G7 leaders agree fund for safer supply chains
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with US President Barack Obama at the G7 Summit
The G7 group of leading industrial nations has pledged to strive for more responsible global supply chains in the textile and ready-made garment sector – including the launch of a new fund to help improve working conditions and compensate victims.
The leaders of Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, the USA and Canada said they support a "Vision Zero Fund", which will be established in partnership with the ILO to reduce workplace-related deaths and serious injuries, such as the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh where more than 1,100 garment workers lost their lives.
Recipients of the money will be limited to those who "commit themselves to prevention measures and the implementation of labour, social, environmental and safety standards".
The group also said tools such as apps had a role to play in helping consumers compare information on social and environmental product labels and understand how their clothes were made.
"Moreover, we will strengthen multi-stakeholder initiatives in our countries and in partner countries, including in the textile and ready-made garment sector, building upon good practices learned from the Rana Plaza aftermath," it added.
There will also be more support for countries who promote responsible global supply chains.
The G7 leaders said they recognised "the joint responsibility of governments and business to foster sustainable supply chains and encourage best practices."
A joint declaration released following the summit in Germany earlier this week added: "Unsafe and poor working conditions lead to significant social and economic losses and are linked to environmental damage.
"Given our prominent share in the globalisation process, G7 countries have an important role to play in promoting labour rights, decent working conditions and environmental protection in global supply chains."
The document said G7 nations would "take action to promote better working conditions by increasing transparency, promoting identification and prevention of risks and strengthening complaint mechanisms."
As well as encouraging "enterprises active or headquartered in our countries to implement due diligence procedures regarding their supply chains," the leaders said they welcomed "international efforts, including private sector input, to promulgate industry-wide due diligence standards in the textile and ready-made garment sector."
They also pledged to "strengthen multi-stakeholder initiatives in our countries and in partner countries" to build upon "good practices learned from the Rana Plaza aftermath".
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