Corporate Accountability Lab is designing the practical solutions we need to fight back against corporate impunity, providing remedy to victims and deterring future misbehavior.
This was our second year and we made huge strides! Here is our Best of 2018:
HUGE Victory! New Rights for Workers Across the Globe: CAL researched, designed, and is currently testing a contract law mechanism that gives workers producing goods for the US market access to remedy through supplier agreements. In our test case alone, thousands of workers in 178 factories around the world, from Vietnam to Honduras to Pakistan, have been given new rights they can enforce in the event of violations of their labor rights or local environmental law.
Combating Forced and Trafficked Child Labor in the West African Cocoa Industry: CAL is piloting a novel strategy to disrupt the market for forced-labor produced goods. In October 2018, the Harvard Human Rights Clinic hosted CAL and an interdisciplinary group of experts to solicit feedback on how to best leverage this strategy to serve the needs of trafficked children, adult forced laborers, and impoverished cocoa farmers. More details coming in 2019!
Litigation Lab: CAL is constantly researching new legal strategies for corporate accountability, in conversation and collaboration with the human rights community. This year, we collaborated with human rights clinics at several law schools, NGOs and affected community partners. We were supported by many devoted, creative, and skilled legal interns, and moved forward truly innovative legal strategy.
CAL’s Fall Fundraising Campaign: “Where in the World is CAL?”
Decent Working Conditions Are Possible?
Charity has spanned both East and West Africa in the last month. With stops in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire in the books, this week she joined Marian University students in Indianapolis to experiment with the ins and outs of global supply chains. Check out our third caper in the "Where in the World is CAL?" campaign, gumshoes!
Corporate Accountability Lab engages with students to show that poor working conditions and abusive supply chains are not an inevitable facet of the global economy. There are structural problems that drive poor wages and conditions--problems that are solvable.
Child labor in our Halloween candy? How frightening!
Charity traveled to Cote d'Ivoire to investigate the use of forced and child labor in the supply chains of major multinational chocolate companies. In the most recent comprehensive study on child labor in the West African cocoa industry, researchers at Tulane University determined that over 2 million children were employed in the sector.
There are many factors that contribute to this problem, but one is obvious: the price of cocoa is so low that farmers cannot afford to hire workers, and instead rely on various forms of free labor. While raising the price of cocoa won't be enough, without companies paying more for the cocoa they buy, there will never be meaningful progress on eliminating child and forced labor in the sector.
We spoke to farmers, cooperatives, NGOs and government representatives and gathered a range of perspectives on the problem. We're using this data to design a strategic intervention in the industry to fundamentally change the cocoa economy. In a few months, we'll be unveiling our strategy, so keep an eye on our website!
Hello, private eyes!
We hope you saw our intro video (if you didn’t, check it out here) and are ready to join us on our first caper. Your clues were that key agricultural exports include coffee, tea and flowers, and that tea workers from this country sued Unilever in UK courts. Where is she? Watch the video to find out!
This fall, CAL is tracking down corporate evildoers!
Throughout the next two months, Charity will be visiting a number of exciting locations to pursue the corporate accountability work of CAL! You'll be able to follow her adventures on social media, with updates about corporate abuse and fun facts about the mystery country she's reporting from.