German economy is opposed to the Supply Chain Act

Today, Tuesday (July 14th, 2020), Federal Minister Müller wants to publish what percentage of German companies fulfill their due diligence obligations regarding the supply chains. The minister has already indicated that this is expected to be below 50% of the companies required. In this case, a legal regulation is provided 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

2020-07-15T10:54:41+02:00July 14th, 2020|

Bundestag motion: ban on child labor products

Members of the Bundestag are proposing that the import, trade and use of products made by exploitative child labor be banned. It also calls for “… to campaign internationally against exploitative child labor in accordance with ILO Convention 182, in particular to initiate and advocate regulations on trade bans and the prevention of market access for stone and other products manufactured in this way in the World Trade Organization to enforce the ban in EU member states. ”

Please refer (German): Bundestagsantrag

2020-07-10T08:30:36+02:00July 10th, 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|

Call for donations!

The dangerous corona virus threatens people worldwide and here with us!

The necessary protective measures against the virus mean that we are all massively restricted in everyday life, at work, in favorite jobs and in contacts. In other parts of the world – however – the actually well-intentioned protective measures directly threaten the life and existence of people. You probably know from the media and we, especially from our partners in India, that the state-prescribed lockdown creates huge problems. India’s economy lives from millions of unorganized day laborers (92 percent of employees), a large number of women who work in factories, construction sites, households and in agriculture. Many live away from their families in mass accommodation or in the slums of the big cities.
Many people have no savings as day laborers. If work and income no longer exist, there is simply no money to buy the necessary daily food. People are starving. The state does provide people with food if they are registered. Many people could not be registered and therefore do not receive the support.

Our auditors Mr. Rajnath and Mr. Susai have therefore taken the initiative and are providing the essentials for people, especially migrants who work in the quarries. Our partner organizations “Vikas Sansthan” and “GRAVIS” support the people in Firozabad and Agra (state of Uttar Pradesh) as well as in the area around Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Dilip Sevarthi, head of the organization “Vikas Sansthan”, describes the situation as follows:

„There is a complete lockdown here, especially in the Slums of Firozabad, because there are patients who have been diagnosed with the corona virus. Our community is living in a great crisis. There is a state supply of grain, but that is not enough. In fact, our community is… not registered with the government, so people cannot get food from the government for free. That is a massive problem! Because the people in the community have no money. So how can they buy groceries. … Now, with our own resources, we no longer have many options for how we could support the people in the community. We give people who are terminally ill … support. But if we got support for food for the community, it would be great for the people here.“

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

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 the needy in this corona crisis. 100% of the money reaches the needy.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

2020-06-04T10:31:23+02:00May 7th, 2020|

Best Rating for XertifiX on “www.Siegelklarheit.de”

We are very pleased that after the efforts of the past 24 months, XertifiX has received the highest rating for the PLUS seal. On the Federal Government’s portal, it says about our seal:

“Excellent choice! This seal meets particularly high requirements in the areas of credibility and social issues.”

This makes XertifiX Plus the only seal for natural stones that is classified as “very good”.

Our standard seal receives the rating “Good choice! This seal meets particularly high requirements in the area of credibility and our requirements in the area of social issues.”

The Federal Government compares the seals of different product groups on its Internet portals “Siegelklarheit” and “Kompass Nachhaltigkeit” and gives consumers and procurers in the municipalities orientation within the abundance of different seals.

Please refer: Our XertifiX standard label on Siegelklarheit
Please refer: Our XertifiX Plus label on Siegelklarheit

Here is an assessment of all seals in comparison: Evaluation of all natural stone seals on “Siegelklarheit”

2020-06-04T10:32:45+02:00April 28th, 2020|

XertifiX patron and former chairman Dr. Norbert Blüm passed away

We mourn our patron and former chair Dr. Norbert Blüm (July 21, 1935 – April 23, 2020). Norbert Blüm was a co-founder of XertifiX and shaped our XertifiX significantly in the first years.

On his trip to India in 2008, together with the then XertifiX Managing Director Benjamin Pütter, he discovered that children worked in quarries and called for measures to protect and rehabilitate child labor both in India and by German importers.

The complaint by tombstone importers against Norbert Blüm was drastic. Its aim was to prohibit XertifiX from taking action against tombstones from child labor. The lawsuit was co-financed by the powerful Indian tombstone association IMMA. This made it clear that in his fight for fairness and justice – especially for those without rights – Norbert Blüm also took on powerful opponents when necessary.

We thank Norbert Blüm for his tireless commitment to XertifiX, for his work against child labor and for the most disadvantaged. We will miss him!

Photo gallery in memory of Dr. Norbert Blüm

2020-06-04T10:34:02+02:00April 24th, 2020|

Gravestones in NRW: Circular decree for the implementation of the funeral law

The state government has issued a new circular, which stipulates, among other things, that all tombstones imported from India, China, Vietnam or the Philippines after January 1, 2020 require a certificate from XertifiX or another accredited certification body. All tombstones that were introduced into the federal territory before January 1, 2020 are not certified and can be erected without a seal. In this case, however, proof of the time of import must be available.

Siehe: Runderlass

2020-07-15T08:50:48+02:00March 24th, 2020|

Is child labor denied in India on behalf of UNICEF?

The renowned journalist Petra Sorge and other journalists have been researching child labor in India for more than a year. They examined the natural stone and carpet sectors. Lobby associations in India have intensively tried to ward off the impression that there could be child labor in their industries. The remarkable thing: These reports were published under the name of UNICEF.

The reports were commissioned by the Indian “Children’s Rights Commission” NCPCR, involving four states from which German stone importers also source their goods. The reports claim that the granite industry is “completely mechanized”. All processes are designed in such a way that “there is no room for manual work, especially not for child labor”. XertifiX has previously discovered that such claims are out of thin air and ignore large part of the reality in India.

Another commission report appeared in January 2019 and also virtually clears the carpet sector of child labor. UNICEF denies participation, although three UNICEF people were present on dates related to the field study. In fact, the journalists found child labor here, too.

At the request of the journalists, the UN Children’s Fund finally granted participation in the studies that deny child labor in the granite sector. The question has to be asked: How can it be that the recognized United Nations Children’s Fund supports reports that apparently deny child labor in industrial sectors in India in order to lobby for Indian exports?

Please refer: Im Namen von Unicef (Der Spiegel)
Please refer: How industry bodies are using the NCPCR and UNICEF to whitewash accusations of child labour (The Caravan)

2020-06-04T11:09:39+02:00February 1st, 2020|