The Facts Behind Fashion

Urgent Appeals Annual Review 2012

The Clean Clothes Campaign acted on urgent appeals to support workers in the garment industry throughout 2012. We did this together with many organisations and thousands of individuals, and we are proud of the positive impact of our collective actions. In some cases workers' demands were met, such as the outright victory in the Kizone case early 2013. In others, our work strengthened the position of workers - even if their legitimate demands have not yet been met.

Urgent Appeal?

An Urgent Appeal is a request for support from workers whose rights are not being respected. Sometimes this included consumers taking action to show support for these workers’ demands and urges the factory management or global brands to act. But in many cases support is given behind the scenes. Since the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) was launched over two decades ago, Clean Clothes activists have supported garment and sportswear workers in some 400 cases in 40 different countries where their rights were violated.

Larger-scale effects

Many of the urgent appeal cases that have been successes for workers locally have also set precedents that have a significant potential spill-over effect towards improvements on a larger scale: victories gave inspiration to workers facing similar issues in other workplaces.


Urgent Appeals activities pressure companies or governments to take positive action. These activities include:

  • launching global petitions, social media campaigns and street actions
  • writing letters of solidarity to workers and their organisations
  • lobbying and legal assistance
  • awareness-raising events such as speaker tours, press conferences and public events to draw attention to cases of rights violations

Cases in 2012

As in previous years, we have taken on approximately 30 cases in 2012. Not all of them can be published on the world map where we present the cases and the results of the Urgent Appeal actions. We can only publicise cases when local partners and the workers concerned agree to do so. In some cases, premature publicity might harm the vulnerable condition of workers or worsen their situation.


See all cases on a map,

Or as a complete list.


Labour right violations encountered in 2012

A wide range of violations was found:

  • Freedom of Association violations
  • Payment and contract issues
  • Health, Fire & Safety
  • Persecution and other threats

Read more


The Clean Clothes Campaign strives to ensure that the rights of all workers in the garment and sports shoe industries are respected. However, the fact that the majority of these workers are women means that ultimately our work is largely about the empowerment of women.  

The Clean Clothes Campaign aims to help women garment workers raise their voices and achieve positive change in their lives.

See also:
Made by Women



Spotlight: The Kizone case

An interactive timeline taking you around the globe in a landmark case for global solidarity



Spotlight: KiK, fire and safety

How one company became involved in incidents in multiple countries


Billy Yates (detail)

Spotlight: Consumer action

Meet some of the people who support the Urgent Appeal work



Spotlight: Speak out!

Workers speak about their life, their struggle and their expectations

EU flag.jpgEU Support

The work of the Clean Clothes Campaign is supported by the European Union under the European Instrument of Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of the Clean Clothes Campaign and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.