Fair trade is one thing. But what about UK companies who are working in other countries where the judicial standards may not be on a par with Britain? Is it right for British companies to be able to exploit weaker legislation overseas to treat their workers in a way that would never be permissible in the UK?
Traidcraft has recently launched their new Justice Campaign, calling for UK companies to be held to account for abuses they commit abroad, and for victims to be able to get justice in the UK. You can find out more about the campaign and take action here: http://www.traidcraft.co.uk/justicecampaign
For years the UK government has been encouraging better practices of businesses but has failed to stop bad practices caused by UK businesses’ decisions. In fact there is no easily accessible mechanism for UK businesses to be held to account in the UK for their harm to people overseas. The result is that victims continue to suffer, the harm continues to occur and in the UK market – leading businesses are undermined by laggard company practices. The UK government needs to provide Victims with access to Justice – as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
It can often feel like the old standby of "writing to your MP" is a waste of time, but as recent events continue to show, "people power" is underestimated at the government's peril!