Perspectives on the quality of social responsibility monitoring schemes

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed in 2011 require that companies exercise human rights due diligence. A company’s value chain may be long and include numerous different products and raw materials that are made or produced in high-risk countries all over the world. Therefore, the exercise of human rights due diligence typically involves the monitoring of subcontractors and other producers that are part of the company’s value chain. As companies cannot be physically present in all the countries that comprise their value chain, they outsource an increasing amount of their social responsibility monitoring to external non-governmental social responsibility certification and auditing schemes.

This report by Finnwatch published in February 2016 takes part in discussion on responsibility monitoring by examining the trustworthiness of third-party monitoring schemes that focus on labour rights. The report focuses specifically on the certification and auditing of primary production and processing in risk countries, the purpose of which is to monitor working conditions at plantations, factories and other production units.

Download the report here.