In 2002, shortly after Paul Hunt was named as the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, he presented his vision for promoting the right to health as a fundamental human right, clarifying the content of this right and identifying good practices at the community, national, and international levels. His vision remains true today for women’s health at the workplace in global supply chains. In an era where women and families must often migrate to find work, leaving behind their homes and support networks, the workplace can be a site where they can access resources and information to actualize their right to health. But in global supply chains, the workplace becomes a place that frequently puts up barriers to their right to health, if not direct violations. For women workers in these labor markets the violations to their right to health remain unrecognized due to the narrow focus on occupational safety and health violations by advocates, corporations, and others. Moreover, gender inequality and gendered biases within global supply chains and the legal frameworks meant to protect these workers exclude women’s experiences and ignore how the workplace impacts the personal lives of women workers.
Erika R. George, Candace D. Gibson, Rebecca Sewall, and David Wofford, Recognizing Women’s Rights at Work: Health and Women Workers in Global Supply Chains, 35 Berkeley J. Int'l Law. 1 (2017).