The findings in these briefings come from a research project led by the University of Liverpool and funded by the British Academy with the Department for International Development. It sought to assess how transparency in supply chains for chocolate and clothes can help to protect human rights, including children’s rights, and the wellbeing of workers in low and middle-income countries.
The cocoa briefing, entitled ‘Recognising Lived Realities’, is available online here. It is based on fieldwork in Ghana and the Dominican Republic. It found that:
“It’s part of our culture. We learn to work and we don’t understand why a child can’t be involved in some form of light labour. Or why a child can’t be on a farm helping out.”
The garment briefing, entitled ‘Respect, Dignity, That’s What We Want’ after a quotation from an interviewee, is available online here. It is based on fieldwork in Bangladesh and Myanmar, finding a range of workplace abuses:
“A five-month pregnant worker, few days ago, fell ill. Her leg was swelled up. Then we took her to a doctor. The doctor prescribe her to take rest. But our management didn’t let her go home.”
The briefings make clear recommendations to governments and brands for improvement of these issues.