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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:

Archived Posts/Articles

December 18, 2006

Improved public reporting

MSN 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:

December 15, 2006

Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives

In countries around the world, labour and non-governmental organizations are negotiating multi-stakeholder codes of conduct on labour and environmental practices with major consumer products companies. How these initiatives approach the issue of labour standards compliance varies greatly. Some industry-dominated initiatives set low standards and rely exclusively on company-controlled monitoring or commercial auditing firms. Others work closely with local NGOs and labour organizations to improve conditions.

December 15, 2006

What standards should be in a code of conduct?

Most company codes of conduct include provisions on forced labour, discrimination, child labour, and health and safety. Codes that address hours of work, wages and overtime issues seldom go beyond local legal requirements. Few codes include provisions on freedom of association, and fewer still mention the right to organize unions and bargain collectively.

December 15, 2006

Monitoring: How are codes enforced?

Companies usually rely on internal monitoring of factory conditions by their own personnel. Some hire financial auditing firms to verify that they and/or their suppliers are following the code. In some instances, companies have responded to public pressure about specific sweatshop abuses by mandating local non-governmental and human rights organizations to monitor conditions in specific factories for limited periods of time.

December 15, 2006

Codes of Conduct

A corporate code of conduct is a document outlining the basic rights and minimum standards a corporation pledges to respect in its relations with workers, communities and the environment. Increasingly, retailers and apparel, shoe and toy manufacturers are adopting voluntary codes of conduct that also cover the labour practices of their suppliers, who are contracted to make their products.