Publications by Electronics Watch

Please scroll down to find publications by Electronics Watch.  Note that most Electronics Watch monitoring reports are available initially or exclusively to affiliates and accessible only through the affiliates log-in. If you have questions about Electronics Watch monitoring please contact us.

See also: Other useul publications

    Foxconn Cover

    Compliance Reports: Foxconn in Pardubice, Czech Republic, June 2018

    The reports highlight the problem of precarious employment and income insecurity of the indirect workforce, their unpredictable working hours and late shift notifications, and their lack of information concerning their own wages and bonuses as well as improvements in these areas.

    Electronics Watch has monitored and reported on labour standards compliance at the Foxconn factory in Pardubice, Czech Republic, since April 2016, and originally shared these reports with the trade union, Foxconn, HP, a leading buyer, and affiliates in 2017 (see our transparency policy).  Readers should note that information in the reports may no longer be up to date. Electronics Watch welcomes comments and suggestions from readers regarding issues that should be further investigated.  Note that the most recent findings begin on page 51 in the combined report.

    Foxconn (the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry) is the world's largest contract manufacturer. It manufactures and develops computers, communications and consumer products, and components for many of the best-known electronics brands. Foxconn CZ operates two plants in the Czech Republic.  The one in Pardubice serves as the company's regional base for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

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    SRPP- Extending to Extractives in the Electronics Industry, April 2018

    In this webinar you will learn about human rights abuses in the mining sector of the electronics supply chain that affect workers, their families, and their communities. The webinar focuses on the most important metals for the electronics industry and explores existing initiatives that address human rights issues in the mining sector.   Presenters discuss how to address the human rights issues as part of a program on socially responsible public procurement and highlight the experiences of University of Edinburgh, the first higher education institution in the UK to adopt a formal conflict minerals policy. Guest speakers: Irene Schipper, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), Netherlands and Liz Cooper, Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, The University of Edinburgh.

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    Electronics Watch Policy Brief #1: Worker-Driven Transparency

    The Electronics Watch Policy Briefs offer insights and ideas on issues related to socially responsible and sustainable public procurement based on Electronics Watch’s perspective as a labour rights monitoring organisation that places workers at the centre of its activities. Worker-driven supply chain transparency moves beyond initiatives aimed at mitigating reputational risk and shifts perspective from consumers to workers. From workers' perspective transparency is about bringing them to the table as equals, sharing the information and providing the resources they need to ensure their safety and protect their rights.

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    Webinar: Knowing & Showing Your Supply Chain, February 2018

    This is the first of a series of Electronics Watch webinars, free and intended primarily for public buyers. With conflicting definitions and methodologies, transparency talk in procurement can be confusing. In this webinar, featuring Robert Stumberg, Professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, we look at what transparency really is and why it's so important. We break down the concept into clear and manageable parts - 'How can you know your supply chain?' and 'How can you show your supply chain?', and explore how Electronics Watch can support both of these steps.

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    Electronics Watch Biannual Report 2016-2017

    The Electronics Watch Biannual Report is a comprehensive overview of the activities carried out in the period 2016-2017, including reports from the field showing how affiliates are making a difference, accompanied by the annual accounts and details of organisational and financial development of the organisation.

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    Webinar: Precarious Work in Indonesia and China, November 2017


    This is the third in the webinar series on precarious work in the electronics industry based, in part, on Electronics Watch monitoring findings.  This webinar features Fahmi Panimbang, labour activist with LIPS (Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane/Sedane Labor Resource Center) in Indonesia and Dimitri Kessler, Founder and Director of Economic Rights Institute in China.  Understanding the nature and impact of precarious work, such as subcontracting, temporary agency work, or student interning, is essential for procurement practitioners to strengthen social responsibility in electronics supply chains. When Electronics Watch asks workers what they would most like to change, precarious work is often at the top of the list because it so profoundly impacts their wages, security, and health and safety.  This webinar is organised in collaboration with the Higher Education Procurement Association (HEPA) in the UK.

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    Regional Risk Assessment: Electronics Industry, India, September, 2017

    This regional risk assessment of the electronics industry in India suggests that precarious workers-- temporary, contract, daily-wage, apprentices and trainees—are particularly vulnerable to labour rights abuses.  Cividep India conducted the research for this report using multiple sources of data and methodologies, including original worker and management interviews. It is made possible by the dues of Electronics Watch affiliates.

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    The Electronics Watch Contractor Guidance, September 2017

    The Electronics Watch Contractor Guidance is a detailed and comprehensive due diligence guide for ICT hardware contractors that sell products to public sector buyers.  It is designed to help these contractors comply with the Electronics Watch Contract Conditions and similar contract performance standards that aim to improve working conditions in factories that make the goods public sector organisations buy.  The Guidance defines 11 concrete outcomes to enhance supply chain transparency, industry cooperation with independent monitors, and factory compliance with labour rights and safety standards. Contractors must achieve outcomes within their direct control, and demonstrate effective due diligence towards achieving other outcomes. See praise for the Contractor Guidance from experts and public sector buyers here.

    The Electronics Watch Contractor Guidance is also available in Catalan and French.

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    Regional Risk Assessment: Semiconductor and Electronics Industry, Philippines, December 2016

    This regional risk assessment of the semiconductor and electronics industry in the Philippines suggests that breaches of particular concern include: freedom of association, working hours, and health and safety. The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) in the Philippines conducted the research for this risk assessment, including interviews with 34 electronics workers in all major electronics industry regions. The regional risk assessment is made possible by the dues of Electronics Watch affiliates.

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    Regional Risk Assessment: Electronics Industry in China, October 2016

    This regional risk assessment of the electronics industry in China suggests that breaches 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. The research and monitoring activities for this risk assessment were conducted by three organisations—Economic Rights Institute, Globalization Monitor, and Labour Education Services Network. The regional risk assessment is made possible by the dues of Electronics Watch affiliates and the support of Bread for All.

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    2016 Greenwich Annual Symposium and Public Buyers Forum

    On 8th December 2016, the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group (BHRE) hosted its third symposium on responsible public procurement, co-organised with the London University Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) and  Electronics Watch. This is a summary of presentations and comments at the symposium.

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    Public Procurement & Human Rights Due Diligence: A Case Study of the Swedish County Councils and the Dell Computer Corporation, February, 2016

    This Electronics Watch study of the Swedish county councils' experience in working with its IT contractor, Atea, and subcontractor, Dell, to respect workers' rights in China contains valuable lessons for public sector buyers that seek to ensure respect for labour rights in their global supply chains.

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    Briefing note: Electronics Watch: Supporting Compliance with the Modern Slavery Act

    Are you a public sector buyer in the UK looking for tools to help you comply with the Modern Slavery Act? Or are you simply looking for the most effective ways of eliminating human trafficking, slavery, and forced labour from your supply chain?  Electronics Watch can help with your ICT hardware supply chain.  This memo explains how.

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    The UK Higher Education and National Apple Equipment and Services Framework Agreement

    The latest UK Higher Education Framework Agreement for Apple products includes the Electronics Watch Contract Conditions.  Here is a summary of  the contractors' responsibilities under these Conditions.

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Other useful publications

The Electronics Watch Consortium — Centrum CSR (Poland), DanWatch (Denmark), People and Planet (UK), SETEM Catalunya,  SOMO(Netherlands), Südwind (Austria), and WEED (Germany) — conducted research on the electronics industry between 2013 and 2015 as part of the effort to establish Electronics Watch. Please scroll down to find publications by the Consortium or by members of the Consortium.

    Servants of servers. Rights violations and forced labour in the supply chain of ICT equipment in European universities


    Danwatch has investigated the supply chain of servers bought by European universities and found that whilst young European students enjoy a break in their studies during the summer, tens of thousands of Chinese students are sent by their schools - many of them forced, on irrelevant internships to the assembly lines of electronic factories to produce servers and other ICT equipment for the world’s biggest brands. Interns work 10-12 hours a day, six days a week for 3-5 months producing equipment that later will end in universities across Europe.

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    Winds of Change

    2014, Electronics Watch Consortium

    This report provides an insight of labour issues in the ICT industry, focusing on occupational health and safety issues and freedom of association, compounded by cases from South Korea and China. There are many ways to address these issues – informing and organising among workers, governments of production countries implementing their labour laws, etc. Social responsible public procurement is a new, untried way for institutional consumers on the buying end of the supply chain to exercise influence by using their purchasing power.

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    The ICT sector in the spotlight

    2014, Electronics Watch Consortium

    The report "The ICT sector in the spotlight. Leverage of public procurement decisions on working conditions in the supply chain" examines the complex production system of the ICT sector, maps extensively its key stakeholders and producer countries, and analyses the leverage of public buyers to change the abusive labour conditions in the industry.

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    IT workers still pay the price for cheap computers

    2013, DanWatch, China Labor Watch.

    Four factories in the provinces Guangdong and Jiangsu were investigated on their working conditions. The findings of the investigation are harsh: Forced overtime, strenuous shifts during peak periods, few days off each month, wages lower than a living wage, and militant management.

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    Phony Equality

    2011, Make IT Fair.

    This report focuses on labour rights in the mobile phone industry in India and addresses working conditions in export processing zones (known as Special Economic Zones in India). The aim of this research is to get an understanding of unionisation and precarious employment in four mobile phone factories, namely Nokia, Salcomp, Flextronics and Foxconn, based in Sriperumbudur around Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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    Out of Focus

    2011, Make IT Fair.

    This report evaluates the corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies of seven digital camera companies in Vietnam. Particular focus is put on freedom of association and collective bargaining and the working conditions at four of the factories.

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    Buy IT Fair. Guideline for sustainable procurement of computers

    1999, Buy IT Fair.

    Buyers guide for public purchasers about how to include social criteria in the process of public procurement. This guideline helps to implement sustainable tenders of computers. It has a special focus on the working conditions in the supply chains of brand name IT companies.

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    Best practices in sustainable public procurement of IT hardware in Europe

    2010, Procure IT Fair

    The roundtable meeting "Best practices in sustainable public procurement of IT hardware in Europe" was the fifth in a series of six meetings that were organised by Procure IT Fair. The idea of these meetings was to provide involved IT industry stakeholders with a platform to discuss sustainable procurement of IT hardware. This roundtable in Amsterdam focused specifically on sharing best practices and the role of resellers and service providers in the sustainable procurement of IT hardware.

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    Migration in a Digital Age

    2010, WEED.

    Migrant workers in the Malaysian electronics industry: case studies on Jabil Circuit and Flextronics. The studies reveal systematic violations of national and international laws, including the freedom of association for employees, one of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards.

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    The Dark Side of Cyberspace

    2009, SOMO

    China is currently the world's largest producer of electronic products. As in other developing economies, the transformation in electronics has been characterized by rapid upgrading from low cost consumer goods to higher-technology items. Today, information technology (IT) is predominant – for example, the manufacturing of personal computers (PC), cell phones, MP3, and game consoles.

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    Reset. Corporate social responsibility in the global electronics sector.

    2009, Good Electronics.

    This publication describes the impact of the global electronics sector on communities, workers and the environment. It gives insight into serious problems occurring in different phases of the supply chain: the mining of metals used in electronic products, the production, and the disposal of obsolete products.

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