Fair Wear endorses human rights due diligence legislation

The global supply chain, due to its complex and fragmented nature, can lead to business activities having negative consequences that violate human rights. Not only that, it also makes it difficult for companies to trace and repair the negative social impact of their operations. Fair Wear has agreed – aligning with international guidelines and principles – to minimise these negative consequences through a so-called smart mix for regulation.

A smart mix is a regulatory ecosystem that includes traditional forms of business regulation via legislation and judicially-enforced remedies on one hand, with incentives, information-based and new governance approaches, as well as measures to enhance the role of financial actors in encouraging more sustainable and ethical business practices.

It has become increasingly clear that the reliance on solely voluntary frameworks to promote business respect for human rights has proven limited in its impact and efficiency for workers, society and businesses. Or, translated to our industry: (women) workers, garment and textile brands, factories, civil society organisations and consumers. Fair Wear joins the growing group of organisations that is in favour of a European regulatory framework including mandatory human rights due diligence; a call needed to progress our high ambitions to build back a better garment sector.

Fair Wear acknowledges the strength of the smart mix in its full potential and supports a movement to include mandatory human rights due diligence. However, we would like to see our ambitions for the new normal in the garment sector covered in such legislation. As such, our position on the matter calls for, among others:

  • alignment at EU level,
  • mandatory human rights due diligence to be made compulsory and applicable for all companies, encouraging improvements that cover all activities along the supply chain,
  • enforced responsibility to prevent and mitigate violations, on top of remediation efforts,
  • encouraging companies to increase their competence on due diligence by joining voluntary multi-stakeholder initiatives,
  • workers, trade unions or their representatives to be included in defining and implementing due diligence initiatives.

Click here to read in detail Fair Wear’s position on mandatory human rights due diligence.

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