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Complaints Mechanisms

International standards and frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights or the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector unanimously call for companies to provide effective grievance mechanisms for people potentially affected by social and ecological impacts.

This concerns cases where companies have caused those negative impacts or contributed to them through their suppliers as well as through their business and purchasing practices. If rights have been violated, companies must take remedial action and, if necessary, provide compensation for any damage caused.

The Textiles Partnership supports its members in setting up or participating in effective complaints mechanisms along their supply chain. The Textiles Partnership as an initiative does not have its own complaints mechanism through which an agreement on how to handle a grievance is reached.

If the Partnership receives information about specific human rights violations and incidents in the supply chain, it will be addressed as followed:

  • The Partnership Secretariat informs the affected member and the Steering Committee.
  • The member is given the opportunity to submit a response.
  • The Steering Committee deals with the case at its next regular meeting and agrees on written reply to both the sender and the member.
  • If necessary, the Partnership Secretariat assists in coordinating an initial exchange between the parties concerned as well as identifying possible external partners (e.g. alternative complaints procedures and/or dispute resolution options).
  • The Partnership Secretariat repeatedly enquires from the member which results have been reached and if the case has been resolved. Depending on how the case develops, the Steering Committee may take up the case again.

Information can be sent to mail@textilbuendnis.com.

Further information on grievance mechanisms can be found on the page on due diligencewhere you can also download an infopaper.

Review Process 2021: Aggregated Complaints

All companies in the Textiles Partnership are required to provide access to complaints mechanisms for those potentially affected in their supply chain; this includes, for example, workers at suppliers or residents of local communities. In the 2021 review process, the Partnership companies also reported on grievance and remedy mechanisms and set targets. In their review reports they describe the channels through which affected parties in their supply chain can convey complaints and how they are dealt with. In addition, the number and topics of complaints received are tracked and published in aggregated form for all 54 companies that participated in the Review Process 2021.

In the fiscal year preceding the 2021 review process, all Partnership companies together received approximately 1200 complaints through various complaints channels. In this context, a complaint can be assigned to several sector risks. The actual number is therefore somewhat lower.

By far the most common complaints relate to wages & social benefits, followed by health and safety, working hours, freedom of association, and discrimination and gender-based violence. Complaints were mainly submitted through internal complaints mechanisms, the Fear Wear Foundation mechanism, and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

Number of complaints by sector risk:
  • Wages and social benefits: 749
  • Health and safety: 123
  • Working hours: 97
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining: 89
  • Discrimination, sexual harassment and gender-based violence: 84
  • Child and forced labour: 17
  • Corruption: 14
  • Environment, Ressources & Fibres: 10
  • Chemicals & Wastewater: 1
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: 0
  • Animal Welfare (incl. Sheep Farming, Mulesing): 0

Find more information on the Partnership Initiative Complaints Mechanisms.