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.
The Dutch pensions sector, the Dutch government, trade unions and NGOs have agreed to work together in the months ahead on an agreement promoting international responsible business conduct (IRBC). In March 2017, the Federation of the Dutch Pension Funds published the Pension Funds IRBC Declaration of Intent indicating its willingness to work towards an IRBC agreement.
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).