Art.-No.: 2019-15

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)


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 ( 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 ( 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)


¿Herramienta de l@s Trabajador@s o Truco Publicitario? Una guía para los códigos de prácticas laborales internacionales

Art.-No.: 2006-01

Year of publication: 2006

Desde principios de la década de 1990, los códigos de conducta para las empresas multinacionales han proliferado. Es cada vez más difícil distinguir entre los diferentes modelos de código. Los trabajadores de todo el mundo se enfrentan a instrumentos nuevos que dicen mejorar sus condiciones de trabajo. ¿Cuáles son las ventajas y desventajas de los códigos de conducta? ¿De qué manera pueden ser instrumentos útiles para los sindicatos? ¿Cómo pueden los sindicatos y organizaciones no gubernamentales cooperar con relación a los códigos de conducta? ¿Cuáles son los rasgos principales de los ejemplos actuales de códigos y los resultados de una comparación entre ellos?

Esta publicación se centra en las características de los organismos de verificación de códigos Fundación Fair Wear, Iniciativa de Comercio
Ético (ETI), Asociación por el Trabajo Justo (FLA), Responsabilidad Social Internacional (SAI), Consorcio de los Derechos de los Trabajadores (WRC) y una comparación entre ellos. Además de un esbozo del contexto socioeconómico y otras iniciativas relacionadas con el comercio, esta publicación también contiene un análisis de las perspectivas sindicales sobre los códigos de conducta por la Confederación Internacional
de Organizaciones Sindicales Libres y la Federación Internacional de Trabajadores del Textil, Vestuario y Cuero.

(Ingeborg Wick, 75 Pages)


Workers‘ tool or PR ploy? A guide to codes of international labour practice

Art.-No.: 2005-06

Year of publication: 2005

Since the early 1990s, codes of conduct for multinational corporations have been proliferating. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish between the different code models. Workers all over the world are confronted with new instruments which claim to improve their labour conditions. What are the pros and cons of codes of conduct? In which way can they be useful instruments for trade unions? How can trade unions and nongovernmental organisations cooperate with regard to codes of conduct? What are the main features of current code examples and the results of a comparison between them ?

This brochure concentrates on profiles of the code verification bodies Fair Wear Foundation, Ethical Trading Initiative, Fair Labor Association, Social Accountability International, Worker Rights Consortium and a comparison between them. Next to an outline of the socio-economic context and other trade-related initiatives, this publication also contains an analysis of the trade union perspectives on codes of conduct by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers‘ Federation.

(Ingeborg Wick, 71 Pages)


Global game for Cuffs and Collars. The phase-out of the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing aggravates social divisions

Art.-No.: 2004-06

Year of publication: 2004

At the end of 2004, the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will be phased out. As from the beginning of 2005, the quota regime, which has characterised the world trade in textiles and clothing in recent decades, will disappear. Textile and clothing exports of developing and Eastern European countries to industrialised countries will then no longer be subject to quantitative restrictions.

The textile and clothing industry is a perfect example of the contradictions and the development impasse inherent in the process of neo-liberal globalisation: Contrary to the logic of free trade, the industrialised countries have used it to enforce their protectionist interests. The “job miracle” in the third world was accompanied by precarious working conditions. Women, who constitute a high percentage of the workers in this industry, have largely been unable to improve their social status.

The liberalisation of the world market of textiles and clothing will be accompanied by sharp structural transformations. It will have a dramatic impact on numerous production countries and industries as well as on millions of workers. Whereas it appeared for a long time as if the quota regulation of the global trade in textiles and clothing has only protected the industries in developed countries, it has become increasingly obvious that it also allowed some developing countries to build up their own industries. Who, then, will consider the phase-out of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing to be a risk rather than an opportunity? What are those risks and opportunities if you look at them closely? Which strategies should be developed to support the interests of the workers in the worldwide clothing industry?

This publication analyses the development of the textile and clothing trade in the framework of GATT and the WTO. It presents a series of country case studies as well as proposals for action. The two publishers consider this brochure to be a contribution to the work of the Clean Clothes Campaign which for many years has struggled to improve social standards in the international clothing industry.

(Dr. Sabine Ferenschild, Ingeborg Wick, 68 Pages)


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