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EU’s mandatory due diligence proposals irk clothing suppliers across the board.

European Union’s (EU) mandatory human rights due diligence proposals have irked clothing suppliers from Turkey, Morocco, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan besides the garment industry NGOs, calling on the EU to take a risk-based approach in its EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (EU CSDD) directive which will make companies responsible for human rights and environmental issues in their global supply chains.
The coalition of garment industry NGOs comprises Amfori, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Fair Wear Foundation, Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Transformers Foundation, along with manufacturers and suppliers from the supply-chain countries.
So much so, the manufacturers from the EU member countries are divided on the new rules. While some support the proposal as it would level the playing field, others argue the rules should only be applied to the first tier of the supply chain. According to Business Europe, a lobby group representing enterprises, corporate accountability throughout the value chain puts “unrealistic expectations on companies harming their competitiveness”. Meanwhile, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) stressed in its opinion on the directive that abuses should be addressed by member states’ authorities and not companies.

In February, the European Commission adopted a proposal with regard to a directive relating to due diligence requirements. The Commission’s data shows that 25 million people globally are in a situation of forced labour, with the vast majority of them being exploited in the private sector. Some 160 million children are in child labour, half of them performing dangerous work.

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