Arise is proud to have co-signed a letter to Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commissioner for Economy, and other European leaders, demanding greater supply chain transparency. It can be read here:
The letter argues the following:
'With this joint open letter, the undersigned organisations want to urge you to ensure that this upcoming reform will enable non-state actors, such as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), trade unions, academics, journalists and companies to access trade information with customs that is currently considered confidential by Member States.'
The letter explains that public access to trade information allows civil society to provide scrutiny and accountability, in order to achieve policy goals (including those related to human rights and forced labour):
'Existing EU legislation, such as the Timber regulation and the Conflict minerals regulation, and upcoming legislation, such as the Deforestation-free products regulation, Batteries and batteries waste regulation, Forced labour regulation and Corporate sustainability due diligence directive, aim to ensure that human rights and the environment are respected in company value chains.
Stakeholder involvement plays an important role in the functioning of all these legal instruments: they can, and will, play a role in informing, developing and/or scrutinising risk-based due diligence approaches by companies, but they also support public authorities in carrying out enforcement, including through submitting substantiated concerns and raising complaints.
For effective engagement however, stakeholders need detailed supply chain and trade flow information, which currently, is largely unavailable. Greater public access to trade information with customs would therefore improve the way stakeholders can engage with companies and authorities to address human rights and environmental risks in the company value chains. Thus, increased public access to custom information would contribute towards more effective implementation of these initiatives and the achievement of the related policy goals.'