The Dutch metallurgy industry has begun negotiations for an international responsible business conduct (IRBC) agreement in which private companies, industry associations, government and civil society organisations – including trade unions and NGOs – will put international guidelines on responsible business conduct into practice.
On 21 February, three trade associations, in collaboration with SOMO and the secretariat of the Agreement held a workshop for businesses on the clothing industry in Myanmar. The goal was to present a picture of the many considerations when producing responsibly in high-risk countries. One such high-risk country is Myanmar.
“It’s extremely complex, and a process that demands a lot of patience,” said Mariëtte Hamer. She is the chairperson of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER). The statement was made in the Lower House of Parliament on 22 February, in a discussion bringing members of Parliament up to speed on the IRBC (International Responsible Business Conduct) agreements. These agreements are intended to prevent abuses such as dangerous working conditions and adverse environmental impact in producing countries.
Girls and women who work in garment factories in India are the victims of modern forms of slavery, says the India Committee of the Netherlands (LIW - Landelijke India Werkgroep) after an on-the-ground investigation.
Three industry organisations, SOMO and the secretariat of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile are offering enterprises a workshop on the garment industry in Myanmar. The aim is to provide an insight into what is involved in responsible manufacturing in "at risk" countries. Myanmar is an example of this.
How do the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles work? The two initiatives organised a meeting during the OECD conference on the garment industry on 30 January, where they announced that they would be cooperating more closely.
The participants in the Agreement Responsible Gold have opened the door to due diligence. The interpretation, examples and experiences exchanged in a workshop on the subject will be the springboard for the individual participants to get down to work in this area. Eleven of the agreement’s twenty participants took part in the workshop.
The Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile has acquired a new signatory: Fristads Kansas Benelux BV. Like its Agreement partners, it will work to prevent such abuses as exploitation, animal suffering and environmental damage in production countries.
German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile announce strategic cooperation.
Based on the published list of production sites, a number of organisations have reported issues observed in production countries. NGOs, government and companies are now working together to tackle abuses like failure to pay a living wage or recognise trade union rights. This type of cooperation has not been possible before. It is only one of the results that the coalition united in the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile presents in its annual report.