Corporations have increasingly turned to voluntary, multi-stakeholder governance programs to monitor workers’ rights and standards in global supply chains. This article argues that the emphasis of these programs varies significantly depending on stakeholder involvement and issue areas under examination. Corporate-influenced programs are more likely to emphasize detection of violations of minimal standards in the areas of wages, hours, and occupational safety and health because focusing on these issues provides corporations with legitimacy and reduces the risks of uncertainty created by activist campaigns. In contrast, these programs are less likely to emphasize workers’ rights to form democratic and independent unions, bargain, and strike because these rights are perceived as lessening managerial control without providing firms with significant reputational value. This argument is explored by coding 805 factory audits of the Fair Labor Association between 2002 and 2010, followed by case studies of Russell Athletic in Honduras, Apple in China, and worker rights monitoring in Vietnam.

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11th General Report on GRETA’s Activities
GuidancePublications

This year’s General Report zooms in on the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on trafficking in human beings. Countries monitored by GRETA have reported an increased use of ICT for recruiting and controlling victims of traffi...Read More

TAGS: Europe
Pervasive, punitive, and predetermined: Understanding modern slavery in North Korea
Publications

By Remco E. Breuker & Imke van Gardingen It has long been known, though difficult to verify, that citizens of North Korea are forced to work by the State on a far greater scale than seen elsewhere in the world. Recent estimates reveal that 1 in ...Read More

TAGS: Asia
The Global Business of Forced Labour: Report of Findings
Publications

This report presents the findings from the Global Business of Forced Labour project. The project investigates the business models of forced labour in global agricultural supply chains. Over two years the project systematically mapped the business ...Read More

On This Journey, No one Cares if You Live or Die: Abuse, protection, and justice along routes between East and West Africa and Africa’s Mediterranean coast
Publications

Hundreds of refugees and migrants are dying each year, and thousands more are suffering extreme human rights abuses, at the hands of smugglers, traffickers, militias and State authorities, on journeys from West and East Africa towards and inside Lib...Read More

TAGS: Africa