Findings of the follow up visits to the indian suppliers
12 December 2002
The Pilot project on independent monitoring was created in April 2000 in the wake of a major campaign launched by the Swiss branch of the CCC. It called on garment retailers to adopt a Code of Conduct similar to its own model Code and to ensure its implementation throughout their supply chain. Heeding this call, three Swiss garment retail companies adopted a Code of Conduct and agreed to test the feasibility of setting up an independent mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Code.
The pilot project, under the responsibility of Isabelle Scherer, started its activities in October 2000. After spending several months identifying potential local partners in the two countries chosen for this experiment (India and China), the pilot project carried out its first visits of three Indian suppliers located in Tamil Nadu (South India) in September 2001. Local Indian social researchers were involved in the interviews of the workers, while auditors were entrusted with the inspection of the production facilities and of relevant registers. After corrective actions were formulated between the Swiss companies and their suppliers, a follow-up visit to check their implementation took place in October 2002. While full detailed reports on the findings have been forwarded by the pilot project to both the companies and suppliers visited, a summary of the main findings is now available on the website of CCC (www.cleanclothes.ch).
The summaries give a brief presentation of the legal framework, methodology and background factory information. They then assess the level of implementation of the provisions of the Code adopted by each company and focus in particular on the corrective actions defined by the companies and the suppliers, looking at the improvements introduced since the first visit and identifying the remaining issues. Each summary concludes with a brief assessment of the potential for further improvements.
The original 18-month mandate of the pilot project was extended until January 2003 in order to enable it to carry out the follow up visits of the two Chinese suppliers. These visits will take place in January 2003 and the summaries of the detailed reports will be posted on the same website at the end of the month.
CCC is currently considering with the three companies possible future scenarios that could be implemented in the wake of the conclusion of the pilot project. Finally, it should also be noted that information sessions for the workers regarding the content of the Code and of Indian and Chinese labour laws respectively are currently taking place in both countries, thanks to the involvement of local partners.