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Towards ethical and sustainable supply chains: Promoting decent work for homeworkers in South Asia

Global supply chains are an engine of economic growth and job creation for many countries in South Asia. However, they can also be sources of inequality and social exclusion in the absence of sound employment policies and practices. Failures at different levels within global supply chains lead to serious problems in working conditions, particularly for those workers at the bottom of the chain. The most vulnerable tend to be dependent outworkers, the majority of whom are women who work in off-site facilities, often their own homes. As “homeworkers” they are less likely to be recognized as workers entitled to social protection or skills development, and they lack bargaining power.

This project examines the employment relationships and working conditions of homeworkers in global supply chains in India and Nepal. It will provide evidence on key issues faced by this disadvantaged category of workers within global supply chains and contribute to policy reforms towards decent jobs for them.

The project will undertake advocacy and awareness campaigns with the different stakeholders, especially the global companies and local authorities, harnessing their collaboration throughout the project; collect and analyze data on employment relationships and working conditions of homeworkers; and undertake capacity building and outreach activities for key stakeholders to disseminate the results of the study in a way that promotes action and policy reforms.

HomeNet South Asia Trust, a network of home-based workers’ organizations, will lead the project in partnership with the Indian Institute for Human Settlements.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Gillian Dowie
Total Funding
CA$ 886,200.00
Employment and Growth
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Institution Country
Project Leader
Janhavi Dave
HomeNet South Asia Trust