Through Fairtrade, farmers and workers have the power to tackle obstacles such as child labour, gender inequality, labour rights and environmental abuses, which not only deny people their basic human rights but threaten the future of their businesses and jobs. In 2015-2016 we expanded our programmes in these key areas.
Fairtrade supports producer communities to build programmes that address human rights issues in their communities, including those involving child and forced labour and gender-based violence. The challenges faced by farmers and workers in developing countries go beyond the scope of any certification system. So, we are building our own expertise and working with farmers, workers, governments, companies and civil society organizations to address human rights issues in and around Fairtrade producer organizations.
Children and youth are at the heart of Fairtrade’s Youth Inclusive Community Based Monitoring and Remediation (YICBMR) system on child labour. Our rights-based, inclusive approach builds on the capacity of children and young people in and around producer organizations to contribute to the identification of and response to child and forced labour and increased protection. They are involved every step of the way to address this issue.
Brou Konan Franck, cocoa farmer and project Youth Leader
The YICBMR system is being piloted in Belize, Paraguay, Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zambia and India. The system aims to proactively identify and respond to child labour. This involves ensuring young people are removed from exploitation and hazardous work, are provided with developmental opportunities, and that those removed are not replaced with other children. Also involved in the YICBMR system are prevention projects aimed at improving primary, secondary and vocational education and supporting young people searching for decent employment opportunities.
In 2015, producers in Belize presented their YICBMR programme to government agencies, educational institutions and industry partners from Belize, Mexico, the USA and Honduras. Read more
Working with Fraternité Sans Limites, Tony’s Chocolonely and the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Fairtrade has implemented this approach in West Africa in a project called ‘It Takes a Village to Protect a Child’.
In December 2015, we launched the Fairtrade Climate Standard at COP21, the Climate Change Conference. The new Standard, developed in partnership with the Gold Standard, enables producers to reduce their carbon emissions while improving their resilience to climate change. Some of Europe’s biggest businesses were among the first to commit to buying Fairtrade Carbon Credits under the new Standard. Learn more about Fairtrade Carbon Credits.
At the same time the Fairtrade producer networks are prioritising climate change adaptation, and developing programmes and projects to meet farmers’ specific needs.
Gender is not just a women’s issue. Gender equality in agriculture means empowering men and women farmers, workers and their employers to build communities where everybody feels equally valued.
Training and awareness-raising are key parts of our recently refreshed gender strategy (PDF). In El Salvador, CLAC established a ‘Leadership Training & Women’s Empowerment School’ for six coffee cooperatives. The school will be implemented in Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda in 2017. Read more
Fidelina Zaldaña, coffee farmer
We are also taking our approach beyond Fairtrade. In 2015, we hosted a World Banana Forum meeting (PDF) addressing gender equality in the banana industry. Women leaders from trade unions and smallholder organizations shared their challenges and recommendations for action.