Worker Agency

We believe that efforts to end forced labor and improve the lives of workers must be led by and centered around workers themselves. If worker agency is increased, workers will be less vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Around the world, many workers are denied the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. These workers are unable to leverage their voices to improve the conditions in which they work. They also lack the access to participate in policy discussions regarding their own rights, and often workers are even left out of efforts being undertaken by organizations working to protect them.

In many countries, laws protecting workers are limited or are being actively attacked. Even where they do exist, many governments do not enforce these protections, which are often even weaker for migrant workers. In the absence of legal rights, corporations can still take action to ensure the workers in their supply chains have access to effective grievance mechanisms and are able to exercise their right to organize and collectively bargain, but rarely do.

At Humanity United, we believe in the power, experience, and agency of workers to organize for collective change. We aim to shift the systems that exploit workers by supporting both new and existing forms of worker organizing, worker leadership, and participation in the broader movement to end forced labor.

We support efforts to elevate the voice and influence of workers and create space for workers to translate their experience into collective action. We do this by supporting independent worker-driven monitoring, capacity building for migrant leaders and migrant-led groups, and strengthening the voices of workers in labor reform discussions, both in their home and host countries, and in the broader global movement to end forced labor.