Quotes on the Impact of the Institute



Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) 

"Charles Kernaghan is a legitimate American hero... Through his determination he has forced the leadership in our country and many other countries around the world to pay attention.  Kernaghan has done more to expose child labor than has the whole Department of Labor that has a budget of hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, because he has the guts and determination to do it."

Leo Gerard, USW International President, United Steelwoneworkers Union, August 2010

"It is a testament to the groundbreaking work of Charlie and the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights that they have been able hold some of the world's largest multinationals accountable and win significant improvements in worker rights. In addition, Charlie's research has become a valuable resource for the U.S. Congress and international media outlets."

The New York Times

"Charles Kernaghan is the labor movement's mouse that roared...Women's Wear Daily, the fashion industry's bible, recently wrote, ‘Charles Kernaghan and his anti-sweatshop battle have been shaking up the issue of labor abuses in the apparel industry like nothing since the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.'"

Noam Chomsky, The Nation

"In some ways, [the student anti-sweatshop movement] is like the anti-apartheid movement, except that in this case its striking at the core of the relations of exploitation.  Much of this was initiated by Charlie Kernaghan of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights..."

John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO

"Because of GLHR's crusades... we're beginning to learn the awful truth about workers around the world who are slaving away their lives in sweatshops, who are denied the right to join or form a union in order to fight back and provide a better life for their families."

Naomi Klein, No Logo

"GLHR... has used Greenpeace-style media antics to draw more public attention to the plight of sweatshop workers than the multimillion - dollar international trade union movement has achieved in almost a century."

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit 

"In the struggle for the rights of the poor in Central America and other places where globalization is bringing its negative effects, there is no organization more effective than the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights."

Chicago Tribune

"If you've ever checked the tag on a polo shirt, wondering where it was made, and whether workers there are treated fairly, Charles Kernaghan has touched your life.  He heads the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, a New York-based group that campaigns against sweatshops and for workers' rights worldwide.  It has taken on some of the biggest names in the nation's apparel and clothing industries.  College campuses not too long ago shook with student protests based on the group's overseas work.  It's a tiny operation, but Kernaghan, a graduate of Chicago's Loyola University, seems to have the drive of 100 workaholic CEOs.  Labor unions and the clergy closely support the group's work."

The New York Times

"Even companies that Mr. Kernaghan has not focused on have begun cleaning up their factories, if only to avoid his wrath."

Charles Derber, Professor, Boston College, People Before Profit

"The Upton Sinclair of today's global economy is Charles Kernaghan, the New York based muckraker most famous for his expose of sweatshops producing the Kathie Lee Gifford line of clothing for Wal-Mart.... The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights... has been a leader in exposing sweatshops, mounting corporate campaigns, and fighting for the rights of vulnerable workers."

Ralph Nader, A Growing Movement: International Labor Rights

"The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights... have pressured retailers on campus and off to publicly disclose the factory names and addresses."

Honduran maquila worker Lydda Gonzalez

(Worker fired for attempting to organize a union in the SETISA factory, where she worked producing "Sean John"clothing) "We could never have dreamed that we would find such warmth, interest and solidarity in the United States.  We want to thank the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.  If there were ten Charles Kernaghans, the world would be different."

Reverend David Dyson, Chair, People of Faith Network

"In the Book of Proverbs it says ‘Without a vision, people perish.' But without a vehicle the vision has not wheels. The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights has been that vehicle for 20 years, speaking truth to power and common decency to the American people."

Washington Post, Sunday, July 31, 2005 "The Man Who Made Kathie Lee Cry"

"For more than a decade, Kernaghan's Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights—four staffers including himself—has launched a steady stream of highly publicized campaigns, taking on the labor practices at factories producing clothes for Liz Claiborne, Fruit of the Loom, the Gap, Disney, JCPenney, Kmart, Kohl's, Nike, Target, Levi Strauss and Sean Jean.

"And who could forget Kathie Lee?  Kernaghan will perhaps forever be known as the activist who made Kathie Lee Gifford cry when he revealed during congressional testimony in 1996 that child laborers in Honduras were making the Gifford clothing line sold at Wal-Mart."