Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in workshop, seminar, course
Recent disasters (e.g. the Rana Plaza and Ali Enterprises factory fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan) and growing concerns over environmental challenges (e.g. environmental degradation in Nigeria and Zambia) posed by corporate activities have led to the multiplication of calls and efforts to regulate corporate human and environmental rights violations. Current regulatory approaches have mainly taken the form of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ regulations that emphasise the importance of transparency, human rights due diligence and corporate criminal law for the governance of global supply chains. They increasingly also involve transnational lawsuits that seek to hold parent companies liable for human rights violations committed by their subsidiaries overseas, and an emerging global movement for a binding treaty on business and human rights. Despite these advances, however, there remain persistent challenges and questions about the transformational potential and sustainability of these strategies. How are these initiatives developed, and by whom? How are they perceived, experienced, influenced by or influencing their presumed intended beneficiaries? How do they relate to, or interact with, domestic initiatives and social movements?
This conference sought to initiate new discussions and explore new perspectives on the current state and prospects of global supply chain regulation and governance. Among other things, conference participants reflected on the impacts of existing supply chain regulations, the political-economic contexts within which these regulations are developed and implemented, and their impacts on the ground. They also explored the role that predominant business models play in undermining labour standards in global supply chains and how Southern actors (states, businesses and civil society) have responded to these challenges so far.