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Oxfam response to the launch of the Partnership for Worker’s Rights


OBR Statement:

"Oxfam Brasil considers the Partnership for Workers’ Rights positive as it seeks to strengthen unions and also a workers' rights agenda in multilateral spaces. It is also relevant that the partnership acknowledges value chains and racial and gender equity. It's important to emphasize that unions are human rights organizations, mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And that quality work and wages are one of the main tools to end extreme income inequality.

The partnership can be more impactful by addressing not just the new informal economy created through gig economy – but the informality that dominates global South economies like our own. In Brasil, rural workers face 60% informality, of which so many are directly impacted by trade with US. It is not coincidence they are also often the same people who were rescued from work analogous to slavery in Brasil - sugarcane, coffee, and meat are sectors that are the worst examples of this type of labor. These are products often exported to the United States and purchased by US headquartered companies.

This partnership has an important role to play in upholding the responsibility of companies to conduct human rights due diligence as it relates to workers both in operations and in their supply chains. This is a concept that is taking hold among rights respecting companies and with governments like the EU. Finally, when it comes to wages, companies should not limit themselves to the minimum wage, but seek to pay living wages that promote dignity for the workers and enable them to thrive."

Oxfam America Statement:

“That President Biden and President Lula are coming together, working closely with the International Labor Organization, to champion workers’ rights and create dignified jobs is welcome and hopeful news. Core to today’s crisis of extreme wealth and income inequality has been the erosion of workers’ rights and power, giving us a world in which the world’s 1% captured over half of all new wealth generated this past decade.

Action to safeguard workers’ rights, hold countries and companies accountable, combat discrimination and advance a truly just transition is imperative to the partnership’s success – as is centering a living wage for all, and addressing the dominance at the top of corporate and monopoly power. This is the kind of leadership needed at the multilateral level, and at the G20 that Brazil will now lead: to pursue inequality-busting measures that put power into the hands of workers,’ and help revive democracy.”


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