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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Improved public reporting

The Naked truth is... Exploitation is never in styleMSN believes that companies must disclose sufficient information to allow consumers and investors to evaluate and compare companies' labour practices and make ethical choices.

Improved public reporting on labour practices within their global supply chains can be an impetus for corporations - and suppliers - to actually improve those practices over time for the following reasons:

  • A company that discloses information about the content of its code of conduct subjects itself to public scrutiny about the contents of its code, its methods of monitoring code compliance, and its levels of compliance. This is a healthy dialogue that often leads to incremental improvements over time.
  • Public transparency in all matters of corporate conduct, including labour practices, pushes corporations to implement better information gathering processes that ensure relevant information reaches officials with leverage to ensure positive changes in practices - even if only to reduce the risk of "bad" practices being disclosed to the market.
  • Credible public reporting permits consumers and investors to compare corporate performance, and thus encourages corporations to work to improve performance in order to maintain and improve market share and corporate reputation.
  • A company that discloses where its factories are located will take a more active interest in the conditions in those factories because of the increased risk that those conditions will be discovered and reported by third parties in a manner that could negatively affect the company's reputation.
  • Public transparency permits civil society actors (unions and non-governmental organizations) in importing and producing countries to monitor corporate claims and performance, which in turn encourages corporations to improve behaviour and to ensure that what they report to the public is accurate.

The Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG) has advanced government policy proposals to improve corporate transparency including proposals to require disclosure of factory locations.

ETAG has also published a Transparency Report Card assessing and comparing 30 apparel retailers and brands selling apparel products in the Canadian market in terms of their efforts to address worker rights issues in their global supply chains and on how and what they report on those efforts.

The Global Reporting Initiative has published reporting guidelines on ethical performance for a broad range of industries. They have also developed a draft set of sector-specific guidelines for the Apparel and Footwear industries.