The Fair Labor Association (FLA) commissioned two independent external experts – Corinne Adam, an independent consultant, and Lynda Diane Mull, Executive Director and President of the International Initiative to End Child Labor – to conduct a task and labor risk mapping study of hybrid corn and sunflower seeds production in Argentina.
India is currently the second-largest producer of sugarcane and of sugar in the world, after Brazil, and sugarcane production in India supports 50 million farmers and their families.
In June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—the result of a six-year effort led by the then Special Representative of the UN Secretary—General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. Following the adoption of the Guiding Principles, the FLA asked Shift - an independent nonprofit organization chaired by Professor Ruggie - to conduct a review of the implications of the Guiding Principles for its own work.
In 2011, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) launched a study of corn and sunflower production to develop a better understanding of the agriculture sector in Romania. The study was conducted in collaboration with a representative from the international NGO Human Resources without Borders, and an independent Romanian auditor named Mariana Petcu. The aim of this research was to understand the production processes of corn and sunflower seeds and to map the labor risks with regards to labor laws and FLA’s Workplace Code of Conduct in Romania.
Kavitha, a 17-year-old girl who had been working in an Indian textile mill for nearly three years, died from injuries sustained at work. She was just 14 when she agreed to work at the mill, yet her family never received the money their daughter worked so hard to earn. Many women like Kavitha are caught up in a dangerous but prevalent system called the Sumangali Scheme, which targets young women and their families by promising a lump sum payment of about US $500-1,000 for three years of work. The money is intended for use by the family to pay the girl's dowry and enable her to get married.
In January 2012, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) launched a study of soy and corn seeds in Brazil to develop a better understanding of the local conditions, practices and labor standards in the country's agriculture sector. The study was conducted with an independent external expert, and data was collected through meetings with stakeholders including Instituto Ethos, a leading CSR organization in Brazil; and union representatives from Sindicato dos trabalhadores rurais de Minas Gerais in Serra do Salitre and Sindicato de trabalhadores rurais de Uberlandia of Uberlandia.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) conducted this task and risk mapping study in India in 2004 to assess the labor risks in cottonseed farms, with a focus on child labor; to map potential internal and external workplace monitoring systems; and to map local remedial programs. The study consolidates data from two assessment visits made in April 2004 and October 2004 to Andra Pradesh (AP) and Gujarat, two of the largest hybrid cottonseed producing states in India.
A recent study commissioned by FLA and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) found ongoing and rampant wage discrimination and underpayment of wages in hybrid vegetable and cotton seed production in India. The study, conducted by Dr. Davuluri Venketeswarlu and Jacob Kalle, was conducted in four Indian states where hybrid seed production is largely concentrated – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra – and involved interviews with nearly 500 workers on 200 seed farms and discussions with growers, civil society organizations, government officials and others.
On October 8, 2012, the FLA convened its fourth stakeholder forum on wages in Seattle, Washington, hosted by the University of Washington.
The one day workshop was organized to provide information on the Fair Wage Assessment tools and to facilitate understanding of the methodology, and to share information about current pilots and brand experience with the assessments. Speakers included representatives from:
- Fair Wage Network;
- H&M; and
For a full account of this event, download the report below.