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11 Jan 2017

Carolijn Terwindt & Miriam Saage-Maass, European Center for Constitutional & Human Rights; Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Policy paper outlines mechanisms to improve quality & accountability in textile industry auditing processes

„Liability of Social Auditors in the Textile Industry”, December 2016

…[T]he „mechanisms„ described „to „create „accountability do„ not „have„ any „legal „implications „but„ are„ based...„on „the„ voluntary „commitment of„ brands, „auditors„ and „scheme„ holders „to „improve „social „audits „and „create„ accountability...[T]he question „remains„ how „to„ hold „auditors „to „account that„ conduct „their„ audits „negligently „with „severe „consequences „for „the „lives „of„ workers...The„ recent„ changes„ in „the„ globalized„ textile „production...warrant„ new „legal„ shifts...„Especially„ with „regard „to „the„ Ali„ Enterprises „fire „and „the „Rana „Plaza„ collapse „there „are„ different „initiatives„...aiming „at „creating „liability „of „the „involved „actors, „including „the „auditing „companies…When „retailers„ request „audits...they „are „in„ the „position„ to „set„ the„ standards„ for„ quality„...„„The „problem „is„ that „they „generally „do „not „have„ an „incentive „to „sue.„ This might „change, „though, „when„ retailers „are„ held„ liable„ for „injuries „due „to „abusive„ working„ conditions.„..Thus „far, workers „have „very „few „possibilities „to „hold„ auditors „to„ account „for „their „reports...[as theyare „not „parties„ to „the„ auditing „contract...A „simple„ and„ direct„ legal„ remedy„ should„ be „in „place…

[Also refers to: Benetton, Bureau „Veritas, El „Corte „Inglés, Ether Tex Ltd., George„ Weston „Ltd., H&M, Joe Fresh, KiK, Loblaw, New„ Wave „Bottom „Ltd., New„ Wave„ Style „Ltd., „Phantom Apparels Ltd., Phantom„ Tac„ Ltd., Primark, RINA „Services „S.p.A., Tazreen Fashions, TÜV Rheinland, Walmart]