Asia
Solidarity Center, India, women In Asia, the Solidarity Center helps workers build strong unions to defend their fundamental rights at home and abroad, escape abuse and forced labor and hold governments accountable for their economic security. As the developing Asia-Pacific region (Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific) has modernized and transformed into a global manufacturing hub for multinational corporations, the Asian growth model has been promoted as a development paradigm for emerging economies. The region has seen soaring economic growth over the past 20 years, its gross domestic product (GDP) rising by 6.1 percent in 2013. The region also led the global recovery after the 2009 recession. Yet this model has created a system of vastly unequal outcomes. The workers who have fueled Asia’s extraordinary economic growth through their labor in factories and the informal economy have not shared in economic prosperity—specifically in the form of increased wages, better benefits or secure work. As a result, the Asian region has seen the world’s largest out-migration of workers, who are driven to leave their homes in desperation to support their families. Millions of workers from South and Southeast Asia travel to countries around the world, most to the Arabian Gulf, for jobs in fishing, construction and domestic service. Few migrant workers have rights on the job or in the countries where they work. As global consumer brands chase the lowest costs and highest profits around the globe, Southeast Asia has become a haven for export processing zones (EPZs). Millions of workers desperate for decent wages endure long workdays, forced unpaid overtime and sub-poverty wages. Garment workers, fish processors and others toiling in the EPZs for global manufacturing companies have few or no rights on the job and face daunting obstacles to forming unions. Factory-level union activists are fired and blacklisted, unable to find another job. Workers in Asia also often risk their lives in unsafe and unhealthy workplaces. Exposed to toxic chemicals or deadly asbestos, or toiling in dangerous garment factories or mines, more than 1.1 million people in Asia die each year from workplace hazards or accidents. Millions more workers are forced to make a living in the informal economy, where as street vendors, domestic workers and taxi drivers, they earn low wages in often unsafe conditions and have little or access to pensions or other social protections.

Media Contact

Kate Conradt
Communications Director
(+1) 202-974 -8369

 

Delivery Drivers Launch Union in the Philippines

Solidarity Center
Solidarity Center
Delivery Drivers Launch Union in the Philippines
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The Future of U.S. Taiwan Trade

Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2022 Time: 11 a.m. Location: Longworth House Office Building 1100 and remotely here. Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau testifies before the U.S. Congress on improving worker rights in Taiwan.

Report: Cambodia Garment Workers Suffer Effects of Climate Change

Solidarity Center
Solidarity Center
Report: Cambodia Garment Workers Suffer Effects of Climate Change
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Thai Workers Win Historic $8.3 Million in Back Pay, Financed by Victoria’s Secret

Thai Workers Win Historic $8.3 Million in Back Pay, Financed by Victoria’s Secret

Solidarity Center
Solidarity Center
Thai Workers Win Historic $8.3 Million in Back Pay, Financed by Victoria’s Secret







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Myanmar Union Activists Assaulted, Detained by Military

Myanmar Union Activists Assaulted, Detained by Military

Two women unionist activists in Myanmar were assaulted and arrested late last week after the taxi they were traveling in was rammed by a military vehicle in eastern Yangon. According to eyewitnesses at the scene, six soldiers exited a military vehicle after ramming...

‘THE FACTORY IS GREEN, THE JOB IS NOT’—BANGLADESH GARMENT WORKER

‘THE FACTORY IS GREEN, THE JOB IS NOT’—BANGLADESH GARMENT WORKER

A new Solidarity Center study finds that, although Bangladesh claims the global lead in eco-friendly ready-made garment (RMG) manufacturing, government officials, factory owners and global fashion brands are not adequately addressing unhealthy working conditions,...

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