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BeFair Campaign













The BeFair Campaign

The Global Fairness Initiative launched the BeFair Campaign with the goal of expanding the reach of green technology and meaningful economic development.

Each year the BeFair campaign works with a community that could benefit from access to innovation. We listen to what community members consider their greatest challenges and what can be done to help them work more efficiently to improve their livelihoods. Having identified the technology the community needs, we partner with a kindred company that produces and delivers it.

Through our work worldwide we have witnessed the power a simple technology has to transform lives. A clear example was our first campaign, born out of our work with salt farmers in Gujarat India. In the desert salt pans of the Great Rann of Kutch, there is no permanent infrastructure, including electricity. Thanks to contributions by hundreds of supporters GFI successfully purchased and delivered 6,500 solar-powered lanterns to salt farmers in January 2011, helping one of the poorest communities in the world save nearly $400,000 per year or $60 per family.

By contributing to the BeFair campaign you can make a difference each year and ensure that your contributions directly address the needs of the poorest communities throughout the world.

Introducing the 2015 Campaign: Access to Technology

Each year GFI renews a campaign that's all about Access. Access to opportunity - Access to rights - Access to investment; these are the basics of fairness and the roots of the BeFair Campaign. For 2015 our theme is Access to Technology and you can play your part by supporting one of a few simple technologies that significantly improve the lives and livelihoods of the families with whom we work. This year, we are focusing on four communities located in four different countries: Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, India, and Nepal. Each community represents a different group of stakeholders in one of GFI's programs around the world. In Guatemala and Guinea Bissau, participants in the Verapaz Action for Sustainable Agro-Industry (VASAI) program and the Guinea Bissau Livelihood Initiative (GBLI) will receive micro irrigation kits that will help smallholder farmers increase crop yields and profits in an environmentally sustainable way. In India and Nepal, participants in the Salt Workers Economic Empowerment Program (SWEEP) and the Better Brick Nepal (BBN) program will receive clean cook stoves that will help salt farmers and brick workers reduce energy costs and harmful indoor air pollution from traditional cook stoves. With a small investment of $25 you can help provide these innovative, low cost and environmentally conscious technologies to working poor families around the world and help them access the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty to improve their lives and environment around them.

Where will your impact be?

Navigate through the side menu and the map below to see who the BeFair campaign impacts, where they live and how you can help deliver innovative technology and meaningful economic development to those who need it most.


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BeFair Investments

Better Brick Nepal

Program Information


Program Supporter: Humanity United
Implementing Partners:
4 Nepali NGOs, GoodWeave International

The Challenge

With the booming population growth and urbanization in Nepal, construction ranked as the third largest economic sector in the country in 2006 and continues to grow. The high demand for building materials has fueled a demand for cheap labor and a lack of incentives for clean or socially responsible brick production. The estimated 200 brick factories in the Kathmandu Valley are also the primary source of pollution in the region.

Although work conditions are inhumane, the brick industry provides jobs to thousands of unskilled laborers. Over 175,000 workers, of whom as many as 60,000 are children, labor in unhealthy and unsafe conditions in Nepal’s brick kilns. Brick workers are some of the most marginalized of unskilled workers, often bonded by debt to exploitive labor brokers, and working at wages insufficient to pay off “recruiter” advances. The informal nature of the industry, which operates on the periphery of communities and with little government oversight, has served to entrench exploitive labor practices such as bonded and child labor. The sector is dominated by migrant and seasonal laborers who live on the kilns during the brick season and have almost no link to local government, community organizations, or representation by worker associations. Unrepresented, unregulated, and for the most part unwanted, brick kiln workers have seen little progress on social, economic, or human rights issues; but with few viable income alternatives they lack the leverage to improve their working conditions or pay.

The Opportunity

The goal of Better Brick Nepal (BBN) is to address labor and environmental challenges in the brick kiln industry. While previous programs have raised awareness of these issues, BBN aims to change the incentives within the industry. BBN seeks to create a market preference for a “better brick” such that buyers of these bricks – including international agencies, construction firms and end-consumers – are assured of more ethical and high quality production. At the same time, the kilns benefit from technical assistance and access to new high value markets.

BBN started in early 2014 by building relationships with five pilot kilns that are interested in furthering the aims of the project, creating a certifiable Standard on child labor, bonded labor and decent working conditions and developing plans for kilns to comply. Participating kilns will receive technical assistance to improve working conditions, boost production efficiency and raise product quality, as well as make linkages to potential markets. Over time, the goal is for kilns that meet the BBN Standard to achieve business benefits, and to foster needed changes in the brick industry as a whole.

The Better Brick Standard

The BBN Standard (developed with leadership from GoodWeave International)

Recent Activities

PBS News Hour profiles Better Brick - Nepal

Better Brick - Nepal featured in "Nepal's earthquake: A push to rebuild without child labor"

Better Brick - Nepal featured in "How Nepal is trying to solve its blood brick problem"

"Clean Kilns" article includes Better Brick - Nepal's efforts to create child labor-free kilns

GFI Signs MoU with Federation of Contractors' Associations of Nepal (FCAN)

Mapping

Map of Better Brick - Nepal Kilns

Registered Brick Kilns in Nepal

Connect with the Better Brick - Nepal Local Team

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Country Director, Nepal

Feedback

We would be pleased to hear your feedback on this program. All questions and comments about the initiative can be directed This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tunisia Inclusive Labor Initiative

Program Information

 Program Donor: The U.S. Department of State

 Implementing Partners: Partners for Democratic Change, The Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability


Facts from the TILI National Survey on Informal Workers

The Challenge

Despite having one of the highest per capita GDPs in the region and 5% growth over the past decade, Tunisia still suffers from high unemployment and an informal sector that represents 40% of the country’s workforce. In prolonged periods of unemployment, countries risk increased numbers of informal workers, stagnation, and long-term depression. Without tackling the problems inherent in informality, Tunisia cannot make long-lasting improvements to its economic situation.

Although employment programs through the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment (MFPE) are providing skills training, internships, job placements, help in setting up small businesses, and allowances for voluntary public service, unemployment remains particularly problematic for women and young university graduates. In order to attract the businesses that will provide decent jobs for its skilled workforce and to create market opportunities for its less skilled workers to improve their livelihoods, Tunisia needs to establish a transparent system that expands registration and extends rights and protections to its entire workforce.

The Opportunity

The TILI program is rooted in the goals of the US government to help Tunisia increase stability and meet the most pressing social and economic challenges facing the country. By improving informal workers’ access to decent work and government protections, Tunisia can create a more inclusive legal and economic framework. Program objectives are to improve government’s ability to measure Tunisia’s informal sector in order to raise awareness of its contributions and conditions, including informal workers’ needs and incentives; to increase the capacity of informal workers and their representative organizations to advocate for their rights; and to increase government’s capacity to create mechanisms and policies that encourage formalization and improve services to informal workers. To achieve these objectives TILI engages stakeholders, managing delicate social and political environments to build trust and consensus, within a framework of activities and deliverables.

Program Accomplishments

Click here to review the TILI program's accomplishments.

Recent Activities

TILI Holds Kickoff Workshop on Informality to Begin Second Phase of Program

TILI Holds Conference in Tunis on Integrating the Informal Sector into the Formal Economy

GFI TILI Program Making Progress in Tunisia (Video)

GFI Holds Conference in Tunis on Integrating Informal Sector into the Formal Economy

In Review: Tunisia Inclusive Labor Initiative Accomplishments

GFI Releases Roadmap for Tunisian Leadership: Integrating the Informal Economy

GFI Leadership meet with Tunisian Labor Leaders

GFI Founder Karen Tramontano's article on Informality for the Council on Foreign Relations

GFI conducts TILI National Survey on Informal Workers

GFI Releases Report: Addressing Informality and Decent Work

GFI Founder, Karen Tramontano, and Board Chair, Dr. Danilo Turk, meet with Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail President Hassine Abbasi

Connect with the TILI Local Team

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Country Director, Tunisia

Feedback

We would be pleased to hear your feedback on this program. All questions and comments about the initiative can be directed This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fairness Award

The Annual Fairness Award Ceremony is held each Fall at the Howard Theater in Washington, DC. The award ceremony honors exceptional leaders whose work and life have opened opportunity and access for the working poor throughout the world. By honoring these outstanding individuals, GFI looks to inspire a new generation of leaders to dedicate themselves to economic justice, fairness, and equality.

2014 Fairness Award

  • Mr. Robert Zoellick - President of the World Bank (2007-2012): Honoree
  • Mr. Karl-Johan Persson - President and CEO of H&M: Honoree
  • Ms. Nani Zulminarni - Founder of PEKKA, Indonesia: Honoree
  • To learn about the 2014 Fairness Award and to view the full photograph slideshow visit the 2014 Fairness Award Website at www.fairnessaward.org


    2013 Fairness Award
  • Her Excellency Tarja Halonen - President of Finland (2000-2012): Honoree
  • Susan Berresford - President of the Ford Foundation (1996-2007): Honoree
  • Zeinab Al-Momani - President of Specific Union for Women Farmers in Jordan: Honoree
  • Thank you to all of our sponsors, guests and distinguished presenters and congratulations to the 2013 Fairness Award Honorees.

    2012 Fairness Award
  • Her Excellency Joyce Banda - President of the Republic of Malawi: Honoree
  • The Honorable Melanne Verveer - Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues: Honoree
  • Ms. Lucy Kanu - Founder, Idea Builders: Honoree
  • His Excellency José María Figueres - President of Costa Rica (1994-1998): Presenter
  • The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen - US Senator for New Hampshire: Presenter
  • The Honorable John Podesta - Chair, Center for American Progress: Presenter
  • Mr. Jim Vance - Anchor, Washington's News 4: Master of Ceremonies
  • 2011 Fairness Award
  • Ms. Albina Ruiz - Founder, Ciudad Saludable: Honoree
  • His Excellency José María Figueres Olsen - President of Costa Rica (1994-1998): Presenter
  • Ms. Maureen Bunyan - Anchor, ABC7/WJLA-TV: Mistress of Ceremonies
  • 2010 Fairness Award
  • Ms. Ela Bhatt - Founder, Self Employed Women's Association of India: Honoree
  • Honorable Hillary R. Clinton - Secretary of State of the United States (2009-2013): Presenter
  • Better Factories

    Program Information

    For poor nations highly dependent on textile and garment exports, the expiration of the textile quota system (the Multi-Fiber Agreement or MFA) had the potential to be devastating to their national economies. In Cambodia, the garment industry contributed to more than 80% of Cambodia's exports before the expiration of the MFA in December 2004. However, thanks to a successful multi-stakeholder agreement lead by GFI, Cambodia was able to develop a unique advantage in the post-quota environment: a labor rights verification system administered by the International Labor Organization that provides rights protection to Cambodians and brand security to buyers.

    The Challenge

    Can Cambodia’s success story be sustained as its preferential access to lucrative markets is eliminated? Can its approach to promoting business and labor interests be reproduced in other countries? With support from the World Bank Group and the US-ASEAN Business Council, in 2004 GFI designed and implemented an engagement process to explore ways to use this uniquely just, innovative advantage to protect and expand Cambodia's textile exports. Joined by the European Commission, Australia AID, and the United Nations Development Program, in February 2005 we organized a 2-day conference of leading CEOs, government officials, and other trade and development experts to discuss Cambodia’s unique opportunities in the global marketplace. Hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the conference highlighted Cambodia’s leadership potential in defining new best practices in global trade and investment, and the many reforms aimed at making Cambodia a premier destination for business.

    The Opportunity

    In July 2005, GFI collaborated with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Oxfam America to bring the discussion to American policymakers. More than 200 experts from government, industry, and civil society joined us for a wide-ranging discussion of the fate of textile workers and industries in the 21st century.

    In 2006, GFI began to extend its work on textiles to other regions of the world, focusing first on the countries participating in the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement. Our efforts to make the global economy work for poor producers is helping bridge the gap between Central American industry, labor, and government, thereby increasing the prospects of better lives for workers and healthier profits for industry (see our hand-out on the Central America Work Program).

    In 2006, GFI began to extend its work on textiles to other regions of the world, focusing first on the countries participating in the US-Central America Free Trade Agreement. Our efforts to make the global economy work for poor producers is helping bridge the gap between Central American industry, labor, and government, thereby increasing the prospects of better lives for workers and healthier profits for industry.

    For more information about this project, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..