Improving Working Conditions and Promoting Competitiveness in Global Supply Chains

The Better Work Programme is an innovative partnership between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation, and as at December 2013 included some 22 Buyer Partners and 827 factories employing 966,762 workers. The programme can play a significant role in helping international buyers uphold their commitment to comply with international core labour standards and national labour laws, and to continuously improve their global supply chains. The emphasis is on capacity building and social dialogue and on the identification of practical solutions that bring sustainable and positive change to the industry. Driving sector-wide, sustainable improvements in adherence to national labour laws and core labour standards contributes to improving the lives of millions of workers and their families, and importantly also enhances business competitiveness in major garment producing countries.

At the factory level, Better Work country programmes provide core services – including assessments and advisory and training services – that help participating factories to achieve measurable progress in compliance, and at the same time considerably reduce duplicate auditing. Better Work’s unique information management system allows factories to share assessment and remediation information with their buyers.
At the national and global levels, the programme also involves representatives of governments, and employers’ and workers’ organizations to build consensus on industry-wide improvements and to influence the policies and practices of global supply chain actors, including international buyers.