5 Ways Fair Trade Supports Human Rights
December is full of holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve, and more are celebrated throughout the month. In addition to being a month of joy and celebration, it's also one for action.
December is National Human Rights Month, and December 10th is Human Rights Day. But at SERRV, we celebrate human rights all year round!
In 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which details the inalienable rights of all people regardless of gender, race, religion, and more. Fair trade supports many of these declarations.
By shopping with SERRV, you're protecting human rights in more ways than one. Here are five ways each purchase makes a difference.
1. Support equal rights for all
Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
When you shop fair trade, you support the fair and ethical treatment of global artisans and farmers, regardless of their gender, background, race, or religion. You're also supporting equal opportunities for employment, advancement, healthcare, and education for all.
Our partners put this into action! Arab and Jewish women in Israel work together to create delicious organic olive oil, while Hindu, Muslim, and Christian women in India embroider beautiful textiles together. Young moms in Chicago gain job skills and opportunities, and people disabled from polio in Cambodia are able to find steady and dignified work free from exploitation.
2. Protect & preserve culture and community
Article 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality
Traditional techniques, materials, styles and patterns from around the world are used to create many of our handcrafted products, from handmade textiles and woven wall baskets to dabu block print and gourd carving. Each fair trade purchase helps artisans preserve these timeless techniques, and the income they earn from their crafts also supports their communities and social projects.
3. Provide a fair and sustainable income and safe work environment
Article 23: Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work
Many of the items found on store shelves are made in crowded factories by disadvantaged workers who make just dollars a day working 12+ hours in unsafe work environments. Conditions like these led to the deadly and tragic Rana Plaza garment building collapse in Bangladesh. Learn more about it here.
With fair trade, global artisans and farmers-- many of whom are the sole income-earners in their households-- earn vital and sustainable income to support their families while working reasonable hours and receiving paid time off, skills training, health benefits, and more.
4. Ensure access to basic healthcare
Article 25: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including foods, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.
Too many people, due to cost or geographic location, have limited access to healthcare and health education. When you shop fair trade with SERRV, you help us support our partners' health clinics and education initiatives, including cancer screenings for women in rural Uganda and eye care for artisans in rural Vietnam.
5. Unlock educational opportunities for kids and adults
Article 26: Everyone has the right to education.
Even today, millions of school age children, especially girls, are not in school. Many of them come from disadvantaged neighborhoods and families who can't afford to send their children to school. But shopping fair trade supports children! Not only does fair trade mean no forced child labor, it also means many kids gain access to education who would otherwise not have the opportunity. Thanks to fair trade work, artisans are able to afford the cost of sending their children to school. And through the sales of their products, many of our partner organizations fund scholarships, school fees, uniforms and supplies, and more to provide access to primary education.
Thank you for choosing a fair trade gift this season!