Responses by garment brands to our questionnaire on the treatment of Syrian refugees in Turkish supplier factories

Briefing Note

In the past several months, there have been reports of abuse and exploitation of Syrian refugees working in Turkish garment factories.  Allegations include discrimination, pitiful wages, child labour and sexual abuse.

In December 2015, we approached 28 major garment brands with specific questions on how they are dealing with this issue. The questionnaire was developed in consultation with trade unions, the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), and local advocates. 

We received responses to the questionnaire from adidas, C&A, Esprit (responded subsequent to the publication of the briefing), Gap (responded subsequent to the publication of the briefing) H&M, Inditex, NEXT, Nike, Otto Group (responded subsequent to the publication of the briefing), Primark, Puma, Tchibo (responded subsequent to the publiciation of the briefing) White Stuff, and KiK.

Arcadia Group, ASOS, BHS, Burberry, Debenhams, HUGO BOSS, Marks & Spencer, New LookSuperdry, s.Oliver (responded subsequent to the publication of the briefing),LC Waikiki (responded subsequent to the publication of the briefing) and VF Corp (responded subsequent to the briefing) declined to respond to the questionnaire, but sent us brief statements setting out their approach to supply chain management and this issue.

Monsoon declined to respond saying they they have only a small number of suppliers in Turkey and therefore felt the information they could provide would not be meaningful.

River Island did not respond. 

Below you can access the responses and non-responses from the companies we approached.

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Company response
2 February 2016

Response by New Look

Author: New Look

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Company response
2 February 2016

Response by Otto Group

Author: Otto Group

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Item
1 February 2016

NEXT Code of Practice – Syrian Refugee Action Plan for Turkey

Author: NEXT

This Action Plan was developed in order to provide guidance to suppliers and factories in the event that Syrian refugees are found working on site during a NEXT Code of Practice audit. It is meant as an interim measure prior to the issuing of legislation by the Turkish Government and is not meant as an exhaustive list of actions.

DO:

1. Review and verify the authenticity of ALL employees’ ID cards.
2. Collate a full list of ALL employees, detailing name, department, ID card number, date of birth, date of joining.
3. Maintain a list of all young workers (aged 15-18). Young Syrian workers must be given equal treatment to young Turkish workers.
4. Keep up to date on any changes to relevant legislation via Ministry of Labour or Directorate of Migration.
5. Support Syrian workers in official registration e.g. at local police station.
6. Ensure that Syrian workers are afforded equal treatment to other employees and are provided with at least Gross National Minimum Wage, Overtime Premium, weekly rest day, written confirmation of conditions of employment (in worker’s own language).
7. Provide Health & Safety information / training in workers’ own language.
8. Provide details of NGOs to Syrian workers – ASAM (Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants) and HRDF (Human Resources Development Foundation).
9. Document all actions taken, including wage payments and receipts.
10. Maintain copies of ID cards for ALL workers. Original documents must not be retained.

DON’T:
1. Expel any Syrian workers from the factory.
2. Threaten the workers or their families or obstruct the progress of remediation.
3. Hire any workers who do not have correct work permits.
4. Produce any falsified records.
5. Limit access to reasonably requested documents or records.

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Company response
29 January 2016

BHS response

Author: BHS

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Company response
29 January 2016

Inditex response

Author: Inditex

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Company non-response
29 January 2016

Monsoon did not respond

Monsoon noted that they don't source much from Turkey and therefore the information they could provide would not be meaningful.

Company response
29 January 2016

response by Nike

Author: Nike

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Company response
29 January 2016

Response by Primark

Author: Primark

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Company response
29 January 2016

Response by Puma

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Company response
29 January 2016

Response by White Stuff

Author: White Stuff

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