi works with the mining industry in Latin America, promoting multi-sector dialogue, revenue transparency, accountability and sound community development practices. He outlines the eight key issues the industry needs to get serious about to significantly improve the lives of poor people in the communities where it operates.

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In December, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS Department) will be publishing its response to its consultation on corporate responsibility. Before it does, the Department should take careful note of the important evidence from the major EU IMPACT study on CSR:

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CARE International's request to business in this year's Living Wage Week is simple. Implement living wages, and do it having ensured that you understand the key role of women in your supply chain, so that the women working at the end of the supply chain, as well as having a decent wage, will also have some equality with their male counterparts.

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CARE International has written about the business case for empowering women producers before, but the financial justification for inclusive business goes much further than that. This week, CARE International published A Different Cup of Tea: The Business Case for Empowering Workers in the Sri Lankan Tea Sector which demonstrates that companies investing in one worker empowerment model, the Community Development Forum (CDF), gained $26 for every $1 invested.

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There are certain working conditions that most workers take for granted; established working hours, a minimum wage, paid annual leave, social security and maternity leave. Historically, domestic workers haven’t shared these basic rights but a major new piece of legislation could change this unacceptable breach of human rights. On the 16th June 2011, at the International Labour Organisation's 100th international conference, 183 countries signed Convention 189. This landmark legislation mandates state-supported protection to ensure decent work for domestic workers. However, to date, only eight countries have ratified the convention (Uruguay, the Philippines, Mauritius, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Italy, Paraguay, and South Africa). At CARE International, we believe domestic work is “real” work and it is time for domestic workers to be granted the same working conditions that other workers all over the world are granted without question.  

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Human rights remains a topic that companies may reference perfunctorily in their codes of conduct, but few really seem to understand. In their defence, this is in part because, first, best practice standards on business and human rights are often nascent at best, and, second, human rights tend to be expressed in a nearly impenetrable mass of legalistic jargon.

In the interest of bridging some of the gaps between business, development and human rights terminologies, I’ve identified the three most common misconceptions about human rights and business.

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This week American stakeholders announced the formation of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and signatories to the European Fire and Building Safety Accord released their Implementation Plan. While both agreements represent steps in the right direction, to address the root causes of the Rana Plaza disaster, both initiatives must take further measures to build capacity and political will in the Government of Bangladesh.

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