Better Brick Nepal - Former Project

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Situated at the nexus of business and social venture, GoodWeave works to end child labor in global supply chains, beginning first with the South Asian carpet industry and replicating its market-based approach in other sectors. There are striking similarities between the brick industry and the carpet sector in which GoodWeave has worked for nearly two decades to develop a market-based solution to end child labor, centered on an internationally-recognized best practice-child-labor-free certification standard and rigorous supply chain monitoring. Coupled with building market awareness and providing restorative services for child laborers, these strategies from transferable model that GoodWeave is eager in other informal sectors- such as the brick industry-to address human rights concerns.
The Better Brick Nepal (BBN) programme was initiated in August 2013 to address labor challenges in the brick industry. Global Fairness Initiative (GFI), GoodWeave (GW), and local Implementing Organizations (IOs) have partnered to implement the initiative. Humanity United (HU) is the primary donor to the program. The objective of the BBN program is to to eliminate child, forced, and bonded labor on brick kilns in Nepal by implementing an incentive-based system that creates improvements in labor and enterprise practices linked with a market demand for certified “Better Bricks". At present Better Brick Nepal Project is working in partnership with 40 kilns from 11 districts of Nepal through 5 Local Implementing Organizations (IOs).

Over the past four years, the program partners established a working model towards achieving certified better bricks. This model includes: 
  1. Establishing a market influence or other change lever to incentivize brick kiln owners to join Better Brick-Nepal and over time to improve labor rights practices.
  2. Create a meaningful Better Brick-Nepal Standard that includes principles on child labor, forced and bonded labor, wages and remuneration, healthy and safe working conditions, and no harsh or inhumane treatment; inspect the kilns against the requirements of the Standard, and remediate any cases of child labor. 
  3. Build the capacity of kiln owners and other supply chain actors to achieve the principles in the Better Brick-Nepal Standard over time, with the ultimate goal of achieving certification status.
  4. Offer Better Brick-Nepal Member kilns enterprise interventions that help improve kiln efficiency and ultimately profits, further motivating them to adhere to Better Brick-Nepal Standard requirements
The BBN Program utilizes a 'tiered' system of engagement' Applicant Kilns, Member Kilns, and Certified Kilns - to differentiate levels of progress towards the BBN Standards. BBN's levels of engagement and investment, and intensities of market facilitation and promotion for the kilns.

Applicant Kiln: Every kiln will start as an 'Applicant Kiln' and be provided a core set of training and technical assistance to orient them to the BBN Program and help them eliminate child labor.

Member Kiln: Once a kiln has been audited by a BBN representative from GoodWeave and verified to have no child labor, that kiln will graduate to a 'Member Kiln'. Over the next three years, with an option for extension, BBN will support that kiln in their reform efforts to meet the minimum criteria outlined in the BBN Standard while ensuring that continual progress is being made and that child labor remains non-existent. As a Member Kiln, the BBN Team will facilitate access to buyers interested in purchasing socially-responsibly produced bricks and will provide assistance to improve the viability of a kiln's business.

Certified Kiln: Once a Kiln has been audited by a BBN representative from GoodWeave and determined to be 'in compliance' (i.e. meeting all of the minimum criteria in the BBN Standard) that kiln will graduate to a 'Certified Kiln'. A Certified Kiln will receive preferential treatment in marketing to interested buyers, facilitated access to financing, and support in maintaining compliance and improving working conditions. A Certified Kiln will also be expected to be in continued compliance with the BBN Standards or risk losing their status.  

GoodWeave's engagements in the Better Brick Nepal project are to devise a full standard and certification system that is capable of issuing a certification to those kilns that achieve the criteria outlined in the BBN standard, audit kilns against the standard to identify corrective actions that address child labor; forced and bonded labor, and in humane working conditions in participating Better Brick kilns, provide remediation services for child laborers identified through audits and evolve the standard as deemed necessary. Under the BBN program, GoodWeave  is also leading on supporting brick kiln certification through designing and testing programs with a number of pilot kilns that show promise to break the cycle of debt condition between workers and kiln owners.

Click on a link below to view
BBN Standard Final Nepali
BBN Standard Final English
  Nepal GoodWeave Foundation
GPO Box: 12698, Kathmandu
House No. 346, Madan Ashrit Marg, Gothatar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-5148216/ 5148132
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