Left Menu
Development News Edition

Levis and Wrangler vow to protect women making jeans from sexual abuse

Reuters | Nairobi | Updated: 15-08-2019 23:37 IST | Created: 15-08-2019 23:35 IST
Levis and Wrangler vow to protect women making jeans from sexual abuse
Image Credit: Flickr

Three major U.S. brands vowed to crack down on abuse in Lesotho factories making their jeans on Thursday after an investigation found women were forced into sex to keep their jobs.

Levi Strauss & Co, Kontoor Brands - which owns Wrangler and Lee jeans - and The Children's Place signed agreements to end pervasive sexual harassment in five factories where some 10,000 women make their clothes in the tiny southern African country. "These breakthrough agreements set an example for the rest of the apparel industry on how to address harassment and abuse," said Rola Abimourched, Senior Program Director with Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), which uncovered the violations.

Garment manufacture - with a focus on denim for export - has grown to become the largest formal sector employer in the 2 million-strong landlocked southern African country over the last there decades, providing jobs to around 40,000 people. WRC found women were regularly coerced into sexual activity with supervisors to get or keep their jobs in three factories making jeans for the U.S. brands, owned by Taiwan-based global jeans manufacturer Nien Hsing Textile.

Nien Hsing Textile employs one-quarter of the tiny African nation's total garment workforce. "All of the women in my department have slept with the supervisor. For the women, this is about survival and nothing else," WRC quoted one female worker as saying. "If you say no, you won't get the job, or your contract will not be renewed."

Under a binding agreement signed by Nien Hsing, five trade unions and two women's rights groups, an independent committee will deal with complaints, identify if any violations have occurred and enforce remedies in accordance with Lesotho law. Nien Hsing will also provide independently-appointed members of civil society access to its factories to interview workers and direct managers to refrain from retaliating against workers bringing complaints.

"We are committed to working to protect workers' rights and foster well-being at third party supplier factories, so that all workers at these facilities, especially female workers, feel safe, valued and empowered," the jeans makers said. "We believe this multi-faceted program can create lasting change and better working environments at these factories, making a significant positive impact on the entire workforce."

Should there be any material breach by Nien Hsing of the agreement, each brand committed to reduce production orders until the manufacturer returns to compliance. "We strive to ensure a safe and secure workplace for all workers in our factories and are therefore fully committed to implementing this agreement immediately," said Nien Hsing's chairman Richard Chen.

Also Read: Free ride for women on govt buses from Oct 29 in Delhi: Kejriwal



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

Brazilian environmentalist Sirkis killed in car crash

Environmentalist Alfredo Sirkis, a founder of Brazils Green Party and a tireless campaigner for policies to curb climate change, died on Friday in a car crash, television network TV Globo said.Sirkis, 69, was killed when the car he was driv...

Hundreds try to storm Serbian parliament as protests heat up

Hundreds of demonstrators tried to storm Serbias parliament on Friday, clashing with the police during for the fourth night of protests against the presidents increasingly authoritarian rule. Demonstrators who were defying a ban on mass ga...

Eagles penalize WR Jackson for conduct detrimental

The Philadelphia Eagles announced in a statement Friday that wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been penalized for conduct detrimental to the team, following his anti-Semitic comments earlier this week. The Eagles did not specify how Jackson ...

Trump says he will sign immigration order with road to citizenship for 'Dreamers'

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will sign an executive order on immigration in the next few weeks with a road to citizenship for migrants who are in the United States illegally but arrived in the country as children.In an inte...

Give Feedback