Rules for corporations

The problem:

Voluntary initiatives and non-enforceable commitments have failed to deliver.

About a decade after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP), it is clear that reliance on a voluntary framework has proven insufficient and ineffective for workers and the broader society. Neither non-judicial grievance mechanisms nor social auditing, certification schemes, or various (other) responsible business initiatives have had the impact touted at their launch.

Systemic patterns of human rights violations in the companies’ value chains speak volumes of a lack of systematic and meaningful Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) practice. Violations of freedom of association, poverty wages, even with extensive overtime, occupational health and safety issues, and gender-based discrimination and violence are frequently documented in numerous brands’ and retailers’ value chains – despite their public commitments that they would prevent such human and labour rights abuses.


What we do:

Lobby and advocate at various levels (national, EU, international) for meaningful, strong legislation.

As Clean Clothes Campaign, we are an active member in various coalitions and initiatives that ask for strong legislation.

Legislation that will guarantee the right to remedy when workers' rights are violated, that will ensure there is liability for the whole supply chain, and that includes climate and environmental considerations.

We believe there will be a need for legislation on various levels: a UN Binding Treaty, a strong EU legislation that includes special provisions for high-risk sectors like the garment industry, and national-level initiatives that can take further measures.


What can you do?

Let your voice be heard!


EU: Protect People and Planet Now

Urge the EU to ensure corporations are not let off the hook for harm to people and planet

Corporations across the world are leaving a trail of devastation and disaster - too often they’re also harming workers and entire communities in their dash for profit. We need a new law to force them to put people and planet before profit.

Factory management dismisses a group of workers who recently tried to form a trade union. Part of a building collapses, injuring workers who are told to keep quiet about the incident and some later dismissed for taking sick leave. Following a sudden factory closure, workers are left without their meager wages and legally owed severance payment.

Fashion brands, retailers and e-tailers have been deriving profits from a system of poverty pay and exploitation of the most vulnerable people whose plight has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global fashion brands make pledges about the wages they pay garment workers, the support they give to freedom of association or the safety measures they require factories to implement. But too often, these commitments turn out to be empty promises and companies cannot be held accountable for their actions.

But there is hope that this can change - the EU has launched a public consultation on legislation that could ensure corporations respect human rights and the environment. 

The EU wants to hear from you!

Anyone, anywhere can take part in the consultation and ask the EU to make this law as strong as possible by ensuring:

  1. It covers all companies, across all sectors (including finance), and the entire corporate value chain​
  2. Corporations identify, prevent, disclose and address their human rights, environmental and corruption risks and impacts to stop harm to workers, trade union activists and human rights defenders.
  3. Workers and trade unions are part of the process to prevent and monitor corporate activities harming their labour conditions and livelihoods.
  4. Victims of corporate abuse anywhere can seek justice and hold companies to account through access to EU courts and civil suits

Some relevant publications:

Results: 4 Items

  • January 14, 2021

    Fashioning Justice

    A call for mandatory and comprehensive human rights due diligence in the garment industry

  • October 14, 2020

    Position Paper on Transparency

    The Clean Clothes Campaign has published its latest position paper on corporate transparency in textile global supply chains. Following up from the 2016 report, it pictures the state of corporate transparency practises in the global garment industry.

  • August 31, 2020

    Principal Elements of an EU mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence legislation

    All around the world, businesses are responsible for human rights abuses and environmental harm, as underscored by the recent COVID-19 crisis. Businesses must not be allowed to close their eyes to the impact of their business decisions on other actors in the chain. Voluntary measures have proved to be vastly insufficient, as recognised by the recent European Commission study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain.

  • April 23, 2020

    Civil Society European Strategy for Sustainable Textiles

    A non-official (or "shadow) proposal for an ambitious and integrated EU strategy, a collaborative effort of a coalition of over 60 civil society organisations

1 - 4 of 4 Results