Throughout the world, including South-East Asia, companies and those who trade with them are stepping up efforts to embrace human rights and due diligence (HRDD) in the production, processing and marketing of their commodities.
Fairtrade promotes respect for human rights through the standard requirements, independent verification, program development, awareness raising and advocacy. The Youth Inclusive Community Based Monitoring and Remediation (YICBMR) system enables producer organizations with farmers, workers and their communities to tackle and take charge of issues around child labor, forced labour and/or gender-based violence. Children, young people and adults are at the heart of this community-based system and they identify potential and/or actual risks to children and vulnerable adult’s wellbeing and make recommendations on how to respond. This method was developed by Fairtrade International, together with a child rights organization, farmers, workers and community members, including children and young people.
To pave way for the empowerment of small-scale producers on adopting this human rights approach as best practice, the Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP) together with Fairtrade International (FI) conducted a workshop on YICBMR system in the Philippines in April 2019. This was attended by 17 people (9 female, 8 male participants) from different stakeholders including Fairtrade cane sugar farmers and young people of the community of one of the producers. The representatives from local government unit of Barangay Cabacungan, La Castellana and trader representatives (milling and export) also participated in this workshop.
The workshop started with an opening message from Mr. Sandrico Cornelio, NAPP BOD member. Mr. Sandrico said “As a farmer, I am deeply aware that the younger generation is not interested in opting for agriculture as a sustainable livelihood. This should worry all of us sitting here because as farmers, most of our household incomes depend on agriculture.” He ended his message with a reminder to everyone “Pay close attention to Fairtrade’s rights-based approach as the future of sugar cane depends on what each of us in the supply chain can do to eliminate unacceptable labour and gender practices. I wish ourselves, a good workshop with good learnings and a commitment to embracing human rights in Fairtrade’s approach to make trade fair for ALL.”
Fairtrade standards apply to producer organizations and its members (FT Small-scale Producer Standards). It also applies to businesses who trade in Fairtrade commodities (FT Trader standards). Fairtrade prohibits the use of child and forced labour, and gender-based violence, and any other form of harassment for all supply chain actors.