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Steps Towards a Living Wage in Global Supply Chains

Almost a century after the ILO Constitution recognized the need for workers to earn a living wage, the question of whether wages enable workers to meet their needs and those of their families has gained renewed momentum. Much has been written on the issue, but very little that assesses how companies are implementing it, and the outcomes. In this paper, we outline the root causes of low wages, the barriers to ensuring a living wage is paid and the compelling reasons for responsible companies to act now. We give credit for steps taken in a range of sectors, provide a framework for deeper change and signpost initiatives that are aligned with this. The aim is to help companies who source from developing countries understand and tackle the issue and see what success looks like from an Oxfam perspective.

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