German activities

Cooperation with civil society

Garment workers at a women's café in Bangladesh

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play an important role in the introduction of environmental and social standards in developing countries, and in ensuring and monitoring compliance. NGOs typically have good contacts with local people and enjoy a high level of trust because of their independence from government authorities.

In order to improve working conditions in the textile sector, NGOs make contact with workers, organise training events and workshops, and campaign for workers' rights in the companies in question and in public sector institutions.

In the field of Fair Trade, too, civil society organisations and initiatives play an important role. For instance, they define standards together with all stakeholders, and monitor compliance. Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), Fairtrade International for short, is the world's largest organisation in the field of social standards certification. FLO guarantees that products with the Fairtrade label comply with uniform criteria everywhere in the world.

The BMZ has supported Fairtrade International in developing a textile label and piloting its introduction. Previously, the Fair Trade approach in this context had been limited to standards for cotton cultivation. The new Fair Trade standard covers the entire textiles production and supply chain.

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