Publications

Briefing Paper On The Zero Draft UNPACKING ARGUMENTS AGAINST A TREATY

Art.-No.: 2019-13

Year of publication: 2019

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.

(Eva-Maria Reinwald u.a., 4 pages)

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Position paper of the Treaty Alliance Germany on the UN treaty process: Toward global Regulation on Human Rights and Business

Art.-No.: 2017-55

Year of publication: 2017

Trade and investment protection agreements facilitate business enterprises’ access to markets and raw materials, and protect investor interests with enforceable rights. Although human rights are a cornerstone of international law, so far there are only voluntary guidelines to safeguard them within the activities of global enterprises. This needs to change; human rights need a mandatory commitment. This is where the “UN treaty process” comes in. It offers the chance for binding international regulation of global business: Since 2015, an intergovernmental working group has been negotiating an international human rights treaty that is binding for the contractual parties, outlines clear rules for business enterprises and strengthens access to justice for affected parties.

The Treaty Alliance (www.treatymovement.com) is an international association of more than 1000 civil society organizations and individuals formed with the aim of supporting progress toward an international human rights treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises. This position paper was compiled by the following member organizations of the Treaty Alliance Germany (www.cora-netz.de/treaty): Attac Deutschland, Brot für die Welt, Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland, Christliche Initiative Romero, CorA-Netzwerk für Unternehmensverantwortung, FEMNET, FIAN Deutschland, Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum Chile-Lateinamerika, Forum Fairer Handel, Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, Global Policy Forum, INKOTA-netzwerk, medico international, MISEREOR, PowerShift, SÜDWIND and WEED. The positions published here are supported by the network’s member organizations.

(Eva-Maria Reinwald u.a., 20 pages)

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Adidas purchasing practices and the brand´s possibility of supporting Living Wage

Art.-No.: 2014-14

Year of publication: 2014

Living wage is an issue for adidas just as price is. We see a lot of rhetoric and effort to find out what a fair or living wage is. The facts we know about the payment of workers in adidas contractors and subcontractors in Indonesia, however, do not reflect these efforts.

(Antje Schneeweiß, 2 Pages)

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New options for strengthening standards on social and environmental responsibilities of corporations

Art.-No.: 2013-08

Year of publication: 2013

The negative external effects of profit orientated businesses on the environment and society are most visible and destructive in developing countries, where compensation measures for adversely affected groups rarely exist and where high corruption rates often impede meaningful enforcement of existing legislation. But what role can Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) play in developing countries? How can CSR be generally strengthened by EU policies to contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals in a meaningful manner?

This study is an attempt to get a solid overview of the current situation of CSR at the international level. Strengths and weaknesses of the implementation of CSR are analysed both in general terms and more specifically in a case study on the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The study ends with a suggestion for future policy action to enhance CSR as a complementing tool to legislation for a range of economic, social and environmental challenges. Different actions are outlined and discussed.

(Friedel Hütz-Adams, Antje Schneeweiß, 42 Pages)

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Aldi‘s clothing bargains – discount buys discounting standards? Working conditions in Aldi‘s suppliers in China and Indonesia

Art.-No.: 2007-12

Year of publication: 2007

One consumer in two in Germany buys clothing from discounters, often alongside their purchases of more expensive products from specialist shops and brand-name producers. To attract even more customers, discounters are also increasingly selling high value goods, also at extremely low prices. In recent years, retailers new to the textile and clothing (T&C) trade such as Germany’s largest discounter, ALDI, have taken over the top positions in domestic T&C retailing. Among the more than 80% of the population that shop in branches of ALDI North and ALDI South, higherearners are the largest single group. Rich or poor, most of them are looking for clothes bargains. Yet what is a good deal for the customer is anything but a fair deal for the sewing workers involved in the manufacture of these goods. As the case studies from China and Indonesia in this brochure demonstrate, fundamental labour laws, in the case of ALDI’s Chinese suppliers, are being violated as never before.

The SÜDWIND Institute wishes to use this brochure to raise the awareness of consumers and trade unions in Germany of the social implications of ALDI’s global textile sourcing and to provide impulses for protest campaigns against this practice. This brochure also provides background information, in the form of a detailed portrait of the T&C retailer and discounter ALDI as well as an analysis of developments in the international trade in textiles and clothing since the phase-out of the WTO’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing and the structural transformation in grocery retailing. It also gives ideas for a range of campaigning strategies, which can be addressed not only to ALDI itself, but also to political decision-makers.  

(Ingeborg Wick, 96 Pages)

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