Scaled Impact

Initiative 2: 

The ACES (Accountable Collaborations for Environmental Social Impact) Initiative

 

Business Human Rights   Due Diligence steps 

that can be taken to cause Decent Work Freedoms for Uighur people in forced labour Modern Slavery in Supply Chains.

Clarifying how Initiatives companies join, 

to monitor Supply Chain Labour & Environmental standards Collectively should continuously improve. 

Corona Virus update:

Uighur workers in forced labour in China supply chains, may be some of the most vulnerable with no freedom of movement, to manage own social distancing, and no freedom to contact loved ones.

 

WE ARE CONCERNED BY THE HOLDING OF AROUND A MILLION UIGHUR AND OTHER MUSLIM PEOPLE IN INTERNMENT CAMPS IN PR CHINA, IN XINJIANG, AND ACROSS CHINA.

WE ARE AWARE, AND HAVE SEEN IN CHINA FACTORIES, 

THAT IN SOME CASES UIGHUR PEOPLE ARE MADE TO UNDERTAKE FORCED LABOUR.

With CoronaVirus spread, 

these workers with no Freedom of Movement may be some of the most vulnerable, and with no way to return home to support loved ones. 

BBC China Podcast on Uighur forced labour

Listen here to a BBC Business Podcast featuring SupplyESChange Founder Kate Larsen speaking from her experience working on this issue in China supply chains (17mins, 2nd in a series of 2):  

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csy7fm

As there has been little traction on transparent business human rights due diligence by international business to support human rights defenders working for Uighur freedoms, and little publicly reported use of leverage by international buyers and investors to influence fo these freedoms and human rights, 

We advocate steps that can be taken to influence Change and Freedom

and aim to track which companies take Leadership

 

With the COVID-19 CoronaVirus crisis, Uighurs and other people in forced labour conditions are more vulnerable

We need your help to track business action, identify leaders, and inspire more leadership to influence and cause freedoms so Uighur and other of the most vulnerable workers can protect themselves and families.
 
For students, or those interested in learning about Ethical Trade, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and Business Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD), volunteering for this project (with paid role for some once funding raised) is likely to be educational, and help you learn fast about laws, practises, what really goes on in company Fashion and other Supply Chains (our team worked in many and with many of the world’s leading brands), and how and what companies can and do for supply chain human rights.
 
How to Help: 

Please check out the FACTS (Fair Work Accountability Collaboration for Transparent Supply Chains) Initiative page for more info here:

http://supplyeschange.com/be-the-change/facts-initiative/

 

Some amazing work has gone on to improve supply chain labour conditions and environmental impacts and end modern slavery for people who make our things.

Nevertheless, we have still seen news reports of poor working conditions in supply chains, workers in bonded labour and exploited, environmental pollution, and that companies Modern Slavery reports and efforts are not enough. 

Why has not enough change happened despite a multi billion dollar Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Compliance and Responsible Sourcing industry?

At industry events we hear criticisms that “social audits” (of supplier labour standards) and worker hotlines “don’t work”.

So what does work?

One thing many civil society and business experts seem aligned in agreeing has worked is the scaled, transparent, binding multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSI) model of initiatives such as the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, and the ILO Better Work programme in countries such as Vietnam, with Accountability built in. 

Both initiatives engaged government to improve policy and monitoring, engage factories supporting them with capacity building (training, consulting), brands to influence improvement, and Transparently publish on their website which suppliers improve. 

In terms of Social Impact at scale, the Accord and ILO Better Work are documented to have improved 1000s of sites working conditions in supply chains, delivering real Social Impact SDGs.

The Transparency in Supply Chains reporting requirement of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and earlier similar California law have caused 1000s more companies to publish about efforts for labour standards in supply chains, and in doing so, in many cases to look at these for the first time. This is fantastic, yet, whilst there is good Guidance on steps to take, realising sustainable sector wide scaled improvements in supply chains like that achieved by the Accord in Bangladesh or ILO Better Work in e.g. Vietnam, and improving of government monitoring, has not been a direct result.

Knowing that lives for the people #WhoMakeMyClothes and #WhoMakeOurThings might include exploitation such as legal minimum wages not paid, or worse, bonded conditions of modern slavery, we are therefore compelled to take action and speak up for potential solutions.

Policy, such as the Transparency in Supply Chains reporting requirements, has caused 1000s of companies to have to take action, but we need more of the right action to be caused.  And Action through multi-stakeholder country and sector wide initiatives reduces wasteful uneconomic duplication auditing, and increases improvements in working conditions for workers.

 

The ACES (Accountable Collaborations for Environmental Social Impact) in supply chains Initiative therefore is rating Initiatives for how Transparent, Scaled, and Accountable they are in delivering the Social Impacts for which they are intended.

Contact us to find out more about how you might support.