Make ICT Fair – improving electronics supply chain
Make ICT Fair is an initiative to improve labour rights in the electronics supply chain, established by eleven European non-governmental organisations and academic institutions: Swedwatch, University of Edinburgh, CATAPA, Le Monde Diplomatic, Towards Sustainability Association, CEE Bankwatch Network, People and Planet, Electronic Watch, SETEM Catalunya, Südwind, and ICLEI.
We closely follow international public finance and bring critical updates from the ground.
Key factsThe global electronics industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries globally but due to a mix of low capacity for effective regulation in production companies and the business practices of brands and contract manufacturers, workers in the industry suffer the externalities of cheap production. The public sector in Europe purchases 1 in every 5 computers, and spends EUR 94 billion on ICT each year. This gives the sector both the power and responsibility to use its procurement contracts to raise standards across all supply chain locations in the Global South.
As required by the EU legislation, and the UN guiding principles, national governments need to adopt a stronger and firmer guidance to control how workers and communities are affected by the industry.
With the EU support from 2013-2016, a group of seven European NGOs from the Good Electronics Network set up Electronics Watch (EW) to raise awareness about human rights and conflict implications of the global electronics industry, and monitor progress.
Currently, only 1-2 per cent of the EU public sector spending is done through EW with socially responsible procurement criteria.
Furthermore, these criteria only protect workers at the manufacturing stage whilst other forms of influence in the industry, such as investment and legislation, are not included.
In preparation for this action, we have extended our coalition to include leading EU public sector buyers and civil society organisations with technical and awareness raising expertise in problems associated with mineral extraction and processing. These organisations not only have connections to miners and affected communities in the Global South, but also have experience of influencing the EU’s and multilateral development banks’ policy and practice.
Combining increased procurement leverage with investment influence and legislative change significantly strengthens the capacity to improve standards in manufacturing and mining for the ICT industry.
WIN: European Parliament votes in favour of binding regulation on conflict minerals in entire supply chain
In June 2016, 157 NGOs called for stronger EU regulation of the human rights and conflict implications of the global electronics industry and its associated mineral inputs.
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