Certton cotton field

Certton steps towards more ethical fashion

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Queensland based clothing brand Certton has recently joined 42 other companies to become accredited to Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA). ECA certifies that workers in Australia have access to legally mandated conditions and are paid according to the industry award.

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Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

Adidas: all take no give this Christmas?

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In November adidas announced that it expects to grow annual revenues by almost 50% to approximately $23 billion AUS by 2015. Despite this prosperous outlook, the company has shown little generosity to the women and men making adidas’ products on poverty wages.

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Photo: Akshay Mahajan/OxfamAUS

Global rights at work: key to ending poverty

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Supporting labour rights is— fundamentally—about supporting an end to global poverty. The Global Rights at Work project shows how education and skills building can help women and men in developing countries to secure better working conditions…and better lives.

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Photo: Fernando Moleres/Intermon Oxfam

Living wage project: Bangladesh

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Who needs to take responsibility to ensure that garment workers are not assigned to a life of poverty? According to former child factory worker, Nazma Akhter, not only local manufacturers, but also Western buyers must step up to the challenge.

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The true cost of cotton production

Human rights advocates have criticised the Uzbek cotton industry for its reliance on forced-labour including the mandatory employment of school children, college and university students, and civil servants. Workers face terrible conditions and are barely paid enough to survive.

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Where underpants come from

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Where Underpants Come From takes us on a journey to discover the origin of undies. This journey begins when author Joe Bennet purchases a 5-pack of Made in China underpants for $8.59 at his local New Zealand supermarket.

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Fishing for a future

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These days community development is far more than just teaching a person to fish. In Cambodia it’s locally run fish ponds that are feeding families.

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Sharing the basics

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This is the sort of pump which is generally used in rental house areas, including my family’s home. This single pump is used by about 10 different rental houses (20-30 people). Because of the large amount of people using it sometimes the water comes up murky.

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Alta Gracia workers celebrate a living wage

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After years toiling at factories in the free trade zones of the Dominican Republic, Santa Castillo knows how difficult it can be to survive on the minimum wage. “A lot of times there was only enough for my kids, and I’d go to bed hungry,” she says. Now the factory where Ms Castillo works has committed to pay three and a half times the minimum wage.

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Mum: Making the most of it

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Since the start of the fasting month my mother has been selling clothing to her friends at her factory. She purchases the clothes from outlets and makes a profit of between 5,000-10,000 Rupiah per item (60 cents to $1.15). From past experience my mother has sold at least 50 pieces. If only she had a bit more start-up capital, I’m sure she could get more clothing to sell.

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Step into her trainers!

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Did you know that in 2008 the CEO of Nike, Mark G. Parker earned more than 7 million US dollars? It is estimated it would take an Indonesian worker producing for Nike more than 6,000 years to earn this amount.

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Kids care about Fair Wear

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Last month, students, teachers and parents at a Brunswick primary school joined with activists from FairWear to demand an end to exploitation in the Australian garment industry.

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Loneliness in Jakarta

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Jakarta was so quiet— almost everyone had gone back to their villages to spend time with their families. In the evening I could hear the echoes of prayers across the city. I felt very touched- but also mixed with a deep sense of sadness because I was unable to be with my family. Without work it is just too expensive to travel back home to South Sumatra.

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The luxury of rice

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When I was young I was often given only cassava rice to eat because we couldn’t afford ordinary rice and other condiments. I understood that rice was really expensive, so even if a tiny bit of rice was mixed in with my cassava dish, I was overjoyed!

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Cambodian workers want a living wage

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Wouldn’t you want enough take home pay to allow you to look after your family and afford the basic necessitiesis of life? This was the simple demand made by more than 68,000 Cambodian workers who went on a weeklong strike to demand a living wage.

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Just Scraping By: Everyday life around my home

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As a worker on a low wage, sometimes I get scared when I imagine my future. I worry that when I am elderly my own situation won’t be that different from my neighbours. Even in their old age they have to work very hard just to scrape by.

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Independence Day Celebrations

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It has become a custom for Indonesians to commemorate Independence Day by holding competitions. This year the factory also held competitions for the workers inside its grounds. The competitions included panjat pinang (pole climbing) and a singing competition.

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Less rain means less food

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The delay of wet season in rural Cambodia is agonising farmers, who can’t plant rice seedlings until there’s enough rain. The longer they’re forced to wait, the less food their families will have for the year ahead.

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Passionate teachers bring opportunity

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I’ve been visiting Oxfam-built schools in remote areas of Stung Treng province. We went to monitor post-construction progress, while doing in-the-field media training. Inaccessible by car, arrival at the first school was a five hour, bumpy and muddy moto-ride deep into the jungle.

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20 hours from Jakarta: another world

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In mid May I asked for leave from my union activities at GSBI and returned for a fortnight to my parent’s house in a village near the city of Solo, Central Java. At the village I kept busy helping my parents in the fields. My parents are farmers and do not have any regular income. Their own land doesn’t yield enough to cover every day necessities. So to fulfil their daily needs they work as labourers on other people’s land. With their meagre income, my parents still support two of their children (my older sister and young sister), as well as three grandchildren (from my older sister).

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Cow banks: a long-term solution

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I’ve just returned from rural Takeo where I discovered what makes a cow bank work so well – and the long-reaching effects this simple solution can actually have.

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Photo: Kateryna Perus/Oxfam

Haiti six months on: rebuilding livelihoods

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In the neighbourhood of Delmas 33 in Port-au-Prince, our community canteen projects are helping people to earn an income, and eat healthy food.

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Photo: Ben Adams/OxfamAUS

Doesn’t Adidas know we have families?

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English / Bahasa My parents are in their sixties now. They are subsistence farmers, but since they don’t own enough land to support themselves, they also work as farm labourers. I should be looking after them, sending them money for their everyday needs. It’s not like they are office workers who retire to a pension. […]

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Photo: Ben Adams/OxfamAUS

Something happened that I never wished for…

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English / Bahasa A short while ago something happened to me that I never expected and never wanted.  I fell very ill.  To begin with it was only a fever, so I bought some medicine at the local street stall.  But it didn’t help.  Actually it made my condition worse.  Because I don’t have any […]

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