ANTI-GBVH PROGRAM OVERVIEW
WHY THIS PROGRAM
The Anti-GBVH Program in Lesotho came as a result of the WRC research findings on the prevalence of gender-based violence and harassment in the Nien Hsing factories. This Program was established through landmark agreements negotiated among the brand customers of the Nien Hsing factories (Levis Strauss & Co., The Children’s Place, and Kontoor); the Lesotho trade unions; National Clothing Textile and Allied Workers Union (NACTWU), Independent Democratic Union of Lesotho (IDUL), United Textile Employees (UNITE), and NGOs; Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (WLSA); Nien Hsing Ltd. Co.; and international NGOs; the Solidarity Center and Worker Rights Consortium.
The Code of Conduct was established to work as the guiding and binding tool for the entire Program. The Code contains all important definitions of GBVH at the workplace, the parties covered by the program, the scope of application and penalties for violations. There is no deviation allowed from the Code of Conduct as it is the primary framework of this Program. The Code of Conduct also protects freedom of association and prohibits retaliation for complaining about GBVH.
The Information Line is a toll-free number set-up to receive calls from Nien Hsing workers. The calls can be from workers seeking information or clarification about the Program, reporting a GBVH complaint, retaliation, unfair labour practices and/or denial of freedom of association. The Information Line also works as a referral for worker complaints. The Information Line refers all GBVH complaints to WRW while other complaints are referred to other institutions including WRC and the trade unions. The Information Line is operated by FIDA and can be called on 8000 4248
This component’s main objective is to educate and raise awareness of all Nien Hsing workers on issues of GBVH at the place of work and how to report incidents of GBVH that takes place at work. This component is implemented primarily by the trade unions and the NGOs.
Workers' Rights Watch is an independent organization which was formed with the intention of being an investigative body for GBVH complaints from the Nien Hsing factories’ workers. WRW’s primary mandate is to investigate GBVH complaints received from the FIDA Information Line and to issue determinations based on the investigation reports. WRW is also mandated to ensure that Nien Hsing enforces the determinations issued.
As a monitoring body, WRW is also charged with the responsibility of monitoring GBVH culture change at Nien Hsing factories. This exercise shall be undertaken annually. Finally, WRW will be generating reports which will show statistical GBHV prevalence trend reports.
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