INWORK Policy Brief No. 10

Purchasing practices and working conditions in global supply chains: Global Survey results

The International Labour Organization (ILO), at the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC), discussed the need to further assess working conditions deficits as well as governance issues that may hinder the achievement of decent work in global supply chains (GSCs). Specifically, the Conference asked the ILO to "take a proactive role in generating and making accessible reliable data on decent work in GSCs" and to "carry out research … to better understand how supply chains work in practice … and what their impact is on decent work and fundamental rights" (ILC, 105th Session, Resolution concerning decent work in GSCs).

The Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions branch of the ILO took action to contribute to fill this gap by carrying out a Global Survey on purchasing practices and working conditions in collaboration with the joint Ethical Trading Initiatives (ETIs). This Global Survey was sent out between July and October of 2016 to a pool of 41,387 suppliers, provided mainly by SEDEX, but also by the ETIs. In total 1,454 suppliers from 87 countries responded to the questionnaire.