Human Rights and Cross-Cutting Issues

Fair Trade aims to generate equitable trading relationships that promote dignified and sustainable livelihoods for agricultural producers and workers. It is from this perspective that Fair Trade assumes a firm commitment to the respect and promotion of human rights.

The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Fair Trade Producers and Workers (CLAC) has a human rights-based approach as a pillar in the construction of its policies and institutional processes. In 2020, it joined the Fairtrade Statement of Commitment on Human Rights, which is based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and is in turn governed by internationally recognized human rights.

The human rights issues covered by this commitment and to which the institution’s efforts are directed include: living wage and income, child protection, eradication of forced labor, gender equality, elimination of discrimination based on gender, origin, ethnicity or other status, freedom of association, labor conditions and environmental rights.

Our work focus is directed towards the respect of human and environmental rights, specifically in mitigation, prevention, cessation and remediation actions in the areas of:

  • Child Protection and Protection of Vulnerable Adults (including child labor, forced labor, gender-based violence and discrimination).
  • Gender Equity
  • Youth Inclusion
  • Environmental Rights (which include Climate Change and Food Sovereignty).
  • Good Labor Practices (including issues such as living wage and income, decent working conditions, and freedom of association and unionization).

To achieve these efforts, the unit has a team of Specialists who, through the policies and strategies developed on the respective topics, provide technical support to empower CLAC members to create and manage mechanisms and systems that enable them to address the human rights and environmental situation in their organizations, and thus contribute to bringing about changes in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the same way, the unit has the responsibility to make visible and highlight the added value of the good practices of the CLAC membership in the development of these issues; and in this regard, to assume a representative role both within and outside the Fairtrade International system, to influence towards a rights-based approach that enhances the perspectives of CLAC member producers and workers and that takes into account the complexity of their context in the creation of comprehensive solutions in the area of Human and Environmental Rights.


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