The Electronics Watch Contract Conditions

The Electronics Watch Contract Conditions is a tool for affiliates and their contractors to address working conditions in ICT hardware factories that assemble or make the components of the products purchased under the contract.

Contract performance rather than certification

Electronics Watch does not certify or rate products, factories, or companies for compliance with labour rights and safety standards.  No company can claim complete compliance in its supply chain.  Thus, the goal of any one contract for electronics products is to detect breaches and help improve conditions for workers who make the products.  The Electronics Watch Contract Conditions establish the legal framework for this process.

The Contract Conditions require the contractor to perform "due diligence" to identify, prevent and mitigate risk of breach, remedy actual breaches, and compensate workers affected by the breaches, consistent with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. Contractors are also responsible for due diligence to ensure Socially Responsible Trading Conditions in the supply chain: that is, pricing and delivery terms that ensure compliance with labour rights and safety standards is feasible.   To verify compliance Electronics Watch monitors factories that contractors have disclosed in accordance with their obligations under the Contract Conditions.  The contracting authority can employ enforcement actions gradually, as needed, beginning with informal engagement, proceeding to escalation procedures defined in the Contract Conditions, and, as last resort, sanctions.  Even sanctions is a tool to get better performance from the contractor, not necessarily to terminate business.

The Electronics Watch Code of Labour Standards

The goal of Electronics Watch and its affiliates is to achieve compliance with the Electronics Watch Code of Labour Standards in the factories that assemble or make the components of the ICT hardware products  they purchase.

This Code includes domestic standards defined in applicable domestic labour law.  Those laws are often comprehensive and tailored to local conditions.  Yet, they do not always provide the level of worker protection that international standards do.  Because most countries have committed to implement international standards in their own laws, the Code includes international labour standards as defined in the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization, and additional international standards relevant to electronics manufacturing.  Because the international labour conventions generally lack the specificity to make them easily enforceable, the Electronics Watch Code also contains a set of sub-standards for each main standard that describes specific practices that are not allowed. Thus, the standards in this Code are general enough that they capture the widest possible range of violations, but also specific enough to be easily interpreted and enforced.

Click here for the Electronics Watch Code of Labour Standards.