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Study: Proposals to regulate audits and certifications

The purpose of the new study was to analyze how well the NAP UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and where there are still deficits. It should also be developed which important new topics in the field of human rights have meanwhile been added. Regarding the latter point, it is noticeable that in 2015 audits and certifications still had no role in the Report played. In contrast, the new study from 2022 makes some suggestions for the classification and further development of audits and certifications.

This is due to the fact that audits are playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of supply chain laws such as the LkSG. On the one hand, this is good news, but on the other hand, it also makes it clear that the legislature must pay more attention to the quality and reliability of certifications. Among other things, it proposes:

  • The federal government should define binding quality criteria that make it possible to measure the validity of audits and certifications and to establish comparability between different providers.
  • There should be an independent quality check and monitoring of sustainability labels and certifications.
  • Seals should be awarded by independent third parties and not by the manufacturing companies themselves.
  • In the context of the implementation of the LkSG, seals/certifications should only have a supporting function and should not be approved as “safe harbour” solutions for companies.

XertifiX would expressly welcome it if the government would take more action in this area in order to achieve quality assurance for the audits and certifications offered and used on the market. Especially with a view to smaller companies (“SMEs”), it must be emphasized that reliable seals/certifications can take on a significant relieving function, which should not be underestimated. But even in these cases, it goes without saying that the “ultimate responsibility” and liability for their own supply chains must always lie with the companies themselves.

Please refer: National Baseline Assessment: Contribution to updating the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (German)

bzw.: pdf (German)

2022-08-29T16:03:44+02:00August 25th, 2022|

ILO report: Link between social protection and child labour

As many know, simply condemning child labor as such is far too short-sighted. One also has to consider the context that leads to child labor. We shouldn’t just blame employers for employing child labourers. We also need to examine: How do these and other employers pay adult workers? Are living wages paid? Are there social security systems that benefit workers? Is occupational safety important to prevent (avoidable) accidents? etc.

A new joint study by the ILO and UNICEF demonstrates the direct connection between social security systems and child labour. The study also makes concrete suggestions as to how social security systems should be structured in order to prevent child labour.

Please refer: The role of social protection in the elimination of child labour

2022-06-30T17:01:55+02:00June 30th, 2022|

Health and safety as the 5th ILO core convention

In a landmark decision, the United Nations International Labor Conference (ILC) ruled that “health and safety at work” should be upgraded as the fifth ILO core labor standard. Every year, 3 million workers die at work and tens of millions of workers suffer injuries and illnesses from their jobs.

Unions will now stand up worldwide to ensure that as many countries as possible adopt and implement all ILO conventions on health and safety, such as the right to risk consultation, elimination of toxic substances, provision of appropriate protective equipment and the implementation of protective measures and training.

Please refer: ILO: Major breakthrough on occupational health and safety

 

2022-06-21T11:06:46+02:00June 21st, 2022|

Europ. Supply chain law: more than 100 companies make demands on the EU Commission

More than 100 companies and investors are calling for an effective EU supply chain law. Various companies such as Ikea, Danone, Epson and Hapag-Lloyd as well as numerous outdoor companies such as Vaude, Schöffel, Jack Wolfskin and Deuter have published a statement with demands on this.

At the beginning of the statement, the companies express great concern that the publication of a proposal for a corresponding law by the EU Commission has been significantly delayed (see below), and they call on the EU Commission to finally meet its responsibility.

A total of 5 demands are mentioned that the EU Commission should take into account, which include: The legislation must apply to all companies so that the same competitive conditions are created for all companies (and not, as in Germany, for companies from 3000 (from 2023 ) or 1000 (from 2024) employees). The due diligence obligations should apply to the entire value chain (and not only to the first supplier, as is the case in German law). And the law should contain a liability rule that allows victims to obtain compensation (which is also not provided for in German law).

The EU Commission has now announced that it will publish its draft on February 23, 2022. We will report here as soon as the draft is available.

See: Making EU legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence effective

2022-02-09T16:42:46+01:00February 9th, 2022|

New federal government is committed to the supply chain law

SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and the FDP today presented the coalition agreement to the future federal government. In it they commit themselves to the German and the planned EU supply chain law. The “Initiative Supply Chain Act” comments on this:

This announcement must now be followed by action: the new federal government should actively campaign for an effective EU supply chain law in Brussels. Those affected by human rights violations finally need the opportunity to sue for damages from companies. The EU supply chain law must make a contribution to climate and environmental protection. And it must ensure that due diligence obligations apply without gradations for the entire value chain – as provided for in the UN Guiding Principles.

Please refer: Coalition agreement “Dare to make more progress. Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Sustainability “

See: Initiative supply chain law

2021-11-24T17:26:54+01:00November 24th, 2021|

Call for donations in 2021!

Unfortunately, we are currently receiving worrying news from India. The Indian mutation of the corona virus ensures a massive spread of the virus and extremely high mortality. There is a lack of medical equipment and medicines. Internationally, India is therefore also supported by governments. However, the renewed strict lockdown in many parts of the country poses a further threat to the population. This is how we hear from our auditors in India:

“There is a strict lockdown in Rajasthan. People cannot move from one district to another. This affects the livelihood of many workers who used to go to work in the cities and return in the evening. […]

The government appeals to employers to look after their workers and provide payments and all possible assistance for their welfare. In many places, however, this is not implemented. The permanent workers of the production site / factories receive the monthly payment from their employer / owner, but contract workers or day laborers do not have this privilege. Local workers who migrated from one district to another are affected by travel restrictions as well as less production work.”

So many employees (contract workers or day laborers) and their families are threatened with hunger. There is also a lack of hygiene articles and protective equipment to be able to protect themselves effectively against the corona virus. As in the previous year, we want to provide direct help to the most severely affected employees through our auditors.

Please help too!

We know that this time is very difficult for all of us too! But if you can still do without something, it would be wonderful! In this case, please donate with the donation keyword “Corona” an:

XertifiX Sozialprojekte e.V.

We collect the money and send it directly to our partners in India. They will use the money for food for those in need in this corona crisis. 100% of the money reaches the needy.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

2021-05-17T17:30:47+02:00May 17th, 2021|

Marie Nasemann on the Supply Chain Act (in German)

Marie Nasemann, model, presenter, actress and fair fashion blogger calls for a strong supply chain law in a video and thus draws attention to the supply chain letter.

Please refer:
Twitter: @marie__nasemann
Instagram @marienasemann, @fairknallt
Facebook @MarieNasemann

2021-05-05T09:52:23+02:00May 5th, 2021|

ZDF “HeuteShow” on the Supply Chain Act

The ZDF on the background of the contribution:
“It is intended to help respect human rights, curb child labor and starvation wages worldwide: The Federal Government’s Supply Chain Act. German companies are to be obliged to ensure that local social and ecological standards are met by foreign suppliers. The law is to apply from 2023 to companies with more than 3,000 employees and from 2024 to companies with more than 1,000. The Federal Cabinet passed the draft law on March 3, and it was debated in the Bundestag in April.

In mid-February, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU), Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) and Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) presented the draft of the Supply Chain Act at a press conference. In addition to Hubertus Heil, Gerd Müller in particular is considered a staunch supporter of the law. At the meeting he emphasized, for example, that the importance of the supply chain law goes beyond Germany: “It triggers a debate in Germany and in Europe about the future of globalization, about fair globalization.” Müller’s aim was to get companies to commit to violations of human rights also have to be civilly liable within the supply chains – this was not implemented in the current decision, however. […]

The CDU Economic Council in particular is working hard on the supply chain law and is trying to prevent it or at least dilute it. In February he called on the Union parliamentary group to stop “this project”: “In the middle of the Corona crisis, the SPD is stubbornly working on its left ideological issues, while numerous entrepreneurs are afraid of their existence.“

Please refer: What the Fakt!? Lieferkettensägenmassaker – Was bringt das deutsche Lieferkettengesetz? (German)

2021-05-05T08:47:59+02:00May 3rd, 2021|

ILO: International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has called 2021 the year for the elimination of child labor. Individuals and companies are called upon to be particularly active this year in order to jointly fight child labor worldwide!

Everyone is called:

  • Write to a decision maker
  • Raise funds for a charity or school dealing with prevention of child labour
  • Read about fair trade and how it benefits children of poor families
  • Educate yourself and then share what you learn with friends, family, co-workers, and others, and work together to increase your “voting” power

“Individuals have power when they work together in a coordinated global movement.”

Companies and other stakeholders are called upon:

  • Give action pledge in 2021, e.g.:Development of a regional roadmap for ending child labor with milestones that can be reached based on time and suggested resource allocations.
  • Draft new laws and / or guidelines to encourage public procurement as a tool to combat child labor.
  • Development of a regional fund to end child labor in 2021.

It is recommended that you download the Action Pledge – Practical Guide:

2021 Stakeholder Action Pledge – Practical-Guide

2021-04-20T10:04:54+02:00April 20th, 2021|

Supply Chain Act: The Bundestag has to improve!

As reported, the federal government finally agreed on a draft of the supply chain law last week! Good thing: This is the first time that companies’ human rights due diligence obligations are regulated in Germany.

But the bill is not enough, because:

  • It stipulates that companies only have to take action with indirect suppliers when there are concrete indications of human rights violations. That is absurd!
  • In addition, there is no civil liability rule. People affected by human rights violations will continue to find it difficult to claim damages from German courts.
  • The draft law takes too little account of environmental standards!
  • The law should only apply to around 2,900 companies with more than 1,000 employees.

The good news: the law is not ready yet. In April the Bundestag will discuss the Supply Chain Act. The MPs then have the opportunity to request improvements.

Ask your MP to take action accordingly. The Supply Chain Act initiative has prepared a serial letter with which you can write to your MPs directly. Practical: You just enter your postcode and the members of your constituency appear for selection. Therefore:

Write a supply chain letter now!

2021-03-15T15:40:33+01:00March 15th, 2021|

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