The students’ anti-sweatshop movement began to generate support in the mid 90s, but was most impactful by the end of the decade. Universities and colleges nationwide began investigating where their college merchandise was made and inquiring about the manufacturers’ labor laws. The main target for many universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was Nike because of their partnership with the athletic teams. UNC signed a 7.1 million dollar contract with Nike during the summer of 1997, thus committing to Nike products for the duration of their con
The University of Oregon is a large state university with a student body population of approximately 23,000 students, located in Eugene, Oregon. The school has a strong athletic legacy and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike Inc., is an alumnus and significant benefactor of the school.
The Basotho Congress Party came into power in the democratic elections of 1993. Lesotho, a kingdom, possessed a system of government that was characterized by the presence of both a monarch and elected officials. The monarch at the time of the elections, King Letsie III, made an attempt to persuade the newly elected BCP government to reinstate his father, King Moshoeshoe II, as king. King Moshoeshoe had previously been exiled for trying to amend the constitution to allocate more power to the throne.
During the Cold War era, Albanians endured the totalitarian rule of Enver Hoxha. When Hoxha died in 1985, Ramiz Alia took over a Communist country with a history of repression and burdened by massive debt, poverty, and widespread underdevelopment. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and facing mounting pressure from the Albanian populace, Alia instituted modest political reforms in early 1991 and on March 31 held the Albania’s first free and open elections in 60 years.
In May 2007, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza announced a 34 percent salary increase for all civil servants in Burundi. This increase, which the government was to implement in July 2007, followed a year after the government had more than doubled the salaries of military and security personnel. Despite President Nkurunziza’s promise, the International Monetary Fund, which provided much of the international aid to Burundi, urged against the salary increase. Citing lack of funds, by September 2007 the government had still not implemented the 34 percent increase while Nku
Since the late 1960’s, companies have been cutting down trees in the virgin forests of Malaysia, most notably in the state of Sarawak. Environmentalists all over the world were concerned about the effects of deforestation on the native Penan people and the effects of logging on the rich biodiversity of the rainforests. In particular, environmentalists in neighboring Australia wished to raise awareness about the issue and provide aid to the Penan people. These environmentalists formed the Rainforest Action Groups (RAG), one in each of three Australian cities, Sydney, Melbou
The country of Kuwait acquired independence from the United Kingdom in 1961. With the country feeling a sense of liberation, the women in particular seized the moment to seek further liberation. As an act of defiance, many women burned their robes. In doing so, they rejected notions of female dress and began to adopt a more Western wardrobe. A year later, a significant obstacle to their campaign appeared; the Kuwaiti parliament passed new election laws in 1962 that limited the electorate to a select few.
In June of 1936, the national Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) formed the Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee (SWOC) to organize an industry that had traditionally been nonunionized. The goal of the organization was to get a signed contract and union recognition for workers at steel plants across the United States. From the outset, the steel industry, opposed to unionization, placed advertisements in newspapers nationwide against the unions to discourage their employees from getting involved.
In Sri Lanka, elephants are both a valued part of traditional culture and an increasing risk to the populace. A spike in population on the Sri Lankan island has led the government to open lands traditionally reserved for the elephants to settlement by people. Narrowing habitats mean that encounters between elephants and people are more and more common, posing a threat to both elephants and humans. Since 1990, the number of elephants residing in Sri Lanka has fallen from about 12,000 to approximately 4,000, the result of hunting and dwindling food sources.
Beginning in December of 2010, massive protests against hunger and joblessness manifested all over the country of Tunisia. Similar violent protests erupted in Algeria over food costs. Consequently, on January 12, 2011, the Jordanian government made attempts to prevent similar events from happening; the government announced a plan worth $169 million dollars to control the price of essential resources and to spur job creation.
Workers in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, bore an increased workload to support the war effort during WWII. As extraction of mineral resources increased, employees of Rhodesia Railways worked upward of 65 hours per week to transport the minerals to ports on the Indian Ocean. While white European railway workers had strong unions representing them, black African employees received inferior treatment and lower pay grades than whites.
East Timor, a portion of the Indonesian archipelago, was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century. It was not until 1975 that Portugal decolonized the area, at which point East Timor declared independence. Shortly after this, however, the Indonesian army, under the orders of Indonesian President Suharto, invaded and annexed East Timor. 60,000 East Timorese were killed or died of starvation during the invasion.
For decades, Australia’s notoriously strict immigration policy has prevented asylum seekers from residing on the mainland of the continent. From 2001 to 2008, Nauru, the smallest sovereign island nation in the world, supported itself economically by hosting an Australian detention center in exchange for medical and financial support. During that time period, the detention center hosted between 200 and 1200 refugees, mainly ethnically Hazara Afghanis. Hazara are a Shi’a sect of Muslims often persecuted by the Sunni majority in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Republic of Seychelles is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, east of Tanzania. The Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) has held power in the Republic of Seychelles since their coup d’etat in 1977. Despite laws that nominally provide freedom of speech to the people, SPPF has carefully controlled the media through the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) and with steep licensing fees for independent television and radio stations. Additionally, the law allowed for civil lawsuits to punish journalists for “libel.”
At the turn of the century, student groups on college campuses across the country began campaigns to push university administrations to hold their apparel suppliers accountable to fair labor practices. Many students had realized that many of the licenses that their schools had with large clothing companies included those that relied on sweatshop labor for production.
In December 1936, autoworkers at General Motors' (GM) plants across Michigan staged multiple sit-down strikes, the longest of which lasted 44 days. The workers originally demanded that GM recognize their union, the United Autoworkers of America (UAW) as the sole bargaining agent for all GM employees. The autoworkers also demanded that GM end all discriminatory practices against its workers and relax efforts to speed up production.
Alberto Fujimori took office in 1990. Soon Fujimori engaged in a brutal crusade using anti-human rights measures to attempt to break down terrorist groups (Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement). And on April 5, 1992, Peruvians witnessed how their president, Alberto Fujimori, with the aid of armored tanks on the streets, unconstitutionally dissolved the Congress of the Republic. Nevertheless, 80 percent of the population still backed the president after the auto-golpe (self-coup).
Beginning in 1999 the Austrian government has made several large changes to the traditional higher education process, which had existed for hundreds of years prior. In 1999 Austria signed off on the Bologna Process, a European Union-wide initiative to standardize education throughout Europe. This meant that universities required students to complete degrees in between three and four years, when Austrians had traditionally had five or six. Despite a decrease in the time period for degree completion, syllabuses were barely touched, and so students were overwhelmed by work.&n
University of North Carolina (UNC) Sierra Student Coalition members and students created the Coal-Free UNC movement in an effort to end the University’s use of coal and close the on-campus coal plant. Its goal is to eliminate coal on campus by 2015. Coal-Free UNC also wanted the University to adhere to its green initiative EXPLAIN. The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal national campaign to end dependence on coal and its use on campus, while encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy inspired UNC’s campaign.
Laos has been a socialist republic governed by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) since December 2, 1975. The government controls the country’s news output and restricts the people’s rights to expression, assembly, and protest. Dissent is not permitted and coercion and torture are still prevalent in the prison system. Laos has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) or the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
General Moussa Traoré obtained power in Mali in 1968 when he led a military coup d’etat that overthrew the left-leaning nationalist government that had ruled since 1960. Opposition towards Traoré grew during the 1980s, but didn’t fully emerge until the 1990s. During this time, Traoré imposed programs to satisfy demands of the International Monetary Fund, which brought increased hardship upon the country’s population while elites lived in luxury.
Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, Turkey has technically been a secular democracy. Despite this, it has experienced numerous coups and the government has at times proven itself to be highly corrupt.
Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) is most commonly known for its moai, monumental stone statues resembling heads. The island has over 800 of these statues; however, in 2010, the subject of land rights also became prominently associated with the island.
In 2009, thirty-three stevedores were dismissed from their jobs in various ports throughout Finland, and by January of 2010, they still had not received sufficient compensation as reported by the Transport Worker’s Union (AKT). At the beginning of the month, the union began talks with the national employers to come to an agreement about severance pay and other issues such as wage increase and regulatory job protections; however, by mid-month the negotiations had slowed down to a near halt. The union threatened a 24-hour strike. On 21 January, they carried through on their promise.
Liechtenstein is a small country between Switzerland and Austria with a population of approximately 35,000. After World War II, Liechtenstein’s economy was in shambles. The government, a constitutional monarchy currently under the rule of Prince Hans-Adam II, implemented low corporate taxes in order to draw companies into the country. As a result, Liechtenstein currently has the second highest gross domestic product per capita in the world and has more registered companies than citizens. However, the international community has identified Liechtenstein as a tax haven