FWF 2017 Annual Report

Several factors influenced Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)’s work in 2017. The first of these was the continuing impact of digitalisation, rapidly becoming an omnipresent factor influencing the garment sector at all levels, from retail to information flow within the supply chain. In spite of some negative aspects, it enables civil society to harness information and hold companies to account where poor working conditions are evident. The need for supply chain transparency is increasingly recognised, and transparency was a key topic at FWF’s international stakeholder meeting, as well as at well-attended FWF Annual Conference in November 2017.

As part of the Dutch Government funded Strategic Partnership, FWF continued to focus on the important issues of living wage, gender-based violence and social dialogue in the garment sector in 2017. At a global level, FWF participated in the launch of the OECD ‘Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector,’ developed through a multi-stakeholder process. FWF also teamed up with the ILO’s Better Work programme to carry out extensive work in support of decent labour conditions in the garment sector.

Gender is a high priority for FWF. In 2017, FWF developed several national gender campaigns, as well as a global gender agenda together with the ILO. FWF also launched a Gender Forum in Vietnam where the sub-standard working conditions of the mostly female garment workers were exposed, in the spirit of the global #metoo movement. Child labour and the integration of Syrian refugee workers in Turkey were among other issues that FWF handled in cooperation with brands and other stakeholders.

By combining a multi-stakeholder, practical approach with innovative ways to improve labour conditions in the garment sector, FWF is fulfilling an increasingly important role as an instigator of much-needed change in this industry. FWF will continue to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that it has real impact and improves labour conditions in the sector.

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