Laws and International Treaties

Brands’ setting up Codes of Conduct is all well and good, but these are not independently accountable schemes and so do little to end exploitation. Multi-stakeholder initiatives are a positive step in the right direction, but again they are a form of voluntary governance that has the potential to fail workers - continuing reports of exploitation in workplaces, and of industrial disasters such as Rana Plaza, show there are limits to what these schemes can do.

International Labour Standards are an important step in tackling sweatshop exploitation. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a United Nations agency established to develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all. The ILO works on the formulation of International labour standards that, where implemented, offer a framework to end sweatshop exploitation.

No Sweat wants to see the introduction of enforced labour laws as this will go a long way to fighting sweatshop labour. Some countries have stronger laws than others but many are not enforced, allowing employers to exploit vulnerable workers with impunity.