• A petition calling for transparency and social responsibility in European footwear and leather supply chains has gathered 13,606 signatures.
  • NGO Coalition Change your Shoes, with support from humaan rights group the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), is calling on the European Parliament to ensure human rights are upheld in the sector.
  • The coalition says it is preparing to deliver the petition to so-called "target brands".a
The petition has collected 13,606 signatures

The petition has collected 13,606 signatures

NGO Coalition Change your Shoes, with support from human rights group the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), is calling on the European Parliament to ensure human rights for workers in the global shoe and leather supply chains are upheld.

Last week the group presented a 13,606 signature-strong petition to the European Parliament, urging MEPs to help create more transparent and socially responsible supply chains in both sectors by making site-level public disclosure mandatory.

While an increasing number of apparel brands and retailers have recently disclosed their factory lists - including Danish fashion retailer Bestseller, Gap, C&A, Marks & Spencer, and Pentland Brands, one of the world's largest sports, outdoor and fashion companies - others are still resisting, the coalition says.

During a roundtable hosted by Spanish MEP, Lola Sánchez Caldentey of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group, together with MEP Heidi Hautala, Greens-EFA and MEP Arne Lietz, S&D, the coalition discussed the need for transparency in the footwear and leather sectors.

Several trade union and NGOs representatives were also present, including those from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the IndustriAll global union.

Earlier this year, Sánchez Caldentey spearheaded a report calling for measures to obligate apparel companies to take steps to identify, prevent, and remedy human rights abuses in their supply chains.

MEPs push for EU rules to protect garment workers

During the course of 2017, all three European Institutions have voiced concerns about human rights violations in the garment and footwear sector and called for more action.

However, Stefan Grasgruber-Kerl of Change your Shoes says more needs to be done.

"We welcome the good intentions to work on improvements in garment and footwear sector but we want to see concrete steps to be taken in the near future by EU institutions," he adds.

"At the roundtable ideas have been shared and steps forward were planned. Change your Shoes and the Clean Clothes Campaign will watch policy makers around the EU and member states [to see] if they implement what their papers say."

The coalition adds it is currently preparing to hand the petition to so-called "target brands" in the following days.