The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is an independent labor rights monitoring organization. We investigate working conditions in factories around the globe. Our purpose is to document and combat sweatshop conditions; identify and expose the practices of global brands and retailers that perpetuate labor rights abuses; and protect the rights of workers who make apparel and other products.
The WRC conducts independent, worker-centered investigations; issues public reports on factories producing for major brands; and aids workers at these factories in their efforts to end violations and defend their workplace rights. The WRC has investigators in twelve countries and works with hundreds of civil society organizations in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Decent conditions and wages for the world’s manufacturing workers requires systemic change in global supply chains of leading brand – change that brands and retailers will not voluntarily undertake. Toward this end, in addition to our factory-specific work, the WRC seeks to foster binding agreements between worker representatives and global corporations. In a global economy where meaningful public enforcement of labor standards is scant, and where voluntary “corporate social responsibility” programs have consistently failed to protect workers, enforceable private agreements – like the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which the WRC helped to create and implement – are the best mechanism available to generate concrete gains for workers.
Founded in 2000 by international labor rights experts, students, and leading universities, the WRC assists universities with enforcement of binding labor standards they have adopted to protect workers producing apparel and other goods bearing university logos. The WRC has 171 university and college affiliates in the United States and Canada. The WRC also works with government entities, including municipal governments and pension funds, seeking to enforce human rights standards.