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Article

5 Jul 2018

Author:
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

German Ministry of Economic Affairs acknowledges need for reform of factory audits in textile industry

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It is long overdue to overhaul audit procedures. Today’s Final Statement of the German National Contact Point (NCP) on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the Rana Plaza proceeding against the auditing company TÜV Rheinland should pave the way to fundamental reforms. The NCP recommends a dialogue with audit companies, standard setting organizations, brands, factories and trade unions. This dialogue should address transparency of audit reports and whether factory owners should pay for audits. Besides, the NCP takes a clear stance on the measures audit firms could already implement, such as the stronger involvement of worker representatives.

ECCHR and its partners [...] welcome the Final Statement. In May 2016, ECCHR and its partners filed an OECD complaint against TÜV Rheinland for its failure to notice the presence of child labor, lack of freedom of association, risks of building safety, and disciplinary measures against the workers in its audit report for a factory in the Rana Plaza complex... TÜV Rheinland broke off the negotiations...

Overall the handling of the NCP procedure has improved since 2010, when ECCHR first filed an OECD complaint in Germany. However, the organizations stressed the serious obstacles for the affected in Bangladesh to be part of the negotiations...

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