Executive Briefings

Supply Chain Audits Lack Legal Weight, NGO Says

Auditing firms need to be held legally liable for incidents of worker abuse or health and safety failings that they fail to uncover, a human rights NGO has said.

Supply Chain Audits Lack Legal Weight, NGO Says

Apparel companies that commission social audits of suppliers should make such liability a "minimum condition," the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) said in a report.

“Auditing companies must suffer negative consequences if they deliver a deficient audit. Changing the incentives for the audit industry could simply and aptly be achieved by increasing the likelihood of liability,” it said.

Social audits have become a staple of corporate social responsibility policies in countries where governments lack the ability or political will to monitor standards themselves, the report said.

However, audits have “notorious shortcomings” because they only provide a snapshot of conditions in a factory, often lack transparency and sometimes there are conflicts of interest around funding.

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Apparel companies that commission social audits of suppliers should make such liability a "minimum condition," the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) said in a report.

“Auditing companies must suffer negative consequences if they deliver a deficient audit. Changing the incentives for the audit industry could simply and aptly be achieved by increasing the likelihood of liability,” it said.

Social audits have become a staple of corporate social responsibility policies in countries where governments lack the ability or political will to monitor standards themselves, the report said.

However, audits have “notorious shortcomings” because they only provide a snapshot of conditions in a factory, often lack transparency and sometimes there are conflicts of interest around funding.

Read Full Article

Supply Chain Audits Lack Legal Weight, NGO Says