Are Worker Voice Tools Really About Workers’ Voices?

In the field of ethical trade, there are multiple stakeholders. But in the conferences, the trade associations and the alliances, we find one stakeholder who is always seemingly under-represented. And this stakeholder is the worker. Ethical trade concerns itself with the working conditions of workers worldwide, and yet it is painfully seldom that we hear from workers themselves in these fora. The situation resembles the landscape of child rights and child participation. Here too at the time when I was participating in the field (2008 – 2010), children’s voices were not included in the rooms, events and processes that ostensibly focused on better protecting their rights and opportunities to p

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