Better Work

Better  Work is a partnership program between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched in 2007 after the success of the ILO Better Factories Cambodia Project. Since its inception, Better Work has activities underway in nine countries worldwide. Eight countries have established programs (Cambodia, Haiti, Jordan, Lesotho, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nicaragua and Bangladesh). The program has three components:
  • Compliance Assessment Activities in factories: auditors evaluate if the factories are adhering to ILO Core Labor Standards and national labor laws.
  • Continuous Improvement: Better Work staff facilitates dialogue between the managers and workers to address their report’s findings and submits regular progress reports.
  • Stakeholder engagement: buy-in for the program and activities occurs at all levels, including government, employers, unions and workers, and international buyers.
Better Work is improving the lives of thousands of working people worldwide. In Lesotho, we helped ensure 100% of factories we work with have eliminated HIV/AIDS discrimination in the workplace. In Vietnam, 65% of Better Work factories have seen a rise in total sales, 62% have increased production capacity, and 60% have expanded employment.

The program’s sustainable design also sets it apart. While donor countries (including the US) contribute funds to develop and implement these programs, international garment buyers pay for factory audits and related activities. These buyers include big names like H&M, GAP, Levi Strauss, and Adidas. Better Work’s goal is to make each program financially sustainable in five to seven years.