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).
Electronics Watch is delighted to give an official welcome to four new full time staff members who joined in the last quarter of 2022. Director of Monitoring, Fabrice Warneck, Manager of Monitoring Capacity, Aykut Kazanci and Programme Assistants, Petra Krčmářová and Haëndila Varela, will all play a vital role servicing our affiliates and supporting workers to defend their rights.
Electronics Watch is taking steps to develop and implement a worker-driven remediation methodology. The methodology will complement the worker-driven monitoring methodology, taking over at the point where harm to workers is reported. The idea is to develop an equally detailed method to drive improvements, including remedy for workers. Recent workshops in Copenhagen and Malaysia served to consult key stakeholders – namely public buyers, trade unions, civil society organisations and academics – on aspects of the methodology and its underlying principles, to ensure its relevance and utility.
In June Electronics Watch released ‘State of Sustainability Research for Corporate ESG Performance: The Electronics Industry'. The report supports the Global Electronics Council to revise the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) criteria for corporate ESG performance. EPEAT is a global ecolabel for the IT sector. The GEC has now released its draft Corporate ESG Performance criteria for public comment.
Twenty one public sector organisations and seven civil society monitoring organisations from 13 countries convened in Barcelona, Spain from 17 – 18 November for the Electronics Watch event, Affiliate Exchange for Impact. By facilitating learning and exchange, this event increased awareness about public buyers' collective leverage and how it is – and can further be – exercised to protect the rights of workers in global supply chains.