International Accord at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector

February 18, 2023

Event

The OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector was held online and offline (Paris, France) from 13-17 February 2023. The forum brought together representatives from government, business, trade unions, and civil society to promote transparency and due diligence in global garment supply chains.

In his capacity as the Dutch OECD National Contact Point, our Executive Director Joris Oldenziel moderated the session Due diligence costs and responsibilities: Collaborative approaches to buyer supplier relationships.

Speakers Sarah Dadush, Rutgers Law School, Xiaohui Liang from China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), Michael Bride from PVH and Anant Ahuja from Shahi Exports shared current examples, challenges and benefits of buyer-supplier collaboration models on shared due diligence implementation.

The session underscored that human rights due diligence is a shared responsibility for all actors in the garment supply chain. Michael Bride from PVH Corp emphasised upon the central role played by brands and the need for responsible business conduct. Sharing his thoughts as an exporter, Anant Ahuja highlighted the need to focus on innovative ways to carry out due diligence by focusing on training, retaining and investing in the well-being of workers.

Citing the Accord as an example of collaborative approaches between buyers and suppliers, Shawn Islam, CEO, Sparrow Group of Industries and member of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said:

“The Accord worked out wonderfully; it is a good example of how a collaborative approach between suppliers and buyers with the government’s support can really make a tremendous difference. We have made a lot of progress since 2013 and have become one of the safest places to produce garments in terms of electrical safety, structural safety, and fire safety.”

View the recorded session here.

In addition, the International Accord participated in the side session Ensuring local stakeholder- and worker-inclusive supply chain grievance mechanisms organised by Fairwear Foundation, CNV Internationaal and Bündnis für nachhaltige Textilien (Partnership for Sustainable Textiles) on 13 February 2023.

The session was attended by over 200 participants and discussed the approaches to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of grievance mechanisms for workers. Moderated by Dr. Jennifer Zerk, the session included insights from Fair Wear’s Valentine Wolfram, Suzan Cornelissen of CNV Internationaal, Elly Rosita from KSBSI, Emma Vogt from Clean Clothes Campaign, and Joris Oldenziel, Executive Director from International Accord.

View the recorded session here.


Resources

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