OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector

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The 2021 OECD Garment Forum will be hosted by the OECD as a virtual forum on 3-4 February 2021, as part of a full week of events, and brings together over 600 representatives from government, business, trade unions and civil society to address emerging risks and to share learnings on implementing labour, human rights, environmental and integrity due diligence in the sector across geographies.

The topic of building a more resilient and sustainable sector post- and during the current COVID context will be key thread running through the first main day of the Forum, including as the theme of the high-level opening panel.  As part of that panel we will look at the importance of sectoral dialogue in prioritising collaborative action during the crisis, and lessons from that for building a more resilient sector.  The second day will open with a discussion on recent mandatory due diligence policy developments with consideration of their role in enhancing and enabling company due diligence practice in the Garment and Footwear sector, as well as potential pitfalls to avoid.

Since its adoption in 2017, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector has become accepted as the landmark framework for due diligence in the sector, supported by 49 governments, aligned with OECD, UN and ILO instruments, and negotiated with business, trade unions and civil society.  It provides ambitious but pragmatic guidance to businesses, establishing a common understanding of due diligence in the sector, to help avoid and address the real and potential negative impacts of their activities across global supply chains.

The OECD Forum has set the precedent of pushing the needle by focusing on challenging processes and issues as well as acting as a convenor to help parties address challenges together and pushing for alignment across government jurisdictions and industry initiatives on expectations of business.

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