As our recently released Annual Report shows, growth was the theme for 2022. Our team expanded from seven to seventeen with the support of affiliates and new funders. And our capacity to help public sector organisations protect the rights of workers in their electronics supply chains increased substantially.
Electronics Watch is now able to publicly release another of its impact stories. This time from a Foxconn factory in Czechia, which supplies HPE servers to many of our affiliates. There were substantial improvements in core labour rights areas in this case – the result of meaningful stakeholder engagement throughout the remediation process.
The Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN) has released Joint Chemical Safety Committee Guidance covering the key elements for developing and running joint worker-management committees to address chemical safety concerns in electronics factories. The Guidance was developed with the active participation of Electronics Watch and fellow CEPN member organisations and expert advisors. Extensive consultation focused on active worker participation and management of the Committees.
In March 2023, Electronics Watch and the Responsible Business Alliance updated the Terms of Engagement agreed in 2021. The new terms reflect lessons learned and include several improvements.
Electronics Watch delivered a two-day training in Taiwan last month for our monitoring partner, Serve the People Association (SPA). SPA runs shelters for migrant workers in the capital, Taipei. SPA's core team, shelter staff and volunteers covered topics including the Electronics Watch Monitoring Methodology, Migrant Labor Issues, Freedom of Association, Health and Safety, Grievances and Due Diligence Legislations.
Despite the recent change of leadership in the country, there are currently no signs of improvement in working conditions and respect for human rights in the Philippines. Low wages and temporary work are the rule. Electronics Watch is strengthening its monitoring there from 2023.
Electronic Watch's worker-driven monitoring process is separated into phases of understanding the issues, presenting evidence to industry and affiliates, and developing remedy, with workers always at the centre. One issue that can hinder this process is when workers avoid communication with our monitoring partners, due to fear or other factors. To explore solutions to this and similar barriers, Electronics Watch organised a workshop in December with Central European monitoring partners Periféria (Hungary), Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (Poland), and Centre for Social Issues (Czechia).