Commentary: "Put workers at the helm of social sustainability in seafood"

Author: Abby McGill, International Labor Rights Forum, Published on: 23 January 2018

…These are important steps, but missing one important element: inclusion of workers. The social auditing solution proposed by the Seafood Taskforce and other industry- and government-led social sustainability programs has been shown to be ineffective by decades of research into such efforts in multiple countries and sectors. This research has brought a growing and diverse number of stakeholders to insist that workers must have a substantial role in identifying and stopping human rights abuses in global supply chains.  Only with workers’ organizations fully engaged in the governance and implementation of such programs can grievance mechanisms become effective and access to remedy be secured…

…A report scheduled for release in early 2018 will detail more fully challenges and successes in establishing worker-led workplace monitoring and legally binding agreements with employers. In advance of the report, ILRF has drafted four Essential Elements of Social Responsibility in the Seafood Sector…

  1. Genuine worker representation…
  2. Comprehensive and transparent risk assessment and verification of workplace compliance…
  3. Legally-binding and enforceable agreements…
  4. Change brand purchasing practices…

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