Jo Vallentine.Photo: OxfamAUS

Thank You Jo Vallentine, for 32 years of Oxfam support and activism

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On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s day we’d like to take a moment to thank Jo Vallentine, who has been an active Oxfam supporter since 1978.

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Cue up for more ethical clothing!

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Australian fashion pioneer Cue determined to walk the talk on labour rights.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Cambodian workers sacked after asking for living wage

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More than 300 illegally dismissed Cambodian workers remain locked out of their workplaces despite official orders for their reinstatement.

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Image: Garment worker leader Moshrefa Mishu along with other leaders at rally in October 2010 (Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World)

Bangladeshi union leader illegally detained, in ill-health

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At 1:15 am on December 14 last year, twelve plain-clothed officers arrived at the home of Mashrefa Mishu, Garment Workers Unity Forum President and long time human rights activist.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Working around the clock

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I’m aware that because I work the night shift the condition of my body isn’t great—I’m unfit, easily tired and frequently sick…If there were something I could wish for, it would be that the factory provides something to help us improve our nutrition, so that I can stay healthy while working night shift.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Dengue Fever

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Before I fell ill, I hadn’t been feeling well enough to work for two or three days. But I still went to work because I wouldn’t be able to get sick leave without a certificate from the factory clinic.

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Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

Rights for the hidden

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Home-based workers are the hidden seams of the garment sector; while these workers are largely invisible, many parts of the garment industry would not hold together without their contribution. Yet home-based workers are vulnerable to exploitation and economic insecurity.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

14,000 years for Sri Lankan workers to earn Nike CEO pay

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Did you know it would take the average Sri Lankan sportswear worker 14,000 years to earn the Nike CEO’s annual pay?

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Photo: Danielle Cantlon/OxfamAus

Literacy…an invaluable gift unwrapped

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Whether working in a Phnom Penh garment factory or living in a remote rural village, literacy can be a ticket towards a better life.

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Photo: OxfamAus

Labour activists jailed in Vietnam

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Last month three Vietnamese labor activists were jailed for up to 9 years after initiating strikes for better pay. Despite a difficult climate for industrial action, many Vietnamese workers have been active in advocating for improved pay and conditions.

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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: Sarah Rennie/OxfamAUS

How just are your Just Jeans?

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Just Group owns many Australian household brands including Just Jeans, Jacqui E, Jay Jays, Portmans, Peter Alexander, Dotti, and Smiggle. Unfortunately, the company has not taken the steps needed to uphold workers’ rights within Australia and in its and overseas supplier factories.

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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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The Social Studio Spring Collection

The Social Studio (TSS) is a Melbourne-based social enterprise which provides young women and men from refugee communities the opportunity to realize their potential as designers, makers and retailers of fashion.

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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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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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All about weddings

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I recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony. The couple come from different ethnic backgrounds, which made this ceremony quite unique. The bride and groom had to change into four different outfits to pay their respects to each of the parents. They wore Sundanese dress (orange), Javanese dress (green), Lampung and Sumatra dress. In this photo the couple wears an Arabic costume and they are reading prayers from al-Qur’ān.

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Namibia’s first female trawler captain

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Slight, pretty, sharp-eyed, and quietly firm about things – Johanna Kwedhi is Namibia’s first female trawler captain. She is a living example of the empowerment of women in Namibia.

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