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News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Global CEOs on the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum continue their efforts in tackling forced labour by adopting and calling for action on "Priority Industry Principles": Every worker should have freedom of movement, no worker should pay for a job, no worker should be indebted or coerced to work The consumer goods industry, through The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), has advanced its social stewardship efforts in its bid to eradicate forced labour from global supply chains by establishing three "Priority Industry Principles" (the "Principles"). Building on momentum from the CGF's ground-breaking Forced Labour Resolution, announced earlier this year, the three Principles will help to prioritise action to address the primary drivers of forced labour within the consumer goods industry and beyond. The International Labour Organization reports that there are currently 21 million victims of forced labour in the world and the CGF Board of Directors anticipate that these newly established focus areas will inspire the entire industry, as well as others, to translate the Resolution into action. Through industry research and stakeholder consultations, the CGF has identified three of the most problematic, yet often common, employment practices across the world that can lead to cases of forced labour - especially amongst vulnerable workers. While the CGF acknowledges that these practices can have complex root causes and diverse manifestations in workplaces, the journey toward eliminating them must begin in earnest. In order to do so, the CGF developed the Priority Industry Principles, to provide further direction to counter these practices. The principles are as follows: The CGF and its members will now work to uphold these practices in their own operations, and will use their collective voice to promote the adoption of these priority principles industry-wide. As part of a 2017 action plan, members will take individual actions to mainstream the Principles with an initial focus in two supply chains of particular relevance to the industry - seafood and palm oil in Southeast Asia. The development of the Priority Industry Principles was led by the CGF Priority Industry Principles Working Group, co-chaired by Mars Incorporated, Tesco, The Coca-Cola Company and Walmart. The working group first researched a variety of globally recognised resources including the International Labour Organization Indicators of Forced Labour. Then, to complement this research, surveys were deployed to CGF member companies, external stakeholders and the general public at large. Once a draft set of principles was produced, in-depth one-on-one consultations took place with key stakeholders to finalise them. The CGF's Forced Labour Resolution, approved by the Board of Directors in January 2016, was the first industry resolution designed to tackle forced labour. It has been actively welcomed by a wide range of actors, and the CGF intends to continue its collaboration and engagement with civil society, experts and initiatives focused on tackling forced labour. Oxfam and the International Labour Organization have already put forward their support for the Priority Industry Principles, an approach the CGF hopes will be taken by other key stakeholders. "The Priority Industry Principles are an important next step in the global fight against forced labour. These principles must be mainstreamed on a global scale so that they may lead to the necessary changes needed to remove forced labour from international supply chains. We are therefore committed to supporting our members in the implementation of the Principles in their own operations and we call for their adoption across the consumer goods industry at large. No one company can tackle forced labour alone; we need to work together through cross-sector collaborations to one day soon reach a world free of forced labour". "I am delighted that the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum has resolved to confront the very complex challenge of forced labour around the world. Through the gradual adoption of the Priority Industry Principles by CGF members, in collaboration with governments, NGOs, international labour organisations and civil society, we can go a long way to eradicate this daunting reality. Global supply chains must serve local prosperity if the words 'feed the world' are to mean anything". "Oxfam welcomes the leadership shown by The Consumer Goods Forum in coalescing support around these Priority Industry Principles, to prevent forced labour entering into the cracks in global supply chains. This extreme form of labour exploitation makes it impossible for workers to access their human rights and work their way out of poverty. We hope that all members of the CGF will use the influence they have to get behind these principles and play their part in tackling this pernicious hidden issue". "The CGF's Forced Labour Resolution, approved and endorsed at the highest level of the corporate world, sends a clear message of commitment to the global fight against forced labour. Now, this commitment is turning into concrete action through the Priority Industry Principles. Big congratulations to the CGF and its members!". The Consumer Goods Forum ("CGF") is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises 54 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.


Los consejeros delegados mundiales del consejo de The Consumer Goods Forum continúan con sus esfuerzos para luchar contra el trabajo forzado por medio de la adopción y llamada a la acción en "Priority Industry Principles": Cada trabajador debe disponer de libertad de movimiento, ningún trabajador debe pagar por un trabajo y ningún trabajador debe estar endeudado o forzado a trabajar La industria de bienes de consumo, a través de The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), ha avanzado en sus esfuerzos de control social en su apuesta de cara a erradicar el trabajo forzado de la cadena de suministro global estableciendo tres "Priority Industry Principles" ("los principios"). Gracias al excelente momento de la revolucionaria Forced Labour Resolution del CGF anunciada a principios de este año, los tres principios van a ayudar a priorizar acciones como impulsores destacados del trabajo forzado dentro de la industria de bienes de consumo y más allá. La International Labour Organization informa que actualmente hay 21 millones de víctimas de trabajo forzado en todo el mundo y el consejo de dirección de CGF prevé que las áreas de foco de reciente creación van a inspirar a toda la industria, además de a otras, para llevar la resolución a ser acción. Por medio de la investigación de la industria y consulta con los accionistas, el CGF ha identificado tres de las prácticas de empleo más problemáticas, y pese a ello más comunes, en todo el mundo que pueden producir casos de trabajo forzado, en especial entre los trabajadores que son más vulnerables. Mientras que el CGF reconoce que estas prácticas pueden tener raíces complejas como sus causas y diferentes manifestaciones en los lugares de trabajo, el viaje hacia su eliminación ha de empezar. Con este objetivo, el CGF desarrolló los Priority Industry Principles de cara a proporcionar una dirección superior para contrarrestar estas prácticas. Estos principios son los siguientes: El CGF y sus miembros ya van a trabajar con el fin de defender estas prácticas en sus propias operaciones, utilizando su voz colectiva para la promoción de la adopción de estos principios prioritarios en toda la industria. Como parte de un plan de acción 2017, los miembros van a tomar acciones individuales para ampliar los principios con un objetivo inicial puesto en dos cadenas de suministro de particular importancia para la industria - mariscos y aceite de palma en el sudeste de Asia. El desarrollo de los Priority Industry Principles estuvo dirigido por medio del CGF Priority Industry Principles Working Group, copresidido por Mars Incorporated, Tesco, The Coca-Cola Company y Walmart. El grupo de trabajo investigó primero una variedad de recursos globalmente reconocidos, entre los que se incluyeron los International Labour Organization Indicators of Forced Labour. Después, y con el fin de complementar esta investigación, se realizaron encuestas en las compañías miembro del CGF, accionistas externos y el público en general. Cuando se dispuso del borrador de los principios, se realizaron consultas en profundidad de uno en uno con los principales accionistas terminándolas. La Forced Labour Resolution del CGF, aprobada por medio del consejo de dirección en enero de 2016, fue la primera resolución de la industria diseñada para hacer frente al trabajo forzado. Ha sido recibida activamente con los brazos abiertos a través de una amplia gama de actores, y el CGF busca seguir con su colaboración y compromiso de cara a la sociedad civil, los expertos y las iniciativas focalizadas en abordar el trabajo forzado. Oxfam y la International Labour Organization ya han avanzado su apoyo de cara a los Priority Industry Principles, una aproximación que el CGF espera sigan después otros accionistas. "Los Priority Industry Principles son un destacado paso continuado dentro de la lucha global frente al trabajo forzado. Estos principios han de ampliarse a nivel mundial con el fin de poder conseguir los cambios necesarios para quitar el trabajo forzado de las cadenas internacionales de suministro. Es por ello que estamos comprometidos a apoyar a nuestros miembros en la implementación de los principios en sus propias operaciones, e instamos a su adopción a través de la industria de bienes de consumo. Ninguna compañía puede afrontar por sí sola el tema del trabajo forzada; necesitamos trabajar de forma conjunta por medio de colaboraciones cruzadas para algún día cercano conseguir un mundo en el que no exista el trabajo forzado". "Estoy feliz de que el consejo del The Consumer Goods Forum haya resuelto confrontar el reto tan complejo del trabajo forzado a nivel mundial. Por medio de la adopción gradual de los Priority Industry Principles a través de los miembros del CGF, y en colaboración con los gobiernos, ONGs, organizaciones internacionales del trabajo y sociedad civil, vamos a conseguir erradicar esta realidad atemorizante. Las cadenas globales de suministro deben servir de cara a la prosperidad local si las palabras 'alimentar al mundo' realmente cuentan con algún significado". "Oxfam da la bienvenida al liderazgo mostrado por medio de The Consumer Goods Forum en sumar su apoyo en torno a estos Priority Industry Principles, y con ello evitar que el trabajo forzado se introduzca entre grietas de las cadenas de suministro globales. Esta forma extrema de explotación laboral hace que sea imposible para los trabajadores acceder a sus derechos humanos y trabajar para salir de dentro de la pobreza. Esperamos que todos los miembros del CGF usen la influencia que tienen para alinearse detrás de estos principios y pongan de su parte con el fin de hacer frente a este tema oculto y pernicioso". Houtan Homayounpour, punto focal de trabajo forzado de la International Labour Organization, explicó: "La Forced Labour Resolution del CGF, aprobada y respaldada en los niveles más elevados del mundo empresarial, envía un claro mensaje de compromiso de cara a la lucha global contra el trabajo forzado. Este compromiso ya se está convirtiendo en una acción concreta a través de los Priority Industry Principles. Queremos por ello felicitar a la CGF y a sus miembros". The Consumer Goods Forum ("CGF") es una red global de pares de la industria dirigida por medio de sus miembros de cara a fomentar la adopción internacional de prácticas y estándares que sirven a la industria de bienes de consumo a nivel mundial. Reúne a los consejeros delegados y principales directivos de unas 400 empresas minoristas, fabricantes, proveedores de servicios y otros accionistas de 70 países, y refleja la diversidad de la industria en cuanto a geografía, tamaño, categoría de productos y formatos. Sus compañías miembros cuentan con unas ventas combinadas de 3.500 millones de euros y emplean en forma directa a cerca de 10 millones de personas, con unos 90 millones de trabajos vinculados dedicados a la cadena de suministro. Está dirigida por medio del consejo de dirección, formado por 54 consejeros delgados de fabricantes y vendedores minoristas.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: en.prnasia.com

Global CEOs on the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum continue their efforts in tackling forced labour by adopting and calling for action on "Priority Industry Principles": Every worker should have freedom of movement, no worker should pay for a job, no worker should be indebted or coerced to work The consumer goods industry, through The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), has advanced its social stewardship efforts in its bid to eradicate forced labour from global supply chains by establishing three "Priority Industry Principles" (the "Principles"). Building on momentum from the CGF's ground-breaking Forced Labour Resolution, announced earlier this year, the three Principles will help to prioritise action to address the primary drivers of forced labour within the consumer goods industry and beyond. The International Labour Organization reports that there are currently 21 million victims of forced labour in the world and the CGF Board of Directors anticipate that these newly established focus areas will inspire the entire industry, as well as others, to translate the Resolution into action. Through industry research and stakeholder consultations, the CGF has identified three of the most problematic, yet often common, employment practices across the world that can lead to cases of forced labour - especially amongst vulnerable workers. While the CGF acknowledges that these practices can have complex root causes and diverse manifestations in workplaces, the journey toward eliminating them must begin in earnest. In order to do so, the CGF developed the Priority Industry Principles, to provide further direction to counter these practices. The principles are as follows: The CGF and its members will now work to uphold these practices in their own operations, and will use their collective voice to promote the adoption of these priority principles industry-wide. As part of a 2017 action plan, members will take individual actions to mainstream the Principles with an initial focus in two supply chains of particular relevance to the industry - seafood and palm oil in Southeast Asia. The development of the Priority Industry Principles was led by the CGF Priority Industry Principles Working Group, co-chaired by Mars Incorporated, Tesco, The Coca-Cola Company and Walmart. The working group first researched a variety of globally recognised resources including the International Labour Organization Indicators of Forced Labour. Then, to complement this research, surveys were deployed to CGF member companies, external stakeholders and the general public at large. Once a draft set of principles was produced, in-depth one-on-one consultations took place with key stakeholders to finalise them. The CGF's Forced Labour Resolution, approved by the Board of Directors in January 2016, was the first industry resolution designed to tackle forced labour. It has been actively welcomed by a wide range of actors, and the CGF intends to continue its collaboration and engagement with civil society, experts and initiatives focused on tackling forced labour. Oxfam and the International Labour Organization have already put forward their support for the Priority Industry Principles, an approach the CGF hopes will be taken by other key stakeholders. "The Priority Industry Principles are an important next step in the global fight against forced labour. These principles must be mainstreamed on a global scale so that they may lead to the necessary changes needed to remove forced labour from international supply chains. We are therefore committed to supporting our members in the implementation of the Principles in their own operations and we call for their adoption across the consumer goods industry at large. No one company can tackle forced labour alone; we need to work together through cross-sector collaborations to one day soon reach a world free of forced labour". "I am delighted that the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum has resolved to confront the very complex challenge of forced labour around the world. Through the gradual adoption of the Priority Industry Principles by CGF members, in collaboration with governments, NGOs, international labour organisations and civil society, we can go a long way to eradicate this daunting reality. Global supply chains must serve local prosperity if the words 'feed the world' are to mean anything". "Oxfam welcomes the leadership shown by The Consumer Goods Forum in coalescing support around these Priority Industry Principles, to prevent forced labour entering into the cracks in global supply chains. This extreme form of labour exploitation makes it impossible for workers to access their human rights and work their way out of poverty. We hope that all members of the CGF will use the influence they have to get behind these principles and play their part in tackling this pernicious hidden issue". "The CGF's Forced Labour Resolution, approved and endorsed at the highest level of the corporate world, sends a clear message of commitment to the global fight against forced labour. Now, this commitment is turning into concrete action through the Priority Industry Principles. Big congratulations to the CGF and its members!". The Consumer Goods Forum ("CGF") is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises 54 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: http://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, former Prime Minister of Togo, has been appointed as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution that invests in eradicating rural poverty in developing countries around the world. “I have come from the rural world. I have first-hand knowledge of the harshness of this kind of life,” said Houngbo, who was appointed by IFAD’s member states at the organization’s annual Governing Council meeting. Houngbo takes up the helm at a time when changing government priorities and the more immediate needs of humanitarian crises – like natural disasters, conflict and refugees – threaten to divert funding away from long-term development. With growing global demand for food, increased migration to cities and the impact of climate change, investments in agriculture and rural development will be essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of ending poverty and hunger. “We have to keep our ambition and at the same time be realistic and pragmatic,” he said. “We have to demonstrate that every dollar invested will have the highest value for money.” Houngbo has more than 30 years of experience in political affairs, international development, diplomacy and financial management. Since 2013 he has served as Deputy Director General of the International Labour Organization, where he has been responsible for external programmes and partnerships. Prior to that, he was Assistant Secretary General, Africa Regional Director and Chief of Staff at the United Nations Development Programme. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. His candidacy was unanimously endorsed by the governments of the African Union. As someone who was born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo believes that the inequality in today’s world should never be accepted, and that IFAD has a crucial role to play in bringing opportunities to the poor and excluded. “The privilege of attaining high-quality education helped me develop a strong sense of responsibility towards improving the condition of those who have not had similar opportunities,” he wrote in answer to questions during the nomination process. “I believe that through a dynamic leadership of IFAD, I can contribute to visible change in the hardship-laden lives of the world’s rural poor.” Houngbo was among eight candidates including three women vying for the organization’s top leadership position. He succeeds Kanayo F. Nwanze, who was President for two terms beginning in April 2009. Houngbo will take office on 1 April 2017. IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 464 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub. Press release No.: IFAD/15/2017


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: news.europawire.eu

GENEVA, 28-Oct-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The world is facing an acute misuse of talent by not acting faster to tackle gender inequality, which could put economic growth at risk and deprive economies of the opportunity to develop, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, which is published today. The report is an annual benchmarking exercise that measures progress towards parity between men and women in four areas: Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, Economic Opportunity and Political Empowerment. In this latest edition, the report finds that progress towards parity in the key economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap – which stands at 59% – now larger than at any point since 2008. Behind this decline are a number of factors. One is salary, with women around the world on average earning just over half of what men earn despite, on average, working longer hours taking paid and unpaid work into account. Another persistent challenge is stagnant labour force participation, with the global average for women standing at 54%, compared to 81% for men. The number of women in senior positions also remains stubbornly low, with only four countries in the world having equal numbers of male and female legislators, senior officials and managers, despite the fact that 95 countries now have as many – if not more – women educated at university level. Click here for a selection of infographics. In 2015, projections based on the Global Gender Gap Report data suggested that the economic gap could be closed within 118 years, or 2133. However the progress has reversed since then, having peaked in 2013. Away from economics, the education gender gap has closed 1% over the past year to over 95%, making it one of the two areas where most progress has been made to date. Health and Survival, the other pillar to have closed 96% of its gap, has deteriorated minimally. Two-thirds of the 144 countries measured in this year’s report can now claim to have fully closed their gender gap in sex ratio at birth, while more than one-third have fully closed the gap in terms of healthy life expectancy. The pillar where the gender gap looms largest, Political Empowerment, is also the one that has seen the greatest amount of progress since the World Economic Forum began measuring the gender gap in 2006. This now stands at over 23%; 1% greater than 2015 and nearly 10% higher than in 2006. However, improvements are starting from a low base: only two countries have reached parity in parliament and only four have reached parity on ministerial roles, according to the latest globally comparable data. The slow rate of progress towards gender parity, especially in the economic realm, poses a particular risk given the fact that many jobs that employ a majority of women are likely to be hit proportionately hardest by the coming age of technological disruption known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This “hollowing out” of female livelihoods could deprive economies further of women’s talents and increases the urgency for more women to enter high-growth fields such as those demanding STEM skills. “Women and men must be equal partners in managing the challenges our world faces – and in reaping the opportunities. Both voices are critical in ensuring the Fourth Industrial Revolution delivers its promise for society,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. Which are the world’s most gender-equal countries? With women on average benefiting from only two-thirds of the access to health, education, economic participation and political representation that men have, a number of nations are emerging to challenge the traditional hegemony of the Nordic nations as the world’s most gender-equal societies. While the leading four nations are Iceland (1), Finland (2), Norway (3) and Sweden (4) – with Finland overtaking Norway – the next highest placed nation is Rwanda, which moves one place ahead of Ireland to 5th position. Following Ireland, the Philippines remains unchanged at 7th, narrowly ahead of Slovenia (8) and New Zealand (9), which both move up one place. With Switzerland dropping out of the top 10, 10th position is taken up by Nicaragua. Elsewhere, the United States (45) loses 17 places since last year, primarily due to a more transparent measure for the estimated earned income. Other major economies in the top 20 include Germany (13), France (17) and the United Kingdom (20). Among the BRICS grouping, the highest-placed nation remainsSouth Africa (15), which moves up two places since last year with improvements across all pillars. The Russian Federation (75) is next, followed by Brazil (79).India (87) gains 21 spots and overtakes China (99) with improvements across Economic Participation and Opportunity and Educational Attainment. Countries from Western Europe – including the three largest economies, France, Germany and the UK – occupy 11 of the top 20 positions in the Index. While some countries have clear room for improvement (Italy drops 9 places to 50; Greece drops 5 to 92), it has now closed 75% of its gender gap, more than any other region. At the current rate, it could expect to close its economic gender gap within 47 years. After Europe and North America, the region with the third narrowest gender gap isLatin America and the Caribbean. With 70% of its gap now closed, it boasts six countries to have fully filled both their education and gender gaps, more than any other region. It can also be expected at the current rate of improvement to have closed its economic gender gap within six decades. With Nicaragua the only country in the top 20, however, the performance of the largest economies – Argentina (33), Mexico (66), Chile (70) and Brazil (79) – is mixed. The region with the fourth-smallest gender gap is Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with four countries – Slovenia (8), Latvia (18), Estonia (22) and Lithuania (25) – in the top 25. Slovenia is one of the top 10 climbers in the world since 2006. Like Latin America and the Caribbean, the region has also closed 70% of its overall gender gap; however, it is not expected at today’s rate to have closed its economic gender gap for another 93 years. East Asia and the Pacific follows next, having closed 68% of its gender gap. This is a region of stark contrast, with a large distance between the most gender-equal societies such as the Philippines and New Zealand and economic heavyweights China (99), Japan (111) and Korea (116). The sluggish pace of change in these larger nations in part explains why current projections suggest the region will not close its economic gap for another 111 years. Four nations from Sub-Saharan Africa – Rwanda (5), Burundi (12), Namibia (14) and South Africa (15) make it into the top 20; more than any other region except Western Europe. The region has closed nearly 68% of its gender gap; however, data suggest that it will only take 60 years for economic parity to be achieved – far less than other more developed regions of the world. But, high labour force participation for women tends to be in low-skilled roles in the region, a factor that will need to be addressed to ensure that economic parity leads to growth and inclusion. South Asia, with 67% of its overall gap closed, is home to two of the top 10 climbers of the world since 2006: Nepal (110) and India (87). Nevertheless, progress in closing the economic gap has been negligible and it could take over 1,000 years to close the economic gender gap fully unless efforts are accelerated. The lowest placed region – having closed 60% of its overall gender gap – is theMiddle East and North Africa. With only Israel (49) in the global top 50, the next highest in the region are Qatar (119), Algeria (120), the United Arab Emirates (124). Like South Asia, progress in addressing economic inequalities has been too slow and will not be closed for a further 356 years at today’s rate. Nevertheless, it is home to some of the most improved nations since 2006 on economic participation, including Saudi Arabia (141), Bahrain (131) and Yemen (144). “These forecasts are not foregone conclusions. Instead, they reflect the current state of progress and serve as a call to action to policy-makers and other stakeholders to double down on efforts to accelerate gender equality,” said Saadia Zahidi, Head of Education, Gender and Work, and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 144 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators. It aims to understand whether countries are distributing their resources and opportunities equitably between women and men, irrespective of their overall income levels. The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas: Index scores can be interpreted as the percentage of the gap that has been closed between women and men, and allow countries to compare their current performance relative to their past performance. In addition, the rankings allow for comparisons between countries. Thirteen out of the 14 variables used to create the index are from publicly available hard data indicators from international organizations such as the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organization, and one comes from a perception survey conducted by the World Economic Forum. In this year’s report, a key methodological change relates to the cap on the estimated earned income (raised from $40,000 to $75,000) to align with the UNDP’s new methodology and reflecting the change in income levels since the report’s inception in 2006. System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work In addition to benchmarking gender gaps through the Global Gender Gap Reportseries and other topical studies, the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work aims to ensure that talent is developed, nurtured and deployed for maximum benefit to the economy and society by mobilizing business, governments and civil society leaders to rethink education, close skills gaps, accelerate gender parity and boost employment. The World Economic Forum would like to thank Accenture, Adecco Group, African Rainbow Minerals, Alcoa, Alghanim Industries, AlixPartners, A.T. Kearney, The Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bank of America, Barclays, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg, The Boston Consulting Group, Centene Corporation, Chobani, Egon Zehnder, EY, GEMS Education, Google, GSK, Heidrick & Struggles, Hubert Burda Media, Infosys, JLL, Johnson Controls, LinkedIn, ManpowerGroup, Mercer (MMC), Microsoft Corporation, Nestlé, NYSE, Omnicom, Ooredoo, Pearson, PwC, Renault-Nissan Alliance, Saudi Aramco, Siemens, Tata Consultancy Services, The Coca-Cola Company, The Rockefeller Foundation, Tupperware Brands Corporation, Uber, Workday, WPP and Zain for their guidance and invaluable support of the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work, inclusive of this report. More on the top ten: http://wef.ch/gggr16topten More about the Forum’s work around Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work here Follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WeChat using davos_wef


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Politicians around the world risk giving more traction to nationalistic movements if they continue to ignore the growing numbers of workers getting a “raw deal” from globalisation, the head of the UN’s labour agency has warned. The director general of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, described Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election and the UK’s vote for Brexit as “the revolt of the dispossessed” and gave a damning assessment of the establishment’s failure to offer an alternative to protectionism. British-born Ryder said governments had been too quick to focus on headline figures that flattered the state of labour markets since the global financial crisis. In so doing they had failed to scratch below the surface into a world of zero-hours contracts, underemployment and unreliable incomes, he said, as the ILO released research showing a rise in such non-standard forms of employment. “The societies we all live in are distributing the benefits of globalisation and economic processes extraordinarily unfairly and people think they are getting a raw deal,” Ryder told the Guardian. Speaking days after Trump stunned the world with his victory over Hillary Clinton, the ILO chief highlighted the common ground between the Republican candidate’s supporters and those who voted for the UK to leave the EU. “It is the people who feel they haven’t benefited from globalisation and from the EU, from the way things are organised. This is the revolt of the dispossessed in that regard,” he said. “And the point here is that feeling, that frustration, that disillusionment, I think is very much generated from people’s experience of work. Their exclusion from work, or their insertion in labour markets in conditions, which they find unacceptable.” The ILO’s mandate centres on ensuring what it calls “decent work”. But based on its own findings, the UN agency is facing an uphill battle. Casual forms of work more common in the developing world are being replicated in advanced economies – the “gig economy” – as on-demand services such as Uber and Deliveroo grow. The ILO report published on Monday finds temporary work, agency work, precarious self-employment and other non-standard forms of employment have become more widespread. On the ground, that translates into downward pressure on earnings, unreliable working hours and lower access to workplace benefits. It comes back to the “raw deal” that Ryder talks about. “If you count somebody on a zero-hours contract as being in work that helps the headline figures. If you look at their life you know that it is not the type of quality, decent work that I think we are all pursuing,” says Ryder, who has headed the ILO since 2012, having started his career at the TUC in Britain. “People want to know how it can be different and the fact of the matter is, it can be different but it requires us to put the world of work and these tough labour market issues back on the table from which I think they have been unwisely removed by policymakers in recent years.” His comments reflect the tendency among ministers to focus on record employment levels and falling unemployment, while largely ignoring that wages have stagnated, people have felt pressured into self-employment and millions say they want to work more hours than they can get. Ryder believes the UK’s vote to leave the EU should be a wake-up call. “If you take Brexit vote as a faithful reflection of the mood of people, it is not an expression of contentment and satisfaction with a full employment, ‘I’m doing well, I’m getting ahead’, workforce. The message is: ‘We are living this and it doesn’t feel very nice,’” he says. Again, there are parallels with the US where ILO researchers found 10% of the workforce had irregular and on-call work schedules, with the lowest-income workers the hardest hit. The agency wants old systems brought up to date to reflect today’s world of work. Its recommendations for improving the quality of non-standard employment include plugging regulatory gaps to ensure workers are treated equally whatever type of contract they have. The ILO also wants to see minimum guaranteed hours, better social protection and stronger collective bargaining. That includes expanding unions to represent the growing number of workers in non-standard forms of employment. Ryder also stresses the need for more equal treatment of migrant workers. “If you take seriously the enforcement of minimum conditions, if you take seriously the notion of equal treatment ... you disarm and detoxify the labour market worries about undercutting local workers and at the same time you do the right thing by migrant workers.” The ILO director concedes his agency is asking for a lot. But failure to act will leave voters looking to the “wrong place” for solutions, he says. That warning echoes growing concerns that the nationalist sentiment that boosted Trump will also come to the fore at upcoming votes in Italy, France, the Netherlands and Germany. “In generic terms, I think people think they have a binary choice in life at the moment,” says Ryder. The options were “more of the same” with an acceptance that inequality would rise further or “defensive, protectionist, nationalistic” movements rejecting the status quo. “We have to construct something which is different from both of those two poles and to demonstrate, or to convince people, that there are different ways. That we can manage our labour markets,” he says. “But middle ground between the two binary options requires the hard work of doing some fairly hard engineering of labour markets.” Furthermore, the establishment must work hard to regain people’s trust, he adds. “People are not necessarily looking to the established institutions or political parties or international organisations, of which I include the ILO, in the belief that we have credible responses. So we have to up our game in that regard.” Ryder has just been given the backing of his agency to do just that. Last week the director general was re-elected for a second term with support from all three branches of the tripartite agency: workers’ representatives, employers and governments. Alongside curbing the rise in insecure jobs and the ILO’s work on tackling child labour and forced labour, Ryder is also pushing the agency to anticipate future trends. He believes the big drivers of change are technology, globalisation, demographics and the need to align jobs and job creation with fighting climate change. All are being explored under a “future of work” programme marking the ILO’s centenary in 2019. So for an agency that has been through the second world war, the cold war, the fall of communism and the rise of globalisation, the focus now shifts to robots, global warming and the gig economy. But the motivation remains the same and as the world digests the latest political shock, it is perhaps unsurprising that Ryder highlights the ILO’s roots. “Our historic mandate, and it came after the first world war, is based on the notion that if you want to preserve peace and stability in the world, you have to promote social justice and that has to begin in the world of work.”


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Citi today announced a global expansion of the Pathways to Progress initiative led by a Citi Foundation investment of $100 million to connect 500,000 young people, ages 16-24, to training and jobs over the next three years. This is the largest philanthropic commitment in the Citi Foundation’s history. Pathways launched in 2014 with a $50 million effort that helped more than 100,000 young people across 10 U.S. cities become career-ready through first jobs, internships, and leadership and entrepreneurship training. The expansion also includes a commitment to have 10,000 Citi employees volunteer to serve as mentors, coaches and role models to young people and support their career progress. Pathways to Progress aims to help reduce youth unemployment in key cities around the world and improve the quality of the youth workforce. Globally, the youth unemployment rate is three times higher than the adult unemployment rate1, which reflects a gap in the skills and networks many young people currently possess and what is required by many employers or needed to successfully launch an income-generating business. “The playing field isn’t level for all young people and Citi wants to help change that,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. “Mentors, internships and exposure to a variety of career opportunities help young people get a foot in the door and provide the foundation they need to thrive in their careers – those are the things Pathways to Progress helps provide to those who might not have access to them otherwise. Young people consistently say they want to pursue careers that allow them to contribute to important societal issues, and I firmly believe that matching that ambition with the skills provided through Pathways will benefit all of us when they enter the workforce.” Through the expansion of Pathways to Progress, Citi and the Citi Foundation continue to work with municipal and community leaders to help young people secure jobs, begin to engage in the formal economy, and contribute positively to their cities. $50 million will be invested in the U.S. in cities including Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington DC and $50 million will be invested internationally in cities including Beijing, Casablanca, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Mumbai, São Paulo, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Warsaw, with a target to reach 500,000 young people globally. Select programming includes: “The constant urban demographic pressure at the level of the Grand Casablanca presents many challenges for all city dwellers, especially youth,” said Casablanca Mayor Abdelaziz El Omari. “To tackle this the city of Casablanca, has opted for smart urbanization based on an innovative strategy that links economic, political and social development and allows for the integration of technologies. To achieve this ambition, Casablanca boasts an original, participatory modus operandi in which youth, citizens, companies and local actors are invited to contribute to nurture the future of the city. We strongly believe that the Pathways to Progress program launched by the Citi Foundation aligns perfectly with our vision.” "The City of Madrid is delighted to collaborate with Citi Foundation and IESE Business School, within Citi’s Pathways to Progress program, to support entrepreneurship in the city of Madrid,” said Roberto Sanchez, General Manager of Innovation and City Promotion, Madrid. “Thanks to the projects which encompass four years of collaboration, we have helped many entrepreneurship projects to internationalize, innovate, grow and thus create economic wealth for our community." “With the rising youth unemployment rates globally, it’s imperative to help the youth build up their confidence and cultivate their leadership skills and competitiveness,” said Dr. Tien-Mu Huang, Vice Chairman, Financial Supervisory Commission, Republic of China (Taiwan). “The Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative not only helps disadvantaged youth get access to education and employment opportunities, but also utilizes Citi’s expertise and its people to mentor young people to discover their talents and realize their full potential for greater social impact. This has set a great example of social responsibility for corporates.” “This new commitment by the Citi Foundation will help organizations like Junior Achievement test and scale programming that helps more young people globally build a platform for their future success,” said Asheesh Advani, President and CEO, JA Worldwide. “We engage over 2,000 Citi volunteers each year who help deliver critical employability skills programming to millions of youth around the globe. Ensuring that young people do not get left behind is crucial to what we do and is what drives our work.” In the U.S., Pathways to Progress supported programming in 10 U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. Through the Foundation’s initial $50 million initiative, our impact includes: "Young people in Miami deserve the champions that match their optimism, diverse aspirations, and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. “Our work with the Citi Foundation has given us the ability to provide more opportunities, including summer jobs that invest in the economic health of our young people teaching them financial empowerment skills which long-term improve, our city, and our country.” “Through vital partnerships with the private sector, we are helping create more lasting foundational, career building opportunities for young people in St. Louis,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “Pathways to Progress was instrumental in helping us expand our STL Youth Jobs summer employment program, and with this new commitment this year, we look forward to helping empower even more of our future leaders.” In conjunction with the expanded Pathways to Progress investment, the Citi Foundation is also releasing the results of a survey of young people that will help inform the focus of its programs and partnerships. The study, conducted by Ipsos, found that despite political, economic, and social upheaval, young people around the world are optimistic about their career prospects, but face the reality of limited skills and opportunities. The global youth survey polled more than 7,000 young people ages 18-24 in 45 cities across 32 countries on all the continents except Antarctica between November 2016 and January 2017. “Youth labor markets are evolving rapidly, so are the aspirations and optimism of young women and men who are entering the labor market every day and are confronted by unemployment and/or low quality jobs”, said Azita Berar Awad, Director of the Employment Policy Department at the International Labour Organization. “Channeling the voices of youth from cities across the world, the Citi Foundation’s Global Youth Survey 2017 offers important insights on youth’s perceptions, calling for improved and coordinated action, because when young people have decent work, everyone benefits and our future is more prosperous.” “The Citi Foundation’s 2017 Global Youth Survey offers a fresh perspective on young people, a group that is often easily overlooked in political and economic discourse,” said Michael Rose AM, Chairman of The Committee for Sydney. “The results convey both optimism and concern: young people in Sydney are aspirational about their ability to succeed, but concerned about their career opportunities. The Committee for Sydney is passionate about promoting opportunities for young people, creating effective future leaders and ensuring that the city is a place for all to live and work. We look forward to taking these insights and working across sectors with partners like the Citi Foundation to ensure we match aspirations of today’s youth with opportunities for success.” “This new research will help us identify where we can best continue to invest our efforts to bridge the gap between the entrepreneurial aspirations of young people and the challenges they face,” said Andrew Devenport, CEO of Youth Business International. “Citi Foundation’s new commitment demonstrates the “all in” mentality we need if we are going to truly tackle youth unemployment and drive sustainable economic development in Europe and around the world.” For more information about Pathways to Progress and the study visit CitiFoundation.com. Follow @Citi on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and use the hashtag #Pathways2Progress to view more insights from the research and join the discussion with those interested in youth empowerment. Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Decent, salaried jobs in developing countries are rarely an option for people with disabilities, according to a new white paper, Situation of wage employment for people with disabilities: ten developing countries in focus. The result is that people with disabilities are denied one of their fundamental rights—the right to employment. Over the past six months, Handicap International researchers examined 24 of the 30 developing countries where the international NGO runs inclusive livelihoods projects, and then put ten countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia under the microscope to determine if people with disabilities are landing decent, freely chosen jobs. The findings are stark. “Individuals with disabilities are being systematically excluded from the opportunity to earn a living wage,” said Herve Bernard, head of the inclusion unit for Handicap International. “If they do land jobs, they almost always earn less money than their colleagues without disabilities. Exclusion of people with disabilities from work is simply unacceptable.” Handicap International produced the paper for the first annual Harkin International Disability Employment Summit, which takes place Dec. 8 and 9, in Washington, DC. The Summit, hosted by Senator Tom Harkin (Ret.), gathers more than 180 government officials, professionals with disabilities, business and civil society leaders, and activists from 30 countries to shine light on effective laws, policies and programs, and to find ways to create more job opportunities for people with disabilities. Handicap International is a member of the Harkin Summit planning committee, which includes The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University, Association of University Centers On Disabilities, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at University of Massachusetts (Boston), Poses Family Foundation, United States Business Leadership Network, and United States International Council on Disabilities. “The Harkin Summit is the first time we’ve brought so many global stakeholders together to focus exclusively on making workplaces more inclusive to people with disabilities,” said Bernard. “It’s paramount that we work together to help people with disabilities secure decent jobs, wherever they happen to live.” People with disabilities account for 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, according to the World Report on Disability. Eighty percent of people with disabilities live in developing countries. Yet good data on disability are hard to come by. Of the 24 countries surveyed, only China, Egypt, the Philippines, and Senegal devote a section of their national census to measuring employment rates of people with disabilities. The result is a murky understanding of the true economic impact of their exclusion. Globally, fewer than 20% of people with disabilities are working, according to the International Labour Organization. This exclusion stems from a wide variety of barriers, including physical and structural barriers at work, and high levels of discrimination in regard to their ability to work. Also, too few schools and training centers welcome students with disabilities, hindering their job readiness. Stereotypes about people with disabilities permeate the labor markets in developing countries. The paper notes that in West Africa, government representatives and senior business leaders said that if they did hire someone with a disability, they were motivated first by pity, and second by someone’s professional qualifications. Such discrimination not only denies people from a chance to support themselves and their families, but also to socialize with colleagues in a workplace. There are strong links between disability and poverty. Most jobs for people with disabilities in the study were in the informal sector, and wages are far lower for people with disabilities. Tunisians with disabilities, for instance, were earning 40% less than their people who didn’t have a disability, according to the paper. And in Colombia, a law states that companies cannot pay people with disabilities less than 50% of the minimum wage in sheltered workshops. The wage gap in formal sectors also worsened for women with disabilities. The paper found room for hope. Some local stakeholders, corporations, and service providers have established good policies and initiatives to provide more opportunities to people with disabilities. The ten-year-old United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, now ratified by 168 states, or three-quarters of the world’s nations, is giving people with disabilities more access to their basic human rights than ever before. “This paper will be the first piece of a more comprehensive data set and bank of best practices, so that more individuals with disabilities can enjoy decent work worldwide,” added Bernard. About Handicap International Handicap International is an independent international aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster for nearly 35 years. Alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, the organization's action and testimony are focused on responding to essential needs, improving living conditions, and promoting respect for dignity, and basic rights. Since its founding, Handicap International has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects and to increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Handicap International is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and the winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Handicap International takes action and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.


Genetic markers for regional cultivars persist in cotton fibers and can be detected in our proprietary assay STONY BROOK, NY--(Marketwired - February 27, 2017) - Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. ("Applied DNA," "The Company,") ( : APDN), a provider of DNA-based supply chain, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping and product authentication solutions, announced today that it has identified lead genetic markers that are unique to certain cotton cultivars grown in Uzbekistan, where forced human labor is used to cultivate the cotton. To date, the biomarkers have been tested in raw and ginned cotton. The testing of yarn and finished textiles is forthcoming. Applied DNA is looking for partners to aid in halting forced labor in cotton fields, while facilitating a global collaboration in identifying and highlighting Uzbek cottons that are harvested by modern machinery specifically without forced labor. The Company offers a molecular tagging and authentication service to brands and retailers who want to exclude adulteration by forensically proving the origin of their cotton. The platform is based on a unique molecular tag, known as "SigNature® T", applied at the point where locally grown cotton is ginned, and forensically authenticated at each stage of the supply chain to allow traceability for fibers to finished goods back to their origin. To date, multiple brands and retailers have SigNature T-tagged over 150 million pounds of US-grown cotton. Applied DNA proposes that machine harvesting and modern ginning be introduced to the Uzbek cotton industry as soon as possible, perhaps funded by governments, NGOs and the global cotton industry. Molecular markers supplied by the company could ensure that every relevant fiber is recognizable as free of forced labor. In collaboration with leaders within the cotton industry and cotton research, Uzbek cotton fibers could be introduced to the global market as a superior upland cotton, untainted by ethical compromise. Said Dr. James Hayward, President and CEO of Applied DNA: "Even if a retailer's brand were surreptitiously adulterated with Uzbek cotton, the damage to their equity would be irreparable. When combined with a program of molecular tagging at the source, our products and services can de-risk supply chains for every cotton retailer, brand and manufacturer." According to the Cotton Campaign, every year the Uzbek government forces more than a million Uzbek citizens -- including teachers, doctors and nurses -- to work long hours picking cotton for state-run industries under threat of penalties, including loss of their jobs or education. The government of Uzbekistan operates the largest forced-labor system of cotton production in the world. There is no region in Uzbekistan excluded from this system, so no Uzbek cotton is free from forced labor. Kirill Boychenko, Coordinator of the Cotton Campaign at the International Labor Rights Forum, stated: "DNA technology can help businesses and regulators enhance traceability and transparency in global supply chains. Applied DNA's advances in molecular tagging and cotton genotyping can provide technical guidance on cotton produced with forced labor from countries like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan that can then be used by brands, retailers, supply chain intermediaries and law enforcement to ensure responsible sourcing." More than 250 brands and retailers have signed, "The Cotton Pledge," promising not to knowingly source cotton from Uzbekistan. Growing consciousness of unethically-produced cotton among consumers is apparent in the results of a recent Harris Poll: roughly three in five Americans (61%) say if they discovered a brand made their bedding/clothing products from raw cotton that was picked by child/forced laborers, they would no longer purchase from that brand. The United States recognizes Uzbek cotton as a product made with forced labor and has stopped goods made with Uzbek cotton at the border under a law prohibiting import of goods made with forced labor. The California Transparency in Supply Chain Act requires businesses to report their efforts to combat forced labor in their supply chains. The Modern Slavery Act in the United Kingdom requires businesses that trade in at least £36 million in goods a year to report what steps, if any, they are taking to address forced labor in their supply chains. Until today, however, there has been no mechanism to discriminate fibers of Uzbek origin. Andrew Wallis, OBE, the catalyst behind the Modern Slavery Act, and Founder and CEO of Unseen, a UK charity that works towards a world without forced labor stated: "The innovative use of technology by Applied DNA Sciences to tackling some of the world's most complex problems -- transparency in supply chains and modern forced-labor abuses -- is to be applauded." Earlier this month, the French Parliament adopted a much-awaited law, which applies only to French companies, enforcing a "public vigilance" for corporations of their supply chains, for human rights and the environment. Similar laws are under consideration in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Uzbekistan is one of the largest exporters of cotton; sixth in the global economy. The countries that import the largest quantities of Uzbek cotton are also the countries that rank among the largest suppliers of finished textiles to the USA and UK, such as Bangladesh and China. Hidden labor rights abuses in global supply chains are increasingly being scrutinized by consumers, governments and intergovernmental organizations. It can be challenging for global brands to determine potential risks at every stage of the complex supply chains inherent in goods produced with cotton. This new technology offers companies aiming to minimize risk an opportunity for ensuring cotton made with forced labor from Uzbekistan does not slip into the goods they buy and produce. Recently, in a report submitted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations Agency, to the World Bank, third-party observations made clear that progress against forced labor in Uzbekistan is making significant strides. Uzbekistan has phased-out organized child labor, and the "risk has been reduced to the point where child labour (sic) has become socially unacceptable." However, forced labor does remain a risk for higher-level students, the staff of public and private agencies, and the staff of medical facilities. We make life real and safe by providing botanical-DNA based security and authentication solutions and services that can help protect products, brands, entire supply chains, and intellectual property of companies, governments and consumers from theft, counterfeiting, fraud and diversion. Our patented DNA-based solutions can be used to identify, tag, track, and trace products, to help assure authenticity, traceability and quality of products. SigNature® DNA describes the platform ingredient that is at the heart of a family of uncopyable, security and authentication solutions such as SigNature® T and fiberTyping®, targeted toward textiles and apparel, DNAnet®, for anti-theft and loss prevention, and digitalDNA®, providing powerful track and trace. All provide a forensic chain of evidence, and can be used to prosecute perpetrators. We are also engaged in the large-scale production of specific DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction. Go to adnas.com for more information, events and to learn more about how Applied DNA Sciences makes life real and safe. Common stock listed on NASDAQ under the symbol APDN, and warrants are listed under the symbol APDNW. The statements made by APDN in this press release may be "forward-looking" in nature within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe APDN's future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of APDN. Actual results could differ materially from those projected due to our short operating history, limited financial resources, limited market acceptance, market competition and various other factors detailed from time to time in APDN's SEC reports and filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on December 6, 2016, and our subsequent quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed on February 9, 2017, which are available at www.sec.gov. APDN undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date hereof to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, unless otherwise required by law.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

In the darkened corners of any town USA, there's an atrocity taking place that many people rarely acknowledge: human trafficking. It's prevalent, has destroyed millions of lives, and often unfolds closer to home than most think. The initiative N2GIVES supports organizations that fight this horrific reality, while restoring hope for those affected. The idea for N2GIVES came naturally for conceptualists Duane Hixon and Earl Seals. The founders of N2 Publishing – which produces more than 900 community magazines for neighborhoods around the country – Hixon and Seals long ago made "giving back" a core principle in the company's mission. Realizing the rampant damage caused by human trafficking, they decided to add this focus to N2's philanthropic efforts. "Our goal is to be really good at private business, so we can support people who are really good at running nonprofits," Hixon said. "These nonprofits have to spend so much money and time just to raise funds to keep their doors open. We want them to focus on what they're good at, which is fighting for the cause." According to the International Labour Organization, the human trafficking problem is big and growing each year. Recent studies estimate there are 20.9 million victims globally. Of this number, 68% of them are trapped in forced labor; 26% of them are children; and 55% are women and girls. While there is no official estimate on the number of victims in the United States, it's happening in cities – big and small – across the nation. N2, headquartered in Wilmington, NC, first got involved in the fight upon realizing that human trafficking existed in its own small coastal town. The company replaced its initial shock with the desire to do something about it – and fast. Hixon contacted a local nonprofit called A Safe Place and asked how his company could help. In getting to know the people who ran the organization, he found out about Patricia. She was a trafficking survivor, who had gone to school to become a social worker and now wanted to work at A Safe Place. There was one problem: The nonprofit could not afford to hire her. N2 stepped in, donating enough money to cover her salary. Earlier this month, N2 Publishing announced the 36 non-profit recipients of the more than $2 million the company is donating as a part of its N2GIVES initiative. As N2 grows, Hixon and Seals said so will the amount of their annual donations. "It's heartbreaking to hear about people with no voice," Hixon said. "To be able to help them, that is so fulfilling." For a full list of the recipients, visit http://www.n2gives.com/. About N2 Publishing Based in Wilmington, N.C., N2 Publishing, Inc. is "turning neighborhoods into communities" by partnering with affluent neighborhoods to produce private, monthly publications filled with resident-contributed content. Every N2 issue is personal, relevant, and unique to the community it serves. Visit N2 Publishing online at http://www.n2pub.com.

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