Time for a Reboot: Monitoring in China’s Electronics Industry

Outhwaite Opi, 2018

Name of publisher/editor

The International Labor Rights Forum and The Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group

Geographic area


Summary & key words

« Two decades ago, exposés of child labor, forced labor, and other worker rights violations in subcontracted systems of production gave rise to global corporations recognizing the need to commit to corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles, which in turn led to extensive programs and policies and supply chain monitoring programs. Many brands have since recognized the shortcomings of these CSR initiatives, which have been mostly voluntary, confidential schemes developed by corporations themselves or by multi-stakeholder initiatives lacking meaningful involvement from the workers whom the initiatives purport to serve. In response to the widely documented failures of this billion dollar CSR industry1 to protect workers’ rights, workers and their organizations have been exploring new models for engaging global brands to negotiate enforceable agreements and advance worker-driven social responsibility – ones that are not confidential, self-regulating, or management-driven. Our vision for more effective corporate accountability is one that ensures a meaningful role for the impacted workers in both the implementation and oversight of the initiative. »