Levi's Children: Coming to Terms With Human Rights in the Global Marketplace (December, 2000)
by Karl Schoenberger
"Overthe last decade, ugly allegations of corporate complicity in human rights violations have exploded into one of the most controversial issues of our times, even inspiring massive demonstrations in Seattle at the World Trade Organization's meeting in the fall of 1999. Using the story of Levi Strauss & Company as a guide, Levi's Children offers a much-needed perspective on the challenges faced by businesses and activists alike...The company earned the praise of human rights activists for initiating a groundbreaking global code of conduct in 1991 before a national furor forced other companies to adopt similar codes. A year later, Levi Strauss was one of the first multinationals to withdraw from Burma, repudiating the repressive military junta. Yet the reversal of its China policy in 1998, five years after it said it would phase out sourcing relationships there on human rights grounds, reveals Levi's struggle to balance ethical values against profits.Schoenberger takes a critical look at Levi Strauss's decisions, placing them in the larger context of the contentious human-rights debate. He is deeply sensitive to the interests and limitations of multinationals, yet he also calls on them to engage proactively in protecting the rights of citizens of foreign countries where they do business. He stresses the need for rigorous corporate transparency that honestly informs the public of business practices." [from the dust jacket]
New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000. 290 pages.
Call number: ILR HD 9940 U6 L457x 2000