Notre Dame to host Fair Labor Association forum on “Migration and Modern Day Slavery”

by Michael O. Garvey

Migration and Modern-Day Slavery in Supply Chains

The University of Notre Dame is hosting the 2011 Fair Labor Association (FLA) Stakeholder Forum Oct. 3 (Monday) beginning in McKenna Hall.

The theme for the day-long forum, whose sponsors include Notre Dame’s Department of Licensing and the Center for Social Concerns, is “Migration and Modern-Day Slavery in Supply Chains.” Participants will include labor experts, advocates and representatives from major apparel brands together to discuss migration and trafficking issues in the global supply chain, with a focus on Bangladesh and India.

Forum participants will include John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president of Notre Dame; Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C., associate vice president and counselor to the president of Notre Dame; Auret van Heerden, president and CEO of the FLA; Jorge A. Bustamante, Eugene Conley Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame; Coen Kompier, senior specialist on international labor standards at the International Labor Organization; Mohammad Shadab, manager of Solidaridad’s sustainable fashion program; Marsha Dickson, professor and chair of fashion and apparel studies and co-director of the sustainable apparel initiative at the University of Delaware; and Rina Roy, human rights director at the Manusher Jonno Foundation.

“Millions of people, often desperate for work and struggling to provide for their families, are lured into jobs with the promise of a good salary and benefits. But when that doesn’t happen, many are forced to continue working, with no end in sight,” said Michael S. Low, director of licensing at Notre Dame. “Our campus is committed to ensuring that all clothing bearing the Notre Dame logo and marks are produced fairly. As part of the FLA, we’re proud to play a role in protecting workers’ rights worldwide.”

In 1999, Notre Dame joined the newly incorporated FLA with 16 other colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Duke. A collaborative effort of companies, colleges and universities, and other organizations to improve working conditions in factories around the world, the FLA has developed a Workplace Code of Conduct, based on International Labor Organization standards, and established a practical monitoring, remediation and verification process to achieve them.

Contact: Aaron Pickering, 202-386-7185,