World Development Report: Background paper on private sector voluntary initiatives on labour standards

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10 October 2012

Codes of conduct: assessing the impact

Author: Kirsten Newitt, Ergon Associates blog

The World Bank has just released…the World Development Report (WDR), which for 2013 focuses on jobs. The key message of the report is that jobs…contribute to improvements in living standards, productivity and social cohesion. However…some jobs have a much more positive impact on development than others…[T]he World Bank commissioned Ergon to write a background paper looking at the current array of initiatives and considering the extent of their demonstrated impacts on working conditions for workers. The paper concludes that there is evidence that private sector voluntary initiatives have had important positive impacts on working conditions for workers in global supply chains, particularly on workplace health and safety…In addition, codes of conduct have also contributed to a shift in business awareness of labour standards issues, at the level of both multinational brands and their suppliers.

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1 October 2012

[PDF] World Development Report 2013: Jobs

Author: World Bank

The private sector is the key engine of job creation, accounting for 90 percent of all jobs in the developing world. But governments play a vital role by ensuring that the conditions are in place for strong private sector–led growth and by alleviating the constraints that hinder the private sector from creating good jobs for development…The World Development Report 2013 is an important contribution to our collective understanding of the role of jobs in development. Its insights will provide valuable guidance for the World Bank Group as we collaborate with partners and clients to advance their jobs agendas.

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1 January 2012

[PDF] Background Paper for the World Development Report 2012: Private Sector Voluntary Initiatives on Labor Standards

Author: Kirsten Newitt, Senior Consultant, Ergon Associates

This paper will consider the role and functioning of private sector initiatives that are voluntarily adopted by companies in order to uphold, monitor and improve labour standards and working conditions in global supply chains, through activities such as corporate codes of conduct, guidelines, recommendations and rules. [refers to Apple, Marks & Spencer, Levi Strauss, Carrefour, Metro, Migros, Tesco, Walmart GAP, Dole, Timberland, Starbucks, Tichbo]

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