GCRF Shifting south : decent work in regional value chains and south-south trade Conference held at Fairview hotel, nairobi kenya on 9th april 2019

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Date and time: 
Tue, 2019-04-09 09:00
Location / Venue: 

Fairview Hotel, Nairobi Kenya

Shifting South: decent work in regional value chains and South-South trade is a new ground-breaking research programme that is  being launched to answer some of the following questions

  1.  Investigate the rise of South-South trade through regional and domestic markets
  2.  Analyse what this means for decent work – especially women in precarious jobs
  3.  Focus on specific commodities and value chains in the horticulture and garment sectors in South Africa, Lesotho, and Kenya.

This research is needed because African producers have long established supply chain relationships with retailers based in Europe and North America through global value chains. Increasingly, however, this is changing. We are seeing more African-based retailers supplying and selling products in regional and domestic markets. This is part of a rapid shift from North-South to South-South trade flows and the rise of regional continental trade agreements. Large retailers in Europe and North America apply private standards, including codes of labor practice aimed at ensuring decent working conditions in their global value chains. Many are also members of multi-stakeholder alliances such as the Ethical Trading Initiative and expect suppliers to meet labour standards based on ILO Core Conventions and national legislation. Some retailers based in Africa also apply codes of labor practice and participate in multi-stakeholder alliances. Others expect suppliers to comply with government legislation as the basis for ensuring decent working conditions. The study will analyze the roles of private standards, national labour legislation and regional trade agreements in promoting decent work. It will help to understand the role of governments and the private sector in regulating trade and labour standards in domestic, regional and global value chains.

The research will help policy makers, producers, and suppliers in the private sector, workers and civil society organizations, as well as international organizations,  to channel their own policies and practices in the right direction, based on better evidence and information. The research will explore the potential development of African-based multi-stakeholder and/or public-private ‘ethical trade platforms’ to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on decent work, gender equality and prosperity. It is involving international collaboration between academics, practitioners and policymakers at the cutting edge of global value chain analysis, decent work and ethical trade in the UK, South Africa, and Kenya. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council under the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Collaborators include: Prof. Stephanie Barrientos (Principle Investigator), Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester Dr Matthew Alford, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester Cindy Berman, Ethical Trading Initiative Maryam Duale, Ethical Trading Initiative Dr Shane Godfrey, Institute of Development and Labour Law, University of Cape Town Prof. Khalid Nadvi, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester Dr Maggie Opondo, The Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, The University of Nairobi Dr Giovanni Pasquali, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester Margareet Visser, Institute of Development and Labour Law, University of Cape Town For more information contact: Prof. Stephanie Barrientos, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester s.barrientos@ manchester.ac.uk Dr Giovanni Pasquali, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester giovanni.pasquali@ manchester.ac.uk

Expiry Date: 
Tue, 2040-01-10 15:30
Contact Person: 

Dr. Maggie Opondo,

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