Skoll World Forum
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Verité is a global advocate for workers. Through their understanding of workers’ perspectives, they find solutions to human rights violations by improving business practices. They work to remove dangers and abuses in workplaces around the world by providing knowledge, skills, and tools to workers, employers, multinational companies, NGOs, trade unions, investors, and governments.
Verité takes aim at serious problems like child labor, slavery, systemic discrimination against women, dangerous working conditions, and unpaid work. Some of these problems can be resolved by working directly with individual companies. In other cases Verité develops performance standards and promotes their adoption in order to change whole industries.
Verité aims to make globalization work for poor and vulnerable people around the world. They ensure that powerful institutions, and particularly the private sector, take responsibility for solving human rights problems where goods are made and crops are grown.
The work has a broad impact: more income for workers; increased opportunities for women, minorities, and migrants; protection for children and those in forced labor; and safer working conditions in factories, farms, fisheries, and mines.
Globally, workers often suffer from unhealthy, exploitive working conditions and have no leverage to effect change in global supply chains.
Verité engages workers to spotlight forced labor, monitor indicators to reduce risk, interact with labor brokers, and address the needs of victims.
Dan Viederman seeks to move from audit-focused compliance to bringing stakeholders together to addresses worker needs.
Verité is training others to replicate its model even as it works to expand its own network.
Companies transition from an audit-focused model of “social compliance” to normalize a rights-driven that brings stakeholders together and effectively addresses worker needs.
Partnerships and Independent Replication
Verité’s RAISE Institute is training others to replicate its model even as it works to expand its own network of partnerships with influential players who can bring the model to more industries and actors.
Fees generated by corporate and agency partners and clients support most of the work, supplemented by philanthropic and governmental grants for development and growth.
Dan Viederman has spent his career solving the problems of inequitable and unsustainable development. He worked in rural China teaching children who had overcome great odds simply to be in a classroom. He helped establish China offices for the World Wildlife Fund and Catholic Relief Services. Through this work he realized that the private business sector would not take steps to become more just and sustainable in response to efforts by, civil society. There needed to be real incentives. Dan came to Verité in 2001 inspired by its potential to improve workplace conditions globally, and he has led the organization beyond its factory audit roots. Under Dan’s leadership, Verité expanded its impact geographically and across industry sectors, working to prevent human trafficking by leveraging the power of multinational companies. Its model engages factory workers a four-step process of assessment to determine whether there is forced labor in the corporate supply chain; monitoring indicators to reduce the risk of doing business with suppliers using forced labor; interaction with labor brokers; and addressing needs of victims. Through rigorous research, tracking, story-telling and consultative expertise, Verité engages trade unions, NGOs, governments, consumers, and companies tied to more than 11,000 factories around the world in understanding and combating labor abuse. Its initiatives include labor rights and trafficking, raw materials, policy, civil society, and gender. At the time of the Award, was active in 60 countries and had conducted thousands of audits benefiting more than 400,000 workers.