Mar 31, 2023
Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Time: 3:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Place: National Endowment for Democracy, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Suite 1100 Washington, D.C., DC 20004. Click here to register.
Co-Hosted By: National Endowment for Democracy and Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum
In March 2022, the Cotton Campaign, a global coalition against forced labor, announced that it was ending its call for a global boycott of Uzbek cotton. The Coalition made this decision following the 2021 harvest: Uzbek Forum for Human Rights, a frontline partner of the Cotton Campaign that has monitored the annual cotton harvest since 2010, found no state-imposed forced labor for the first time in years. This landmark achievement marked the elimination of state-imposed forced labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest, which had affected millions of children and adults. Despite these gains, civic space and fundamental labor rights in Uzbekistan remain arbitrarily restricted and farmers face exploitation, jeopardizing reforms in the cotton sector.
Turkmenistan remains one of the most closed and repressive countries in the world. Every year during the harvest, the government continues to force tens of thousands of public sector workers to pick cotton in hazardous and unsanitary conditions and extorts money from public employees to pay harvest expenses. To this day, the government continues to deny the forced labor problem and has taken harsh actions against those who report on abuses.
Please join the National Endowment for Democracy and Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum for an in-person, two-panel discussion and reception to reflect on one year since the end of state-imposed forced labor in Uzbek cotton—including the implications for global cotton supply chains, next steps in Uzbekistan, and making labor rights gains in Turkmenistan and the Uyghur region. The panels will place the fight for workers’ rights in Central Asia in the broader context of global supply chains and supply chain governance. This has been given new prominence and urgency by systematic forced labor as part of genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the government of China against the Uyghur and other Turkic and/or Muslim-majority peoples.
- Shawna Bader-Blau- Executive Director, Solidarity Center
- Kelly M. Fay Rodríguez- Special Representative for International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Bennett Freeman- Cotton Campaign co-founder and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
- Patricia Jurewicz- Cotton Campaign co-founder and founder and CEO, Responsible Sourcing Network
- Ruslan Myatiev- Founder and Editor, Turkmen.News
- Umida Niyazova- Director, Uzbek Forum for Human Rights
Additional Panelists to be Announced
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM Panel Discussions
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM Reception
Mar 27, 2023
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Time: 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT
Place: In-person (U.S. Dept of Labor – Frances Perkins Building 200 Constitution Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20210) and virtual event.
To join online, tune in here at 11:30 a.m.
To join in person, register here.
Co-Hosted By: Department of Labor, Department of State, and U.S. Agency for International Development
This session will elevate the role of labor movements as drivers of democracy and essential components of democratic societies. Government and labor representatives will highlight country cases and approaches of labor movements defending, reclaiming, and expanding democratic space, with an emphasis on the responsibilities of governments to protect and hold space for democratic labor movements.
“No Democracy without Unions: Labor Movements as Defenders of Democratic Rights” is an official event of the second Summit for Democracy, a global democracy initiative co-hosted by Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United States and Zambia from March 28-30, 2023. The second Summit will showcase progress made by Summit partners on commitments during the Year of Action. M-POWER is one of the largest commitments made by Summit partners.
Mar 17, 2023
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
Time: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Central Africa Time / 2 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time
Place: In-person (Southern Sun Ridgeway Lusaka, Zambia) and virtual event. Registration required.
To join online, click here.
To join us in Lusaka, RSVP to [email protected].
Co-Hosted By: The Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and Rights (M-POWER) and the Zambian Congress of Trade Unions
Supported By: Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), International Trade Union Confederation-Africa, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Solidarity Center and Southern African Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC)
“Amplifying the Voices of Workers to Safeguard Democracy in Africa” is an official side event of the second Summit for Democracy, a global democracy initiative co-hosted by Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United States and Zambia from March 28-30, 2023. The second Summit will showcase progress made by Summit partners on commitments during the Year of Action. M-POWER is one of the largest commitments made by Summit partners.
● Joy Beene, Secretary General, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions
● Toindepi Dhure, General Secretary, Zimbabwe Domestic and Allied Workers Union
● Kassahun Follo, President, Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions
● Akiko Gono, President, International Trade Union Confederation
● Naomi Kimbala Lunat, Director Gender Youth and Child Development, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions
● Mavis Koogotsitse, Executive Secretary, Southern Africa Trade Union Coordination Council (SATUCC)
● Thea Lee, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
● Bheki Mamba, President, Trade Union Congress of Swaziland
● Dan Mihadi, General Secretary, Transport Workers Union – Kenya
● Japhet Moyo, Secretary General, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
● Richard Mulonga, Chief Executive Officer, Bloggers Association of Zambia
● Alex Nkosi, Coordinator, International Trade Union Confederation-Africa
● Joel Odigie, Deputy General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation-Africa
● Guy Olivier Ouédraogo, General Secretary, Confédération Syndicale Burkinabé
● Matthew Parks, Parliamentary Coordinator, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
● Lisa Peterson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Bureau, U.S. State Department
● Ruth Sakala, General Secretary, Domestic Workers Union of Zambia
● Henry Sinkala, General Secretary, Basic Education Teachers Union, Zambia
● Emmanuel Ugboaja, General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress
● Ezra Sekelani Zulu, Youth Chairperson, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions
8:00 a.m. Introductions and Opening Remarks
9:00 a.m. Solidarity Messages
9:30 a.m. Declining Labor and Human Rights Standards on the African Continent
11:30 a.m. Closing Democratic Spaces and Challenges of Transparent Electoral Processes
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. How Workers Can Strengthen Democracy Through Elimination of State Capture and Corruption in Africa
2:30 p.m. Youth and Women Workers’ Participation in Democratic Governance
3:30 p.m. Closing Statements
Full agenda here.
Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in French.
The Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment and Rights (M-POWER) is a historic global initiative focused on ensuring working families thrive in the global economy and elevating the role of trade unions and organized workers as essential to advancing democracy. It includes steering committee members from governments, philanthropy and labor organizations, including the AFL-CIO, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); the governments of Argentina, Canada, Spain and the United States; and Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy (FORGE). The Solidarity Center is a partner.
Mar 14, 2022
Noon, Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Russian Ambassador’s Residence, 1125 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Unions around the world condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They stand in solidarity with Ukrainian communities facing increasing violence and with the Ukrainian workers and families who are impacted by this war.
This demonstration is part of the International Day of Solidarity with Ukraine, organized by the global labor movement.
If you cannot make the rally, there are other ways to show your support.
Ukraine Union Members Donate $500,000 to Support War-Impacted Workers
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Ukraine Fund
People in Need Ukraine
Ukrainian Red Cross Society
Razom for Ukraine
Dec 2, 2021
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. EST
Place: Virtual. Registration required.
Workers’ freedom to organize and bargain collectively is a cornerstone of democracy. Independent worker organizations enhance transparency by protecting whistleblowers and empowering workers to counter corruption; providing workers a voice in the political system, as well as at the workplace; countering the economic and political power of large corporations; and fostering civic engagement. However, workers’ fundamental human rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are coming under threat globally, including by authoritarian governments.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, together with representatives of the International Trade Union Confederation, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State and the Solidarity Center invite you to this official Summit for Democracy side event, which will: highlight the role of worker voice and worker rights as fundamental components of democracy; elevate the recommendations made during four listening sessions with labor unions from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe; and spur global action in support of freedom of association and collective bargaining, including through the launch of the Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment and Rights (M-POWER) Initiative.
Simultaneous interpretation will take place in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Moderator – Thea Mei Lee, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
• U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh
• AFL-CIO President Elizabeth Shuler
Democracy Under Threat: The Voice of Workers
o Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC
o Trade union leaders from the Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe
Promoting Workplace Democracy: A Conversation Among Labor Officials
o Framing Remarks: ILO Director General Guy Ryder
o Labor Ministers from Argentina, Germany, Mexico and Norway
Commitments to Empowering Workers: Launching a Global Year of Action
o U.S. Department of Labor
o U.S. Agency for International Development
o U.S. Department of State
o Philanthropic Organization Representatives
o Trade Union Organizations
o Solidarity Center
High-Level Event Goal
An official Summit of Democracy side event to raise the visibility of worker rights as fundamental components of democracy, and elevate the recommendations made during the listening sessions with trade unions from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe to address the challenges facing unions and workers around the world.
Simultaneous interpretation will take place in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Oct 7, 2021
Join workers and others across the globe on Friday, October 29 to campaign for investments in care for building more inclusive, accessible, resilient, and caring economies. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for adequate investment in equitable, quality public health and care systems. Workers across the health, care and education sectors, whether working in hospitals, hospices, schools, care homes, private homes or as domestic workers, whether in the public or private sector, deserve decent working conditions and fair pay, that reflect their enormous contributions to our societies.
Learn more and join the campaign here.