Generic Labour Conditions Question 8

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Question

Is at least {}% of suppliers in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct?
NL: Voldoet tenminste {}% van de toeleveranciers in landen met een hoog risico aan de Code of Conduct?
DE: Entsprechen mindestens {}% des Produktionsvolumens der Zulieferer den CoC-Standards des Markenherstellers?

References

The purpose of this question is to pinch brands on their actual performance in having actually proper labour conditions in their supply chain, as this is the ultimate objective of all the brands efforts to improve labour conditions. However, it is not easy to define 'compliant':
- there will be always breaches to the code of conducts and to learn if those breaches are typically endemic or incidental is disputable.
- audits results do not - or only partly reflect the actual workers conditions; the quality of procedures varies heavily and the methods do not always dig up the real situation. Research done by NGO's and labour unions tend to reveal much graver situations than company driven audits
- audits results only reflect a day in a year, before and after, -even the night before or after- may be completely different.
- audits may be based too much on the paperwork reality, driven by the 'cover my behind' principle, meaning that when the paperwork is right and all procedures have been followed, rules have been obeyed, there is nobodoy to blame for the gravest violations. The focus should be workers rights and conditions.

With this in mind, defining compliance levels still can have significant value for phasing out the gravest violations such as child labour, forced labour and unhealthy unhygienic and unsafe workplaces. Taking the fashion sector as an example, Multi Stakeholder Initiatives (MSI) play an important role in independently declaring suppliers 'compliant'. See also Apparel & Footwear Question 6. For this question, brands should at least participate in such a MSI and have their confirmation.

For the electronics industry, where participation in Multi Stakeholder Initiatives is rare (only Apple relatively recently joined FLA), there is no brand that can prove any percentage compliant -yet. We still ask these questions to keep the ultimate goal sharp on the radar.