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NYU Stern School study cites Post-Rana Plaza Monitoring report

The Center for Business and Human Rights at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business (known as The Stern School) at New York University, on 21 April 2014, released the report “Business as Usual Is Not an Option: Supply Chains and Sourcing after Rana Plaza” which cited study findings from the First Independent Monitoring Report of the Post-Rana Plaza Monitoring: A Civil Society Initiative of CPD and its partnering civil society organisations.

The report is authored by Ms Sarah Labowitz, a research scholar on business and human rights at NYU Stern School of Business and Dr Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Director of Teaching and Research at the Center for Business and Human Rights.

 

Reblogged from the Center for Business and Human Rights website

Business as Usual Is Not an Option: Supply Chains & Sourcing after Rana Plaza

Read our new report and view our presentation and discussion given on Monday, April 21, 2014 by clicking here.

In anticipation of the first anniversary of Rana Plaza, the Center for Business and Human Rights is releasing its report, “Business as Usual Is Not an Option: Supply Chains and Sourcing after Rana Plaza” on April 21, 2014 at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Join the Center, NYU Stern and the NYU Stern Emerging Markets Association as we unveil the report and discuss its findings. One of the report’s co-authors, Sarah Labowitz will present the report at 4:45 pm, followed by moderated Q&A and a reception. She was joined in writing the report by Dr. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, the Center’s research director and a business ethics scholar.

The collapse of Rana Plaza in April of 2013 thrust the issue of working conditions in global supply chains back into the spotlight. Over the past year, the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business has conducted groundbreaking research on business strategies in the apparel supply chain and their effect on working conditions. The report discusses business practices, governance, and infrastructure development as key elements of sustainability of the garment sector. It will provide new insights about the nature of indirect sourcing strategies in the supply chain and their effect on working conditions.

This is the center’s first major report since Dean Peter Henry launched the center in March 2013. The report builds on two research missions to Bangladesh and the center’s first high-level convening in New York in September 2013 that brought together factory owners, international buyers and other stakeholders for open conversation about business practices in the supply chain. The center will convene a second summit to continue that conversation in Dhaka from April 27 – 29, 2014.

See below for a summary of our efforts in Bangladesh to date.



First convening on the garment sector in Bangladesh – NYU Stern, September 2013

From September 9 – 11, 2013, the Center convened a three-day meeting at NYU Stern’s Kaufman Management Center that brought together factory owners from Bangladesh and international buyers, along with a wide range of other stakeholders to share experiences and perspectives about how to maintain the competitiveness of Bangladesh’s export garment industry while enhancing workplace safety and respect for workers’ rights.

The central premise of the meeting was that issues of working conditions are fundamentally related to the structure of the supply chain itself, and that ensuring the sustainability of the Bangladesh export garment sector will require a comprehensive look not only at fire and building safety, but the relationships among regulators, buyers, suppliers, and workers. More than 70 individuals participated in the meeting. Dean Peter Henry and Board Chair William Berkley opened the event.

Two research missions to Bangladesh – Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 2013 and February 2014
Sarah Labowitz, the Center’s co-director and a research scholar in Business and Society at Stern, conducted two research missions in Dhaka over three weeks in the last year. She visited a range of factories, from some of the largest groups in the country to the smallest operators. She also met with political and government officials, factory owners, brand representatives, agents, workers, unions, civil society leaders, journalists, banking professionals, and academics. See photos of her work.

Second summit on the garment sector in Bangladesh – Dhaka, BangladeshApril 2014
The Center will conclude its year-long effort on business practices and working conditions in the garment sector in Bangladesh with a second summit in Dhaka April 27 – 29, 2014. The event builds on the Center’s first convening in New York and will again bring together a wide range of stakeholders from across the supply chain for a business-oriented discussion of working conditions and labor rights. The Center is partnering with BRAC University Business School’s Center for Entrepreneurship Development as conveners of the event.

Report on supply chains and sourcing after Rana Plaza
The Center’s forthcoming report, “Business as usual is not an option: Supply chains and sourcing after Rana Plaza,” will discuss business practices, governance, and infrastructure development as key elements of sustainability of the garment sector. The report will provide new insights about the nature of indirect sourcing strategies in the supply chain and their effect on working conditions. Sarah Labowitz and Dr. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly are co-authors of the report, with contributions from Ray Bonner, Auret van Heerden, Sara Hossain, Syed Sultan Ahmed, and Bishawjit Das.

Public advocacy and writing
The Center has been an active participant in the debate about working conditions in the supply chain.

– In November, Sarah Labowitz spoke at a Ford Foundation Mary Robinson Speaker Series event titled “The Rana Plaza Disaster in Bangladesh: Taking Stock Half a Year On” alongside representatives from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, International Labor Rights Forum, BSR, and Boston Common Asset Management.

– Sarah Labowitz penned two op-eds for The Atlantic’s Quartz oncommitments to Bangladesh and H&M’s decision to pay workers a living wage. Michael Posner contributed to The New York Times’ Room for Debate on Disney’s decision to halt manufacturing in Bangladesh.

– In March, the Center contributed a Written Submission to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing on Prospects for Democratic Reconciliation and Workers’ Rights in Bangladesh with its analysis on the situation.

About the Center: Dean Henry launched the Center for Business and Human Rights in March 2013 with a strong belief in the power of business to create positive change in society. In that spirit, the Center’s mission is to challenge and empower businesses to make practical progress on human rights in their own operations. It is the first center to focus on human rights as an integral part of a business school.
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