Human Rights

Respect for human rights is essential to a sustainable future

What's at Stake

The sad truth about some of world’s most commonly traded goods—coffee, chocolate, tea, bananas, palm oil, and timber—is that their production often involves human rights abuses. Child labor, forced labor, poor working conditions, gender inequality, and the violation of Indigenous land rights are embedded in many such supply chains.

Women harvesting coffee in India

Women harvesting coffee in India

Rural Poverty Drives Deforestation

Respect for human rights is essential to a sustainable future. If women farmers had equal resources and rights, for example, they could increase their farms’ yields by 20 to 30 percent, reducing pressure on the forests we all depend on for a stable climate. Similarly, protecting the land rights of Indigenous and local people—who manage almost a quarter of the world’s land—is key to protecting the Earth for future generations.

 

Our Work

Our Work: Human Rights

The Rainforest Alliance brings together producers, companies, governments, nonprofit organizations, and consumers to advance human rights in the landscapes where we work. We work on a macro level—transforming business practices and government policy—as well as within our own certification system and sustainable development initiatives to promote the human rights of our partner communities.

A coffee farmer holding coffee beans in Rwanda

On Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, employers must meet legal minimum wages and demonstrate progress toward paying a living wage

Advancing the Human Rights of Rural People

The well-being of farmers and farmworkers is central to the long-term sustainability of any agriculture business—which is one reason that addressing human rights abuses in agriculture is a key focus of our work. We also work to protect the rights of Indigenous and local people, who are the world’s most effective forest guardians.

Learn more about how we are working to achieve our mission.
 
Our Impact

Our Impact

Supporting the economic and social health of rural communities is central to our mission. Our field results, backed by independent studies, demonstrate that sustainable livelihood opportunities can interrupt the destructive cycle of poverty and deforestation—and foster a culture of conservation.

amount earned by indigenous and forest communities

US $1.5 million

earned by our Madre de Dios partner communities

Earnings by our Madre de Dios partner communities from 2012 to 2015

Building a Sustainable Forest Economy

Nearly 15,000 people are directly employed by the Brazil nut industry in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon. We've trained indigenous communities throughout the region in sustainable harvesting and processing methods that enabled them to dramatically increase revenues.

Student icon

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 create a better future for people and nature.

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.