Better Work Program in the Garment Industry
The Better Work program, a joint initiative of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is designed to improve labor practices and productivity in the apparel sector. Better Work is a transparent factory monitoring program conducted by a credible monitor (the ILO) in participating countries. The ILO's locally recruited enterprise advisors visit factories to assess compliance with core labor standards -- on freedom of association and collective bargaining, employment discrimination, child labor and forced labor -- as well as national laws on compensation, contractor and workplace relations, occupational safety and health, and working hours. Better Work makes these assessments public, enabling international buyers to direct their orders to factories making compliance improvements. The program also provides advice and remediation assistance to firms to improve their compliance. Better Work is structured to align the incentives of factory owners, buyers, governments and workers more effectively in order to protect rights and improve livelihoods. The U.S. Department of Labor is a major funder of Better Work programs in several countries, along with USAID and several other donor governments and institutions.