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The University of Washington Women’s Center has urged the State of Washington to develop enforceable anti-human trafficking procurement legislation that requires vendors (state contractors) to map and manage an ethical supply chain. In its report to the State Legislature, “Human Trafficking and Supply Chains - Recommendations to Reduce Human Trafficking in Local and Global Supply Chains,” the Center writes that Washington State should ensure that “all applicable vendor supply chains [are monitored]… by an independent monitoring agency, preferably Electronics Watch for electronics contracts.”
In 2016, the Swiss Canton de Vaud affiliated as a founding member to Electronics Watch, leading the way for the whole purchasing consortium, the Romandy IT Purchasing Partnership (PAIR), to affiliate as of January 1 this year. PAIR is a non-profit association whose purpose is to define and meet the common needs of its active members in order to enable them to procure ICT products and services on the best terms. It brings together some forty members from French-speaking Switzerland, such as cantons, cities, hospitals, universities and public transport companies. En Français
90 participants from 18 countries, including 28 public buyers, attended the Electronics Watch Annual Conference 2017: Ending Precarious Labour – Public Buyers' Role in Protecting the Rights of Electronics Workers for what proved to be an intense and eye-opening day with contributions from a wide array of experts in socially responsible public procurement and labour rights in the global electronics industry.
Electronics Watch has released a Regional Risk Assessment of the Electronics Industry in India. The report documents factory compliance with labour laws in India and the Electronics Watch Code of Labour Standards in order to highlight the risks workers face. Precarious workers—temporary, contract, daily-wage, apprentices and trainees—are particularly vulnerable to labour rights abuses, the report shows.
The Electronics Watch Annual Conference 2017: Ending Precarious Labour - Public Buyers' Role in Protecting the Rights of Electronics Workers, will be held at the Octagon at Queen Mary University of London, on December 7. It is organised in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London, the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group at University of Greenwich and Good Electronics. The Conference boasts speakers who are leading practitioners in the field of socially responsible public procurement, experts in international labour rights, and grassroots workplace monitors from electronics production regions around the world. This is a sustainable event, with fair trade beverages and refreshments, recycled materials, a minimum of waste, and carbon offsets for those traveling from afar.
Electronics Watch is thrilled to announce the hiring of Peter Pawlicki, Director of Outreach and Education. Based in Germany, Peter will be working to support and recruit public sector buyers in Europe and elsewhere, and coordinate Electronics Watch's role in the Make ICT Fair project. This is a new 3-million euro EC funded project that will address both manufacturing and mining in the electronics industry though policy, finance, and public procurement strategies.
The European Commission has granted three million euros funding for the three year project Make ICT Fair - Reforming Manufacture & Minerals Supply Chains through Policy, Finance & Public Procurement. Electronics Watch is one of 10 co-applicants, which also include the University of Edinburgh, an affiliate and founding member of Electronics Watch, and former NGO EW founding partners, Sudwind (Austria), People and Planet (UK), and SETEM Catalunya. SOMO (NL) and WEED (Germany) will receive subgrants, the latter via Electronics Watch. New coalition partners include ICLEI, which organises the triennial EcoProcura conferences.
Public service union UNISON has become the first trade union to affiliate to Electronics Watch, and the first trade union in the UK to ensure the electronics they purchase are independently monitored for workers' rights violations. UNISON is one of the UK's largest trade unions, serving more than 1.3 million members. As the first affiliate outside the public sector, UNISON is participating in a pilot scheme to evaluate what Electronics Watch can offer not-for-profit civil society organisations and trade unions that buy significant amounts of ICT hardware products.
DUO/SSO-Noord, part of Dutch Ministry of Education, is now an Electronics Watch affiliate. DUO/SSO-Noord is responsible for purchasing datacentres for over 56 organisations within the Dutch national government. The signing ceremony took place on Wednesday July 12, 2017.