Spread the love

NEW YORK – An alliance of 64 NGOs and trade unions in Germany, including Human Rights Watch, has launched an international campaign urging the German government to propose a bill by 2020 that would ensure German companies put in place human rights safeguards in their global supply chains. It is hoped a German law would prove a positive influence across the European Union, particularly as Germany will have the EU Presidency in the second half of 2020 and would be in a strong position to help pave the way for EU-wide mandatory due diligence. Such a bill would have huge influence on German apparel brands sourcing from Asia.
Said Juliane Kippenberg of Human Rights Watch: “Now is a crucial moment to push for a robust law. Germany’s government of conservatives and social democrats has already agreed to consider legislation on human rights safeguards in supply chains in its coalition agreement. The next national elections are scheduled for September 2021, which means that any new bill would have to be tabled soon. The Campaign hopes to convince wavering MPs and mobilize the public to support a petition addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Conservative and social democrat coalition partners have struggled to agree on a national action plan to protect human rights in company supply chains, and a mechanism to monitor its implementation. A German law would be vital to regulating company behaviour in Germany and protecting rights in the supply chains of one of the world’s largest export economies.”
Calls for human rights laws in supply chains have been ongoing for several years. They would, potentially, bring about more accountability by brands in the event of supply chain transgressions and might, for instance, have led to mandatory compensation payments by brands in the examples of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh and the Ali Enterprises fire in Pakistan. However, such potential laws have yet to achieve significant interest in the EU outside of Germany.


Spread the love