Speaker - Charles Kernaghan

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Charles Kernaghan is director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (the Institute). Kernaghan first became involved in the protection of worker rights while on an international religious peace march through Central America in the mid-80s, when scores of union leaders were being assassinated.

Kernaghan joined the Institute (then National Labor Committee) in 1988 and became its director in 1991. He is perhaps best known as "the man who made Kathie Lee cry" after exposing that 13-year-old children were working in a brutal Honduran sweatshop earning just pennies an hour sewing Kathie Lee Gifford's clothing line for Wal-Mart. Kernaghan's work is widely recognized as having launched the anti-sweatshop movement in the U.S.

Kernaghan has testified frequently in the U.S. Congress, documenting gross worker rights violations in China, Bangladesh, Central America and Jordan, where the Institute exposed the descent of the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement into the human trafficking of tens of thousands of young foreign guest workers, who were stripped of their passports and forced to work 15 hours a day, cheated on their wages, often beaten and half-starved.

Kernaghan has spoken at over 200 universities and has been featured in better than a dozen documentary films.

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