Building vibrant and tolerant democracies
Lesotho is classified as a least developed country with 58% of its people living below the poverty line. For most of its history as a nation, Lesotho has depended on the wages of migrant miners employed in South Africa. The halving of mining jobs since 1994 has necessitated that the resultant loss of income be partly supplemented by the wages of women working in the foreign owned garment manufacturing industry.
Working conditions appear well below International Labour Office (ILO) standards in most factories. Agencies in Lesotho, including the ILO, the Ministry of Employment and Labour (MOEL), U.S supermarkets that buy the products, Trade Unions and Human Rights organisations, are seeking ways to improve these working conditions. Although there are policies set out for the industry, these are not adhered to.
As such, the main goal of the LESRAGS project is to commence a baseline study on the working conditions of textile industry workers, which will then be compared to the principles of decent work and ethical production as stipulated by ILO. More specifically, the project aims to build the capacity of trade union movements to advocate for, and monitor compliance with, decent work principles.
Also, this project seeks to raise awareness, and build the knowledge base, of workers about employment rights to strengthen their position in advocating for these rights. These objectives will be achieved by training shop stewards and workers about decent work, ethical production and gender dynamics, and the mobilisation of the population to increase the awareness of the principles of decent work.ShareThis