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Fair trade, good work

Germany is committed to sustainable supply chains and supports countries in the Global South in creating decent working conditions. 

Ulrike Scheffer , 08.11.2023
A textile factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh
A textile factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh © picture alliance /

Germany is committed to fair trading conditions and good jobs worldwide – here are three examples: 

Responsible Business Hubs 

Sustainable supply chains are a requirement for fair trade. For this reason, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development supports its partner countries in setting up “Responsible Business Hubs”. These are contact points for companies that are looking to make their production more sustainable and socially responsible. The focus is on improved occupational health and safety, better health conditions, and protection against gender-based violence at the workplace. This allows companies to prepare for new regulations that will apply to their trading partners – such as the German law on supply chain due diligence or the EU Supply Chain Directive.  

National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 

Trade is a key source of leverage when it comes to strengthening human rights. Germany is expressly committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In order to implement these principles, Germany has drawn up a National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights. This sets out the federal government’s expectations of state institutions and companies. They are to proactively review their supply chains for potential human rights violations and set up grievance mechanisms for workers. 

Third largest donor to “Aid for Trade” 

After the US and Japan, Germany is the third largest bilateral donor country to the World Trade Organisation’s “Aid for Trade” initiative to dismantle trade barriers and create fairer global trading conditions. “Aid for Trade” promotes the expansion of trade infrastructure in Africa so that African countries and their citizens also benefit more from international trade.