Certification and Social Commitment

In order to improve the transparency of global value chains, the introduction of private standards has been impelled: Standard setting organizations, like Fairtrade, UTZ, GOTS etc. develop criteria for a sustainable production. Whether those criteria are fulfilled is usually monitored via audits, which are conducted by commercial audit companies. The audited products are than partly sold with a label. Non-governmental organizations, politics and companies are hoping to identify and stop deficiencies with the help of private standards. Those standards served unanimously the politics as an alternative to legal actions towards the implementation of entrepreneurial due diligence.

Currently, there are several hundred standards for various products, but there are also strong doubts, whether the introduction is really sufficient to stop deficiencies. SÜDWIND is therefore intensively involved in evaluating potentials and boundaries concerning the introduction of standards.


On 26 June 2014 the UN Human Rights Commission approved a resolution to form a working group to elaborate a legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other companies with regard to compliance with human rights standards (‘Treaty Process’). The working group has met four times since then. In July 2018 the Ecuadorian chair submitted a first draft treaty (Zero Draft) which was debated at the fourth meeting of the UN working group in October 2018.
The states were invited to comment on this draft until end-February 2019. The present briefing paper discusses objections raised in political debates to the overall process or to contents of the Zero Draft and formulates proposed solutions.


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