CATAPA pilot organisations commit to fair ICT
The two Ghent pilot organisations of the ‘Fair ICT Flanders’ project, Ghent University and District09, both join Electronics Watch, an international NGO that strives for better working conditions in the production process of electronics.
‘Fair ICT Flanders’ project, led by CATAPA campaigns for a sustainable purchasing and processing policy for ICT hardware in Flanders, supporting among others the University of Ghent and District 09, the ICT partner of the City of Ghent. They are respectively the first university and city in Flanders to cooperate with the ngo that stands up for the rights of workers in the ICT sector.
Through the ‘worker-driven monitoring’ system, Electronics Watch tracks down problems that threaten the rights of workers during the production process. In this way, the organisation can provide solutions to optimise the working conditions of workers. In addition, the independent organisation brings together buyers of ICT equipment and guides them in their search for fair electronics.
There is often a lack of transparency in the production process of ICT material. For example, many ICT materials are produced in an unfair way, meaning that workers in the sector are forced to work overtime for low wages in an unhealthy working environment. Reports even indicate modern forms of slavery, also known as ‘forced labour’. In addition, workers in electronics factories are unwittingly exposed to hazardous chemicals without protection. As a result, workers cannot join trade unions because they are often (informally) banned.
For these reasons, the two pilot organisations, which have already been working on a sustainable purchasing policy for some time, want to enter into more dialogue with their suppliers in order to know where their purchased products come from and under what conditions they were produced.
The two organisations therefore not only opt for a sustainable purchasing policy that stops at the application of circular strategies or the use of labels, but are also working for humane conditions during the production process of electronics in the ICT industry.