Our Priorities: Human rights
'Human rights in the supply chain'
Industrias La Constancia
Industrias La Constancia (ILC), in El Salvador, which has brewed Pilsener for more than 100 years, has worked in partnership with the El Salvador Sugar Association and the local government to ensure appropriate labour standards - and, in particular, a prohibition on underage labour – are in place within sugar cane plantations throughout the country.
We have worked in partnership with Coca-Cola to build awareness of the issue, monitoring the cane plantations and supporting education and alternative production projects. These are particularly important as they create viable alternatives for generating family income without relying on children's wages. Nearly 6,000 underage workers have so far been withdrawn from work as a result.
Our recent poverty footprint study, in partnership with Coca-Cola and Oxfam America, identified that sugar cane harvesters and their helpers are among the most vulnerable workers in the Coca-Cola/SABMiller value chain in El Salvador.
Workers in some smallholder sugar cane farms often lack formal contractual arrangements and employment is seasonal. These workers urgently need the income they receive, but the absence of public oversight means that, in some cases, they fail to earn even the minimum wage. Many also lack access to medical facilities for the treatment of injuries they may sustain when not using protective clothing. As a result of this research, a series of recommendations have been made, which we are considering, including finding ways to engage further and work collaboratively with local communities and other stakeholders, to secure workers improved legal protections, health care, capacity building and training.
Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the article's author has approved them.
We will not publish comments we deem to be advertising, spam, off-topic, or defamatory, abusive, libelling, threatening, obscene, hateful or which are not in English.