CCC dissappointed by lack of action transparency EU

On the 25th of April 2016, the European Commission launched its flagship initiative to promote responsible management of the supply chain in garment. The Clean Clothes Campaign continues to urge the Commission to create real transparency in the garment sector.

The high-level conference, originally dedicated to the launch of strong action by the European Commission to avoid another Rana Plaza, was held away from the press who was not allowed to follow the proceedings.

Clean Clothes Campaign continues to propose to the Commission to create real transparency in the supply chain in garment that allows linking the orders of a donor company to its suppliers and subcontractors. 'It is now time for the European Union to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the globalized sector of garment, both within the European Union and beyond. Transparency is a precondition for responsibility and accountability of European companies. It is also needed in order for European consumers to buy responsibly and for workers to have access to remedy when their rights are violated,' said Carole Crabbe from Clean Clothes Campaign and relaying the conclusion of the study ordered by the Commission to identify courses of action to his standard initiative. According to these Guidelines, the EU has an obligation to protect Human rights and companies have the responsibility to respect it throughout their supply chain.

As demonstrated by the two year struggle to compensate victims of the collapse of Rana Plaza, CSR voluntary initiatives of companies do not guarantee respect for fundamental rights. Transparency is a prerequisite for the responsibility of European businesses. It is also necessary to enable European consumers to buy responsibly and workers to assert their rights, including to compensation when necessary. It is also essential for the authorities to protect the rights of workers and consumers, including product safety.

Thus, for the Clean Clothes Campaign and achACT, the European Union and the member states must impose a minimum of transparency to donor-order companies. To get there, they must:

  • Establish a standardized database based on Customs records to link the European retailers to their suppliers and subcontractors;

  • Establish a social tagging system that tracks the chain of production and distribution of a product;

  • Require companies to integrate into their non-financial report, the result of their responses to prevent the negative impacts of their activities on human rights, including their supply chains;

  • Require companies to publish at least every year the names, addresses and contact details of all the production sites of their suppliers and subcontractors and home work agencies.