Millions of workers—most of them women—face intimidation, humiliation, physical and verbal assault, and worse on the job. A July 27, 2023, international summit in southern Africa gathered representatives from the governments of Argentina, Canada, Germany, Lesotho,...
The Solidarity Center in Lesotho is partnering with Lesotho-based trade unions and women’s rights groups, global fashion brands and international rights organizations to secure a safe and dignified workplace for women employed in the country’s predominantly female garment sector. Read the two-year report from our partner and independent monitor, Lesotho-based Workers’ Rights Watch, here.
Some 12,000 garment workers and managers in five Nien Hsing Lesotho factories will take part in worker-driven education and awareness trainings, part of a precedent-setting program established in 2019 through two jointly negotiated agreements negotiated by Basotho unions and women’s rights groups with Levi Strauss, The Children’s Place and Kontoor Brands. The program establishes an independent reporting and monitoring system with remedies for abusive behavior.
Together with the Solidarity Center, Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and Workers United, the Lesotho-based unions and women’s groups are designing and implementing the program in coordination with the independent monitoring organization tasked under the agreements with developing a clear code of conduct and a system for reporting abuse.
Participating Lesotho-based organizations include: the Federation of Women Lawyers in Lesotho (FIDA), the Independent Democratic Union of Lesotho (IDUL), the National Clothing Textile and Allied Workers Union, Lesotho (NACTWU), the United Textile Employees (UNITE) and Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (WLSA)-Lesotho.
The agreements came about after a 2019 investigation by U.S.-based Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) found that the mostly female workforce at three Nien Hsing textile factories was regularly coerced into sexual activity with supervisors as a condition of gaining or retaining employment or promotions, and were persistently sexually harassed, verbally and physically.
A report by Workers’ Rights Watch tracks progress on a precedent-setting, worker-centered program in Lesotho garment factories to prevent gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) of garment workers producing jeans for the global market. The Lesotho Agreements...