College students share their views on business and human rights topics – such as the implications of the European Union’s due diligence reporting mandate and the options presented by in-person, hybrid, and virtual factory audits – in a new journal written and published by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) Student Committee.
Volume 2 of the journal Social Responsibility Topics of the 21st Century includes seven articles written by students on a range of social responsibility topics, including the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers.
“Writing an article was a fantastic opportunity to dive into prescient social issues and gain insight into how industry entities navigate changing dynamics, risks, and opportunities,” said Naila Karamally, who contributed an article on European Union’s mandatory due diligence reporting. Karamally is a master’s degree candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Ten members of the committee volunteered to create the journal. Seven students wrote articles, two supported the editing process, and one contributed original artwork. The articles cover a range of topics:
- COVID-19 and social media and union approval ratings
- Employers’ surveillance of workers during the pandemic
- Options for factory audits in the shifting world
- Legally protecting home-based apparel workers
- European Union’s mandatory due diligence reporting
- “Green” and “sustainable” products standard inconsistencies, and
- Electronic waste recycling.
“Collaborating with the students to read their writing and provide feedback, I was able to make a deeper connection with my peers who will be working in the same field for the years to come,” said Junghoon Park, a master’s student at the University of Michigan. Park contributed to the journal’s first issue and served on the committee this year.
The original artwork, “Angel Annie,” portrays the risk of child labor within global supply chains. The artist is Aditya Madupur, a senior at South Brunswick High School in New Jersey.
The FLA Student Committee includes undergraduate and graduate students representing FLA member colleges and universities and invited guests. Twenty-two students from 11 FLA universities participated in the committee during the 2021-22 academic year. Students meet regularly and participate in learning, networking, and discussions about business and human rights issues.
“Students have long been a critical voice in promoting and defending workers’ rights,” said Danielle Roberts, FLA’s University Program manager. “Our student committee and projects like the student journal create vital opportunities for university students to connect, grow professionally, and hopefully instill a lifelong interest in business social responsibility and labor rights.”
The FLA University Caucus includes approximately 140 member colleges and universities across North America.