Nearly 1 in 5 workers globally earn too little to lift themselves and their families out of extreme or moderate poverty, according to statistics from the International Labour Organization (ILO). Living wages and living incomes have the power to lift workers and farmers from poverty while also creating sustainable businesses.
Earlier this year, on the 23rd of February, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence. The aim of this Directive is to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behavior and to anchor human rights and environmental considerations in companies’ operations and corporate governance. The new rules will ensure that businesses address adverse impacts of their actions, including in their value chains inside and outside Europe. The draft Directive positions living wage explicitly as a human right; stating that companies must ensure an adequate living wage, including in their supply chains.
The European Parliament is now further developing this legislation.
With the advocacy letter, which is initiated by Fairphone, the 64 companies, investors, and initiatives, all from different industries and countries, call on the Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the member states:
- To ensure living wages and living income are included as a human right in the final Directive.
- Not to compromise on the definitions of living wage and income.
If there is a need for a further definition of living wages and income beyond the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) article 7, the signatories recommend referring to the definitions of the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) and the Living Income Community of Practice (LICOP).
IDH finds it crucial to secure living wages and living income in supply chains. Both are essential to fight poverty and inequality. We have been working with the private sector through our Living Wage Roadmap and Living Income Roadmap to help make living wages and living income a reality in global supply chains. There is a lot of work to do and IDH is strongly in favour of creating a level playing field for companies through recognizing living wages and living incomes as a human right in the EU Corporate Sustainability Directive on Due Diligence.
Read here the full letter.