BaWü: Parliament decides to ban child labor tombstones

Today, Wednesday, January 27th, 2021, the state parliament in Baden-Württemberg decided that the municipalities may ban tombstones from child labor. It is now stipulated in the amendment law that this is to be proven by “proven certificates”. This includes XertifiX and other certificates that is “awarded authenticity on generally accessible and recognized platforms after evaluation of the certification process and publication of the results obtained”. The plus seal from XertifiX receives the top grade on such a platform from the federal government (best seal of all natural stone seals).

Please refer: 2021-01-27 BaWü Änderung_Bestattgesetz_Entwurf (German)

 

2021-01-27T17:13:31+01:00January 27th, 2021|

EU: Consultation on EU supply chain law

The EU Commission is currently conducting the public consultation on “Sustainable Corporate Governance”. Among other things, it also deals with corporate human rights and ecological due diligence.

In order to increase the pressure and maximize our chances of the Commission coming up with a strong proposal for a directive, it is important that as many individuals as possible also support the project.

“Raise your voice to hold business accountable!”

“We need as many people as possible to convince the European Commission to change the rules of the game to end corporate impunity and enforce human rights.

The clock is ticking.

Help us build pressure and have your say until 8 February 2021!

Companies and NOGs can enter their position directly on the EU website.

2021-01-22T13:07:42+01:00January 22nd, 2021|

Fact check: Can a supply chain law even be expected of the economy?

Again and again representatives of the economy raise the accusation that the economy in Germany is exposed to incalculable liability risks due to a supply chain law (SCL) or that the economy is disadvantaged compared to international competition. In this way you try to discredit the concerns of an SCL from the outset.

The Supply Chain Act initiative has taken a closer look at such allegations and examined what is actually in them. The aim of the fact check is to objectify the debate. It is shown that the question of liability is primarily “about reparation for serious individual cases”. The SCL is intended to close a legal loophole that arose in the first place through global cross-border trade, and is based only on the principles that are already customary in case law, such as the duty of care under tort law. And instead of causing a wave of lawsuits, an SCL should primarily have a preventive effect and instruct companies to set up “preventive management systems”. If a company fulfills its due diligence obligations adequately, it does not have to expect legal action. In part 2, the fact check presents specific examples (such as “copper mine in Peru”) where the company can be assumed to be liable, and those for which a company based in Germany does not have to reckon with legal action despite damage (such as “pineapple plantation from Costa Rica “).

Plese refer: “Verhältnismäßig und zumutbar: Haftung nach dem Lieferkettengesetz” (German)

2020-09-02T11:50:17+02:00September 2nd, 2020|

Supply chain law: This has to be there!

While little is made public, the federal ministries are currently wrestling violently over the content of a supply chain law. Economics Minister Altmaier and other opponents of strong regulation are doing everything they can to water down the supply chain law. This concerns the question of the size of companies from which the law should affect, whether civil liability should be abolished and the law should be made toothless, or whether environmental issues should be excluded from the law. For a supply chain law to work, it would have to meet certain minimum requirements.

This is presented by the Supply Chain Act initiative: That must be included in the supply chain law!

2020-08-27T10:05:40+02:00August 27th, 2020|

Write a protest mail to Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier now!

No more blocking human rights and environmental protection: in the last few weeks we have come much closer to a supply chain law. Federal Ministers Heil and Müller have announced that they will present a law. The Chancellor has meanwhile also spoken out in favor of a supply chain law – as has more and more German companies. Only one continues to try to block: Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier.

Numerous examples show that people and the environment all over the world suffer from the unscrupulous dealings of German companies. And after years of research, one thing is clear: only a few German companies make voluntary efforts to protect human rights and environmental protection. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Economic Affairs warns against a “quick shot” – one thing is clear: It is high time to act!

Participate now and write a protest mail to Altmaier!

The coalition agreement – and incidentally also a CDU party congress resolution! – says clearly: If companies do not voluntarily adhere to human rights, a supply chain law must come. We therefore demand from Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier: finally take human rights and the protection of the environment seriously! No more delaying and watering down!
The Corona crisis has shown: Companies that know their supply chains and rely on reliable partnerships are more crisis-proof. A supply chain law that enshrines human rights and environmental due diligence obligations in law would be a boost to sustainability for the German economy. Now is the time to ensure respect for human rights and the protection of the environment in global supply chains. This opportunity must not be wasted on the stubbornness of the Minister of Economics!

Please join in now and urge the minister: Don’t stand in the way of a supply chain law any longer!

2020-08-27T09:56:18+02:00August 6th, 2020|

Letter to Federal Minister Müller on the Supply Chain Act

In view of the resistance from the economy to the planned supply chain law, the XertifiX chairman Ingrid Sehrbrock and the treasurer Peter Weiß wrote a letter to Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller wrote, in which they support the minister against all opposition to pass the supply chain law agreed in the coalition agreement during this legislative period.

We keep hearing legitimate doubts from our licensees as to how companies that comply with their due diligence and, for example, have their supply chains checked by XertifiX, should compete against other companies that do nothing of the kind. There is an imbalance in the market economy that needs to be remedied. A supply chain law is a very suitable instrument for this! It is not for nothing that large companies such as the Rewe Group, Tchibo or Nestlé stand behind such a law. We expect that given the importance of the new law for the entire German economy, the German Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmeier will also give up his resistance and proactively support the law.

2020-09-01T14:29:15+02:00July 16th, 2020|

German economy is opposed to the Supply Chain Act

Today, Tuesday (July 14th, 2020), Federal Minister Müller has published the percentage of German companies that fulfill their duty of care with regard to supply chains. The minister had already indicated that this would probably be less than 50% of the companies required. The survey of companies has shown, however, that only 22% of the companies based in Germany meet the relatively low requirements of the survey (NAP monitoring). In this case, a statutory regulation is provided for in the coalition agreement.

Unfortunately, the economy is struggling to meet its obligations and is trying to prevent such a law. Four associations (BDI, BDA, DIHK, and HDE) have published a statement saying: “We are rejecting the … idea of introducing a national German due diligence law”.

That’s a scandal!

Johannes Heeg, spokesman for the Supply Chain Act, comments on this:

„This result is stunning twice: First, the business lobby does everything to ensure that the requirements for the survey are as low as possible – and then the companies obviously fail because of it. This is the only way to protect human rights and the environment. The federal government must now keep its promise from the coalition agreement and without further delay put in place a supply chain law!“

Please refer (Finanzen.net, German): Deutsche Wirtschaft stemmt sich gegen Lieferkettengesetz 

Please refer (German): Massive Einflussnahme von Wirtschaftslobby auf Menschenrechts-Test der Bundesregierung – Unternehmen offenbar dennoch durchgefallen

Please refer to the paper: VERWÄSSERN – VERZÖGERN – VERHINDERN: WIRTSCHAFTSLOBBY GEGEN MENSCHENRECHTE UND UMWELTSTANDARDS

2020-09-01T14:52:21+02:00July 14th, 2020|

Bishops demand that companies comply with human rights

In a unique appeal, more than 110 bishops from all over the world accuse: irresponsible companies “… avoid taxes that could serve to build up and maintain public services of general interest as hospitals or schools; they pollute the soil, water and air or make themselves guilty of serious human rights violations around the world, such as forced labor and child labor. Some transnational corporations are threatening governments with lawsuits with extrajudicial dispute settlement mechanisms if environmental or social laws jeopardize their profits. This profit-driven system and the associated disposable mentality must be questioned more than ever today. ” A voluntary commitment does not seem to be enough to respect environmental protection and human rights. We have experienced this to an increasing extent in recent decades.

For this reason – according to the bishops – it is time for legal regulations. A French law on due diligence is a positive example. Such a law is also being debated in Germany and other countries. The bishops are therefore calling on governments to finally take action and enact specific laws to protect the environment and human rights.

We are convinced that such laws can bring tangible improvements for people if they do
provide access to effective remedies for those concerned!”

Call of the bishops (German): Sorgfaltspflichten für globale Lieferketten – Gegen Menschenrechtsverstöße durch Unternehmen und für weltweite Solidarität!

2020-07-15T10:55:41+02:00July 9th, 2020|

XertifiX supports the Supply Chain Act initiative

The initiative advocates a supply chain law in Germany! The aim is for a law to be enacted during this legislative period, which obliges companies in Germany to respect human rights and environmental protection abroad, and makes the company liable for violations of human rights abroad. In Germany, there is currently an opportunity for such a law: The Federal Government has announced in the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP) that it will consider introducing a law if less than 50% of the large German companies implement human rights due diligence procedures by 2020 to have. Minister Müller stated in the “Report from Berlin” on June 7th, 2020 that it is becoming apparent that only approx. 30% of the companies answered in questionnaires that they were reviewing the human rights situation in their supply chains. That is well below the required 50% of companies. Therefore it is now time for such a law – which has already been worked out by the ministers Müller and Heil in key points.

However, there is strong headwind from business and business lobby groups. This is why the Supply Chain Act initiative is so important to signal to ministers and politicians that such a law is required and supported by a large part of civil society. Everyone can also express this wish on the campaign website: Petition to Chancellor Merkel  Please sign too!

Please have a look: Initiative Lieferkettengesetz 

Case studies:

Other materials:

2020-07-07T16:20:14+02:00July 7th, 2020|

World Day Against Child Labor

Why child labor not only harms children but also adults…….

“It would be nice if we could report on the World Day Against Child Labor that children no longer have to work and can instead attend schools, free of charge, close to where they live and until they graduate,” explains the chairwoman of XertifiX e.V. and former vice of the German Trade Union Confederation, Ingrid Sehrbrock.

“But it’s not that far yet. There is progress, of course: According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 246 million child workers were recorded in 2000, in 2017 it was “only” 152 million. Still, far too many. In addition, the promising decline in recent years has slowed considerably. The children’s aid organization UNICEF fears that at the same pace there will still be 121 million child workers in 2025.

Almost all countries in the world have committed themselves to completely abolish all forms of child labor, starting with the worst, by 2025. ”

The “worst forms of child labor” include (ILO Convention No. 182 of 1999): slavery and slave-like dependencies, forced labor including the use of child soldiers, child prostitution and child pornography, criminal activities such as the abuse of children as drug couriers and other forms of work that can endanger the safety and health of children.

In many sectors of the economy worldwide, children are massively exploited worldwide despite efforts that cannot be denied, be it in the carpet weaving mill, in the textile industry or in stone processing companies.

Of course, it is primarily up to the state to remedy the situation. But weak states that do not enforce the law, corruption and a lack of jobs cement the situation.

Children are not only exposed to harmful substances, work in dangerous environments, up to 12 hours a day, and are paid less than adults.

A vicious circle: because the parents have no work, the children work. And because the children work, the adults are unemployed.

Can consumers outline the rudder? How can consumers recognize that e.g. B. a natural stone that you want to use for paving in the garden was not produced by children?

If you ask people on the street or in a DIY market, the vast majority are convinced that they should buy fair trade products. But when it comes to the question of how to tell whether one of the many social seals is good or not, most of them cannot tell.

Our seal is on the S i e g e l k l a r h e i t portal, which the Federal Government (BMZ) has set up for more transparency

XertifiX Plus

the seal with the best rating (very good choice). We are proud of that.

If, as a consumer, you want to do something about child labor and you care about the working conditions – also for adults –

  • only buy fair trade products
  • ask retailers if and how they can ensure that their products are not from child labor
  • find out more on the S i e g e l k l a r h e i t portal

Consumers can help ensure that work takes place in decent conditions. Contribute to it!

“The World Day Against Child Labor on June 12th should – once again – remind us all,” warns the chairwoman of XertifiX eV Ingrid Sehrbrock.

Press release: XertifiX zum Welttag gegen Kinderarbeit (German)

2020-06-10T16:10:28+02:00June 10th, 2020|
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