The UN Forum on Business and Human Rights convened recently in Geneva. Among the 3000 participants from around the world were representatives of the secretariat for the Dutch Agreement on Garments and Textile. Many of the Forum participants pushed for legislation to prevent human rights violations.
Much of the wool we wear comes from sheep that have been subject to mulesing, a procedure in which strips of wool-bearing skin are removed without any painkillers being administered. The animal welfare charity FOUR PAWS is against this practice and supports the use of a special quality mark for wool.
Another party has become a signatory to the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. Mauritz & Zn. has joined the list of enterprises that signed the Agreement earlier. Like its Agreement partners, it will work to prevent such abuses as exploitation, animal suffering and environmental damage in production countries.
Another four parties have become signatories to the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. StarSock, ByKay, Noppies and Goosecraft have joined the list of enterprises that signed the Agreement earlier. Like their Agreement partners, they will work to prevent such abuses as exploitation, animal suffering and environmental damage in production countries. The Agreement has also gained a new supporter: Control Union.
Union representatives from Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia arrived in the Netherlands on 15 November at the invitation of Dutch trade union federations and Agreement participants FNV and CNV. They were anxious to share their experiences back home with parties participating in the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile.
The Dutch Responsible Gold Agreement has welcomed a new partner. Coolrec, a gold recycling firm, is joining the partnership. Coolrec, a subsidiary of Renewi (previously Van Gansewinkel), recovers gold and other materials from discarded devices and appliances.
The Dutch Banking Sector Agreement has welcomed a new partner. The NGO Save the Children is joining the agreement. Save the Children works to protect the rights of children and helps businesses incorporate such protection into their policy on international responsible business conduct (IRBC).
Agreement signed for international responsible investing in insurance sector.
The textile industry has established a basis for responsible garment manufacturing in the longer term. For the first time ever, businesses as a group will state which factories produce their clothing. They have also drawn up specific improvement plans to tackle poor working conditions, human rights and environmental and animal abuses.
While developing the Gold Covenant, several NGOs that are experts in addressing child labor and responsible mining (Hivos/Stop Child Labour (SCL), UNICEF, Fairtrade and Solidaridad) partnered up with two sustainable frontrunners in the electronics industry - Fairphone and Philips. The parties agreed to join forces with the aim of tackling child labor in Uganda by working closely with mining communities and connecting more responsible gold to the supply chains of Philips and Fairphone.