The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a leading workers’ rights organisation, that strives towards a world where human rights at work are enjoyed by all workers. We are a multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI), that brings Businesses, NGO’s and Trade Unions together, to develop the private sector to be a positive force that enables inclusive, sustainable growth that helps reduce poverty whilst respecting workers human rights.
We focus on supporting the world’s most vulnerable workers by engaging with businesses throughout the value chain to adopt improved business practise by building their capacity to understand and engage in ways to promote Decent Work, via a combination of Business Code development and adoption, Social Dialogue programmes and Training and Behavioural change capacity building.
ETI have been active in Bangladesh since 2015 working with some of the world’s most vulnerable workers in extremely challenging industries, such as the Ready–made Garment (RMG) sector – a key driver of economic growth and formal employment in Bangladesh, yet a sector where labour rights abuses have historically been commonplace, especially with women workers.
However, in spite of such a challenging environment, we have successfully delivered capacity building programmes, such as our Social Dialogue and Gender Sensitive workplace initiatives, that have improved working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers, helping push the sector forward to one where Decent Work can be enjoyed by all workers.
ETI’s multi-stakeholder approach coordinates a membership consisting of leading Businesses, NGO’s and Trade Unions, behind a shared goal of advancing progress towards respect for human rights at every stage of the value chain.
ETI’s corporate members source from at least 129 countries with over 50,000 suppliers. Our trade union members represent 160 million workers globally, and large and small specialist NGO members deliver research, policy advocacy, and programmes on workers’ rights in over 30 countries.
Our unique, collaborative approach enables us to support companies to take the appropriate steps to trade ethically, and to tackle the many difficult issues in global supply chains that cannot be addressed by individual companies and stakeholders working alone.
ETI member companies adopt the ETI Base Code, which is founded on the conventions of the ILO and is an internationally recognized code of labour practice. ETI also acts as a catalyst, using our global platform to challenge, inform and influence policy makers and others to uphold workers’ rights, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable women, migrant and disenfranchised workers.
ETI Bangladesh Ltd. is an independently registered subsidiary of ETI, established with the aim of designing and delivering programmes and activities in Bangladesh to achieve ETI’s global vision and strategy. As part of that vision ETI Bangladesh Ltd. work with and develop the private sector to understand and overcome the challenges of achieving Decent Work, with a focus on the transversal issues prevalent in complex supply chains. In Bangladesh, we deliver social dialogue programmes, training and behavioural change programmes, gender sensitive workplace programme, occupational health and safety programme and ongoing support to develop and embed business code to improve working conditions with a range of businesses from MSME suppliers to international retailers. Often, we work with suppliers and MSME’s via our international membership, that includes 7 out of 10 of the largest UK retailers, to build the collective capacity and understanding required to create lasting change.
We have worked with many Ready-made Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh to improve their working conditions and therefore commercial prospects with domestic and international buyers. The RMG sector is a particularly challenging sector that has historically suffered from rife labour rights abuses. We therefore continue to work tirelessly to build the capacity of the sector to provide good employment, adopt the ETI Base Code, and overcome transversal issues for its many, often vulnerable workers.
Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) exists to protect the rights of the most vulnerable workers within global supply chains. Our vision is of a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity.
Established in the UK in 1998 to combat the labour rights abuses abundant in global supply chains, 24 years later our approach remains the same; believing that by leading collaboration between key stakeholders to improve their capacity to act on labour rights issues, we can overcome the complex, multi-faceted barriers preventing workers from accessing their human rights; driving systemic, lasting change for workers globally.