Commentary: Lawsuit against KiK & question of supply chain liability for Pakistan factory fire
"Supply chain liability: The lawsuit by Karachi claimants against retailer KiK in historic perspective", 20 Oct 2016
On 29 August 2016, the court (Landgericht) in Dortmund, Germany, issued an important decision: In a claim by Pakistani survivors and legal heirs against German retailer KiK for injuries and deaths during a fire at a factory supplying jeans in Karachi, the judges accepted jurisdiction and granted legal aid to the Pakistani claimants to cover the legal fees. While at the very same time the German National Action Plan on business and human rights turns out to be less about binding obligations than about voluntary responsibility, this judicial decision is...the first time that a transnational claim by workers and their families from a supplying factory against a retailer will be heard in Germany...During the process of preparing and filing the claim, the claimants and the Affectees Association have already moved from passive objects of charity into acting legal subjects. Today they are speaking for themselves, asserting their decisions, and articulating their rights and own assessment of their needs. They are doing nothing less than pushing for a legal recognition of their role in globalized supply chains.