Thirteen Electronics Watch affiliate representatives joined an inspiring two days of events focusing on forced labour in global supply chains at the University of Greenwich in London, December 2016. The affiliate meeting on day one provided an opportunity for affiliates to meet representatives of Electronics Watch monitoring organisations from four regions of the world, and learn about monitoring methodology and the key issues they are uncovering. Affiliates and monitors also met the Board of Trustees and shared valuable perspectives on their priorities for Electronics Watch in 2017. On day two, four affiliates were featured as presenters at the Greenwich Symposium on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Human Rights Risks in Global Supply Chains: Roles and Responsibilities of Public Buyers.
New year, new affiliates! Electronics Watch celebrates its first full consortium affiliation, and tenth UK University.
Electronics Watch has started 2017 with another exciting milestone, announcing its first full consortium membership, Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC), the purchasing consortium for Scotland's Universities and Colleges. All of APUC's 44 higher and further educational institutions have become Consortium Affiliates of Electronics Watch through APUC. This is the first time a whole sector of public bodies in a country has affiliated, and demonstrates the push within the sector in Scotland to achieve a transparent and fair supply chain for the products they purchase.
Electronics Watch is proud to welcome affiliates, Electronics Watch monitoring partners, and advisors to the first annual meeting of affiliates to be hosted at Greenwich University in London on December 7. Participants will also join the Greenwich Symposium on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Human Rights Risks in Global Supply Chains: Roles and Responsibilities of Public Buyers, taking place on the following day.
Electronics Watch has just welcomed the first US affiliate, Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS) in New York. Jeannie Crowley, Director of Technology at ECFS said: "The mission of our school is not the adaptation of the individual to the existing social environment; it is to develop individuals who are competent to change their environment to greater conformity with moral ideals. Through our partnership with the Electronics Watch, we will ensure our technology department meets the ECFS mission by committing to socially responsible procurement. By weaving the risk reports into our ethics and technology curriculum, this partnership will also help our students develop a deeper understanding of the true cost, both environmental and human, of electronic device production."
As Electronics Watch grows, so does our team of dedicated representatives. If you are located in the Netherlands, UK, or Spain and would like to find out more about Electronics Watch affiliation, you can contact these representatives at the email addresses below, and they will be happy to give you a detailed presentation, or answer any specific questions you may have.
The Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group (BHRE), the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) and Electronics Watch are delighted to announce the next Greenwich Symposium on socially responsible public procurement. This Symposium follows two successful ones in 2014 and 2015 where we explored the challenges and opportunities for public buyers to make a difference in the lives of those producing the products we purchase. This year's symposium focuses on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Human Rights Risks in the Global Supply Chain, and addresses the challenges and opportunities for public procurement to become a transformative tool for the respect and protection of workers.
Public procurement and human rights is an increasingly hot topic among institutional buyers and suppliers and Electronics Watch is an active participant in meetings and conferences that bring together leading practitioners. In just a few short months this autumn Electronics Watch is participating in seven roundtables and conferences throughout Europe and the United States with representatives of public buyers, NGOs, academics, and industry. All these fora are highlighting best practice on public procurement and human rights, seeking to identify practical solutions on transparency, risk assessments, and labour rights compliance. If you are a public sector buyer, this is a great time to learn more about Electronics Watch and our solutions to identify, mitigate and prevent risk in your electronics supply chains.
An Electronics Watch risk assessment of the electronics industry in China suggests that risks of particular concern include forced labour, discrimination against women workers, excessive and illegal working hours, underpayment of social security obligations, health and safety hazards, abusive termination of employment, and violations of collective bargaining rights. Three experienced monitoring organisations—Economic Rights Institute, Globalization Monitor, and Labour Education Services Network—conducted the research and monitoring activities for this regional risk assessment, which was released to affiliates in October 2016.
Electronics Watch has got the word out at conferences on both sides of the Atlantic in recent months.
UN Sustainable Procurement Agency Publishes Electronics Watch Report on Public Procurement and Human Rights Due Diligence
The UN Informal Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (SPHS) has published Electronics Watch's recent report on public procurement and human rights due diligence on its platform, savinglivesustainably.org.