“It was dark and hot with choking dust all around. The air was filled with the smell of decomposing corpses,” recalled Nasima, a 24-year-old factory worker who spent four days buried under the rubble of an eight-storey building that collapsed in a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka last month.
Labour groups here are stepping up pressure on U.S. firms to sign a binding building safety agreement for Bangladeshi factories after 10 major European garment companies signed onto the landmark agreement.
The recent agreement for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo has confirmed that the European Union (EU) is still acting as a “magnet”, attracting its external neighbours and transforming and integrating them. Thanks to its prospects for EU membership, the whole Balkan area has become more stable and secure. Unfortunately, this virtuous magnetism no longer exerts the same force of attraction on our own citizens.
Gul Shada thought it was the end of the road for her when she and her husband met with a road accident last year in the Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Not only did the mishap leave Shada widowed at the relatively young age of 37, she also sustained an injury to her back that immobilised her.
Last month, 18-year-old Shapla was just another one of thousands of garment workers employed in a factory in Savar, a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.
The camp should not have been difficult to find. We were told to drive straight on the road that leads north away from the town of Puttalam, 140 kilometres from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, and we would come upon the settlement of internally displaced people.
Life is difficult enough for communities on the remote southern Weather Coast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Sustaining a livelihood from the land is a daily struggle on the steep coastal mountain slopes that plunge to the sea, made worse by the absence of adequate roads, transport and government services. And now, climate change is taking its toll on the already precarious food situation here.
Advocates for the African diaspora in the United States have stepped up a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress not to end a longstanding visa programme aimed at boosting immigration from “underrepresented countries”.
Despite the enormous distance between the two countries, Argentina has become an increasingly frequent destination for migrants from the Dominican Republic, especially women, who are vulnerable to falling prey to sexual exploitation networks.
The European Union (EU) has asked its citizens to brace for further economic misery. In a report on European economic prospects released on May 3, the European Commission said that further deterioration is expected to last at least until 2015. But, as every such report says, things will then get better.
A United Nations expert group is warning that too many gaps remain in implementing new safeguards among businesses based in the United States, both in terms of their domestic and international operations, to ensure the protection of human rights of workers and communities affected by those operations.
Worker advocacy groups here are calling on some of the most high-profile U.S.-based clothing companies to make drastic reforms to their international labour practices in the wake of the factory collapse that killed more than 420 workers in Dhaka last week.
A fresh outbreak of violence between large landowners and landless peasants is looming in the Amazonian state of Pará, in northern Brazil.
Nora Padilla, one of the six winners of this year’s Goldman environmental prize, dedicates her days to organising informal recyclers in the Colombian capital, where the city’s eight million inhabitants are just now reluctantly starting to classify their garbage at source.
More than 1,000 people marched under the brilliant San Francisco sun on May Day. Their signs, such as “Work in America/Live in America/Dream in America. Immigration reform now,” their songs, chants and speeches wove together the twin themes of the day: worker justice and immigrant justice.