Transport for London joins Electronics Watch

Published:  15 January, 2016

A major public transport organisation has become the first to affiliate to industry watchdog Electronics Watch.

Transport for London (TfL) has signed up to the independent monitoring organisation which aims to improve working conditions and prevent exploitation and abuse in the global electronics industry.

TfL already has a strict ethical procurement process in place to encourage and support its suppliers to provide good and fair working conditions.

By signing up to Electronics Watch, TfL will provide €60,000 a year to fund long-term monitoring and improvement of factories. In return, it will get access to intelligence from Electronics Watch partnerships with monitoring organisations based in the areas of electronics production used by the public sector.

TfL invests heavily in electronics with products such as smart phones and tablets increasingly being used by frontline staff alongside computers that power the operation of traffic signals, safety-critical control rooms and the booking systems.

Philip Hewson, head of commercial information communications technology at TfL, said: ‘Ensuring that the people working in the electronics industry are able to work free from exploitation and abuse is vital.

‘By signing up to Electronics Watch, we are making a statement to the industry that their products must be manufactured ethically and we want our suppliers to make sure that people working with the industry have improved working conditions that as a minimum are safe and respect their human rights.'

As an affiliate, TfL will also have the right to help shape Electronics Watch policies and practices as the organisation develops.

Björn Claeson, affiliations coordinator for Electronics Watch, said: ‘We welcome Transport for London to Electronics Watch and look forward to working with them to address safety and human rights in their electronics supply chains.

'Large institutions with a commitment to human rights, such as TfL, can make a tangible difference for electronics workers globally by combining their strength with public buyers across Europe through Electronics Watch.'

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