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  1. Analysis
November 1, 2008

BRIEFING: The role of multi-stakeholder initiatives in improving labour standards

Mounting concern over working conditions in the clothing supply chain in the 1990s spawned the creation of four initiatives, all of which sought to tackle the problem through a joint approach involving industry, NGOs and trade unions. All four organisations – the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) in the UK, the Fair Wear Foundation in the Netherlands, and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Social Accountability International (SAI) in the US – have played an important role in raising the profile of ethical concerns in supply chains and improving working conditions. This month's briefing looks at the work of the various multi-stakeholder initiatives, their impact on labour standards over the past decade, the advantages and challenges the tripartite approach presents and its effectiveness in tackling ethical issues in business.

Mounting concern over working conditions in the clothing supply chain in the 1990s spawned the creation of four initiatives, all of which sought to tackle the problem through a joint approach involving industry, NGOs and trade unions. All four organisations – the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) in the UK, the Fair Wear Foundation in the Netherlands, and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Social Accountability International (SAI) in the US – have played an important role in raising the profile of ethical concerns in supply chains and improving working conditions. This month’s briefing looks at the work of the various multi-stakeholder initiatives, their impact on labour standards over the past decade, the advantages and challenges the tripartite approach presents and its effectiveness in tackling ethical issues in business.

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