Human Rights

Dignity for All

What's at Stake

Deforestation frequently occurs in tandem with human rights violations; the agricultural sector is rife with abuses as well. In vulnerable landscapes, poverty, violence, displacement, labor violations, and the disenfranchisement of forest communities and farm workers threaten the dignity of people and the health of forests. 

United Nations flag
Photo credit: iStock

Human Rights and Sustainable Development

The international human rights framework has evolved significantly since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Since then, international bodies have adopted various conventions to articulate in depth the economic, social, and cultural rights that the UDHR described in general terms, including those deemed essential to sustainable development.

Vietnamese man tilling field

Vietnamese man tilling field

Photo credit: Charlie Watson

Farmworkers and Human Rights

In our industrial, globalized economy, human rights abuses occur throughout the agricultural supply chain. Labor rights violations have received widespread attention, but the lack of access to economic opportunity, the displacement of indigenous populations, and threats to food security pose urgent problems for companies, governments, and citizens seeking to build an ethical economy.

Our Work

Our Work in Human Rights

The Rainforest Alliance fosters a holistic vision of development that emphasizes the environmental, economic, and social rights of farming and forest communities. Although training and certification cannot solve entrenched, systemic oppression, they are powerful tools for incremental, positive, and widespread change.

Our Impact

Our Impact

The impacts of our training and certification work are best measured by long-term improvements to the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the communities with which we work. Net income, worker health, and access to education are some of the metrics we use to examine how well we are advancing human rights.

Human rights

Ranked #1

In overall social indices for voluntary sustainability standards

The Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) achieved the highest overall social indices score in an independent 2014 comparison of sustainability certification schemes: https://www.iisd.org/pdf/2014/ssi_2014.pdf. The subcategories include labor rights, health and safety, working conditions, and human rights.

Strengthening Rights and Protections

The Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) achieved the highest overall social indices score in an independent 2014 comparison of sustainability certification schemes. The subcategories include labor rights, health and safety, working conditions, and human rights.

students worldwide who have studied our environmental curriculum

2 additional years

spent in school by children who live on certified farms 

In Colombia, a 2013 study found that children on Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms stayed in school two years longer than the children of noncertified farmers (completing 13 years of schooling versus 11 years).

Improved Educational Access

In Colombia, a 2013 study found that children on Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms stayed in school two years longer than the children of noncertified farmers (completing 13 years of schooling versus 11 years).

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
 
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to help rebalance the earth.

Tikal ruins, Maya Biosphere Reserve

We’re helping to empower forest-dependent communities while protecting the stunning landscape and biodiversity of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.

Tea plucker

We’re improving life for community members by advocating for workers' rights, advancing projects that promote gender equity, and expanding access to education.

People collecting dirty river water

Around the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.