The Covid-19 pandemic has once again highlighted the precarious living and working conditions of workers in global value chains. At the same time, trade unions and civil society organizations have developed numerous strategies for better protection of workers. In addition to union organizing and advocacy for legal reforms in the producing countries, there are many other tools, such as multi-stakeholder initiatives, international framework agreements, enforceable brand agreements, (international) compensation funds and transnational lawsuits in the “home countries” of multinational enterprises.
Especially since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, and after the major factory disasters in South Asia in 2012/2013, trade unions, social movements and international organizations have been campaigning for legally binding mechanisms to hold domestic and multinational enterprises accountable for human and labor rights violations in the value chain. Numerous countries have already passed due diligence laws. In Germany and the EU, legislative discussions are in full swing.
Against this background, we would firstly like to take stock of the various strategies of workers’ rights movements in the past 10 years and ask: What has been achieved since disasters such as Rana Plaza, Ali Enterprises and Tazreen Fashions? Which regulatory mechanisms and legal steps have led to better working and living conditions for local workers and which ones have not? Secondly, we would like to analyze current legal developments in the home countries of multinational enterprises: How can mandatory human rights due diligence rules and other regulations protect workers in the respective production countries? Finally, we would like to discuss future strategies: How can workers, especially in the producing countries, shape the evolving legal frameworks for multinational corporations? What are the opportunities and risks?
We look forward to discussing these and other issues with you and cordially invite you to the conference.
Miriam Saage-Maaß, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Michael Bader, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Franziska Korn, Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Organizational information and registration:
The conference languages are German and English. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.
For further information, please refer to the → program
Please register H E R E by 22 February 2021.
Please note: You will receive the Zoom access link by email one day before the event.