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Monitoring Human Rights in Global Supply Chains. Insights and policy recommendations for Civil Society, Global Brands and Academics

Monitoring Human Rights in Global Supply Chains. Insights and policy recommendations for Civil Society, Global Brands and Academics

Outhwaite, Opi and Martin-Ortega, Olga (2017) Monitoring Human Rights in Global Supply Chains. Insights and policy recommendations for Civil Society, Global Brands and Academics. [Working Paper] (doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.12656.46088)

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Abstract

Global production systems are organised across contractually and geographically distributed supply chains. As a consequence of this model there exists a ‘governance gap’ in global supply chains which results in limited regulatory and contractual oversight of human rights and labour standards in the factories in the lower tiers of production. Despite a surge in instruments and initiatives designed to address supply chain failures the problems persist.

Supply chain monitoring provides the means by which a failure to meet agreed or desired standards or processes can be identified and appropriate action taken. Traditional monitoring models include in-house monitoring of codes of conduct undertaken by corporate brands, third party auditing and multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Numerous problems with traditional monitoring models have been discussed by academics and civil society including inherent conflicts of interest, the partial, ‘snap-shot’ nature of auditing processes, the structural problems inherent in distributed supply chains which place downward pressure on factories who are producing goods and components for global brands, the lack of appropriate monitoring methodologies to protect workers from repercussions if they speak out about poor conditions and the lack of effective mechanisms through which workers can raise grievances and seek remedies.

Our interviews with a small sample of representatives from labour rights and monitoring organisations build upon existing work on the limitations of supply chain monitoring and give indications of ways forward for the development of more effective monitoring models.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: human rights, global supply chains, supply chain monitoring, social auditing, business and human rights, electronics, CSR, ethical business
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Law
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2018 12:09
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19108

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