Fair Wear Foundation
The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent non-profit based in Amsterdam. Governance of the foundation is done by three groups equally represented: business associations, trade unions, and labor NGOs. The overarching mission of FWF is to improve labor conditions in the garment industry. The organization works as an “international verification initiative” that works closely with garment makers that “take responsibility for their supply chain.” FWF works closely with producers to track improvements in working conditions. The organization has several guiding principles including involvement of stakeholders, transparency, and labor standards derived from ILO Conventions and the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. The website provides ample information about the Foundation and its activities, as well as the garment industry and the labor ideals to which the Foundation strives. Several sections are of interest: Countries, Brands, Labour Standards, and Resources. The Countries section provides an interactive map showing where FWF is active, or where FWF affiliates have production. The Brands section is a listing of brands and companies that are FWF members and are thus in, or working toward, full compliance with the FWF Code of Labour Practices. The Code is available on the Labour Standards page and comprises eight standards. These are: employment is freely chosen; no employment discrimination; no child labor; freedom of association and collective bargaining rights; payment of a living wage; no excessive working hours; safe and healthy working conditions; and a legally-binding employment relationship. Users should also consult the resources page, which provides an abundance of materials, including publications and reports, country studies, and policy documents.
[Author: M. Morrison]
The Regulation Room is an independent project of the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI), a multidisciplinary group of Cornell University faculty and students who work to improve the rulemaking process through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. The site is hosted by the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) which provides free access to legal information for the public. The purpose of the Regulation Room is to provide a forum for improved public participation in rulemaking. Although thousands of rules are proposed annually by federal agencies, CeRI can offer only a few for discussion at a time. The process begins when proposed rules are recommended to CeRI by federal agencies. From there, individual rules are selected by CeRI based upon which are most “feasible” and will likely advance CeRI’s “understanding of how to use the Web more effectively in rulemaking.” Selected rules are posted to the Regulation Room for discussion and reaction by the public. The homepage provides a summary of the proposed rule, announcements pertaining to the rule and comments about the rule. The most important issues affecting each proposed rule are identified by CeRI and featured prominently at the top of the page as “Issue Posts.” These allow individuals to better navigate complicated rules by concentrating on the matters of most concern to them. Selecting an issue in turn generates a list of subtopics, and each subtopic includes information about the problem to be resolved, proposed solutions, and the information sought from the public by the agency. Abbreviations and unusual terminology abound, but popup definitions are available by moving one’s mouse over the word in question. Links are provided to agency documents, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the proposed text of the rule, analysis done on the rule, other related rules and regulations, and occasionally, outside sources of additional information. Comments pertaining to each issue are posted on the right side of the page, and no registration is required to read them. Individuals who would like to contribute their own comments may do so by registering with a username, password and email. Commenters may choose between making their username or their real name available to the public, and are further provided with the option to create a short biography to accompany their name. Comments are regulated by a team of moderators composed of Cornell students and faculty. They may be redacted or removed if a moderator determines that they undermine the discussion, but will still be made available for viewing on the Quarantine page. All comments are ultimately summarized by CeRI; the summary is briefly presented for review and reaction by commenters, and is then forwarded to the relevant agency within the official public comment period. The “Learn More” section of the site provides an introduction to the rulemaking process, instructions regarding how to participate, and more information about the site.
[Author: A. Emerson]
Social Accountability International (SAI) is dedicated to “promoting the human rights of workers around the world.” Members of SAI’s Board of Directors and Advisory Board represent human rights organizations, labor organizations, and corporations. SAI was formed in the mid-1990s when corporate social responsibility efforts attempted to rectify unfair labor practices as consumers were demanding accountability for poor working conditions. In 1997, SAI launched SA8000 (Social Accountability 8000) – “a voluntary standard for workplaces, based on ILO and UN conventions – which is currently used by businesses and governments around the world and recognized as one of the strongest workplace standards.” SA8000 is based on the methodology of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and is used as a benchmark for corporate social responsibility programs. SA8000 bans child labor and forced labor, addresses health and safety concerns, promotes freedom of association and collective bargaining, bans discrimination, prohibits cruel and abusive disciplinary practices, establishes working hours (a normal workweek of 48 hours with one day off after six consecutive work days), provides for a living wage, and discusses management systems to maintain certification. As of December 31, 2010 SA8000 certification covers over 2,400 facilities in 65 countries, across 65 industries, and over 1.4 million employees. Certification is now done by a spin-off of SAI, Social Accountability Accreditation Services. The SAI website offers a history of SAI and SA 8000, a list of SAI partnerships and programs, and news and resources including SAI publications such as annual reports and case studies, and training. SAI''s established and custom training courses are open to social auditors, buyers, suppliers and corporate compliance managers, factory managers and/or workers. SAI has provided training to executives from numerous industries over the past three years, including apparel, footwear, agriculture, electronic assembly and light manufacturing. The site also offers corporate programs and lists corporate program members including The Gap, Chiquita Brands International, General Mills, and The Walt Disney Company. The SAI website provides the text of SA 8000 and gives corporations a blueprint for improving labor conditions in an age of globalization.
[Author: J. Callihan]
InSITE contributors: J. Callihan, A. Emerson, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
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The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.