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RESPECT for Workers' Rights

Set up in 1999, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) is a non profit organisation which combines the efforts of industry, civil society organizations, colleges and universities to protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions worldwide by promoting adherence to international labor standards.

Molina0The global supply chain: consumer, buyer, supplier, worker

The FLA recently initiated a new two-year project, titled 'RESPECT'. The project aims at encourage more responsible purchasing practices within global supply chains, in the garment industry in particular. The supplier, the buyer, the consumer, and the worker are all involved in the supply chain, and all have certain interests. RESPECT will explore and test an approach to facilitate collaboration among buyers, suppliers and consumers.

Cartoon Movement was asked to help FLA to communicate the project by providing visuals that would help communicate the motivations and aims of RESPECT. We asked Nicaruguan artist Pedro X. Molina to do a series of illustrations that would correspond with the different stages of the project.

The first illustration depicts the initial context, which is characterized by lack of dialogue and understanding of the parties involved.

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The second illustration focuses on the interests of the buyer and the supplier, and how different interests create problems. The consumer wants a lot of choice at a cheap price, which means the buyer wants products at the lowest possible cost, as fast as possible. To meet these demands, the consequences for the supplier's workforce are overtime and less pay. In addition, working long hours increases the risk of injury.

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RESPECT aims to provide a framework for action, and tools that can be used by the different parties involved in the supply chain.

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The end result of the project will  -hopefully- be an increase in knowledge and understanding that will lead to more responsible and ethical behaviour.

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We specialize in doing cartoon and comic projects that use our international network of artists to bring together different perspectives on a theme or issue. This assignment was different: we functioned more like a production house, working with one artist to create illustrations as part of a communication strategy. We're happy with the end result, though, and also happy to be able to support a project that hopes to improve corporate ethics.

All images by Pedro X. Molina.

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