Decent Work in International Supply Chains

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment commissioned Nyenrode Business Universiteit and consultancy firm CREM to conduct a research project concerning the impacts of global supply chains on the compliance with the ‘decent work’ norms defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These ILO norms have been incorporated in various international treaties and statements, and agreed upon by many countries around the world.

The research team examined regulatory practices in 20 countries and corporate practices in 5 sectors in order to detect innovative instruments employed to improve decent work via global supply chains.

Barriers and opportunities

Furthermore, international investment law and trade law were analysed to identify barriers and opportunities. The researchers also investigated various international sustainability initiatives and innovative approaches such as the Bangladesh Accord (which was concluded by multiple private and public sector parties after the Rana Plaza accident) and Global Framework Agreements (agreements concluded between multinational companies and international unions). Researchers from multiple continents were involved in this project to look into matters that concerned their country of origin.

The results were presented in reports and in several meetings at the Ministry, some of which were attended by Dutch trade unions’ and employer organisations’ representatives. The parties look back at a successfully concluded project and hope to continue to work together in the future.

More info: Victor de Lange