Sustainable improvement of working conditions

WE aims at establishing social standards in production facilities located in developing and emerging countries. All relevant actors in the factories, particularly the workers, shall benefit from the approach. The training methodology and materials developed during the pilot project are available on request for interested organisations.   

Objective 1: Dialogue and establishment of essential social standards  
WE supports producers in developing and emerging countries to comply with social standards as defined in the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Human Rights covenants of the United Nations as well as corresponding national legislation.  In particular, WE focuses on those areas with the greatest need for improvement: adequate working hours, statutory minimum wages or respectively wages that ensure a decent standard of living as well as good workplace cooperation between managers and workers. Overall, all core topics of social standards are covered, including fire safety, the ban on child labour and forced labour, non-discrimination in the workplace as well as occupational health and safety.   

Objective 2: Responsible competitiveness

As third pillar of sustainability, economic perspectives such as increasing quality, productivity and efficiency are part of WE. Often they are important drivers for the improvement of working conditions. Success however relies on real participation of workers. Those suppliers, who fully immerse themselves into the process, realize that better collaboration with their shop floor workers will increase overall competitiveness and create a long-term business case. 

Objective 3: Contributing towards policy goals   

Within international development cooperation, the German government is committed to realizing decent living and working conditions as well as to enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector in developing and emerging countries. Promoting social standards supports achieving international development goals. For instance, living wages contribute to fighting poverty. They ensure workers and their families have sufficient money to secure a decent standard of living and their children's education. As another example, the permanent reduction of overtime protects workers’ health while increasing productivity. Companies that comply with social standards will benefit from improved access to markets in industrialized countries and raise their international competitiveness in the mid- to long-term.

Objective 4: Scaling up the WE approach  

The project partners GIZ and Tchibo are working towards creating broad-based impact with the WE approach. Retailers, production facilities as well as other interested organisations can have access to the qualified local trainers (in case of free capacities) and the pilot training materials on request.

Are you interested in learning more about the WE approach? Please feel free to contact us!