Fair Trade and Labour Standards in the post-MFA Environment

Geneva, Switzerland

An exploratory dialogue was convened by the Geneva Social Observatory and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung at the World Meteorological Organization on 27 February 2007. The topic under discussion was the promotion of fair trade and labour standards in the post-Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA). In the post-MFA trade environment, many clothing and textile industries in developing countries are especially vulnerable to preference erosion, increased competition and downward pressure on labour standards as they struggle to maintain market access without recourse to quotas. The aim of the exploratory dialogue was to address the question what can stakeholders in the global textile and clothing trade do to support these vulnerable industries and workforces.

The objectives of the exploratory dialogue were to:

  1. Identify what policies and practices will benefit most from multi-stakeholder dialogue as well as to identify others
  2. Enable the conveners and participants to sharpen their perspectives on these issues and stakeholder involvement
  3. Define specific issues for further dialogue for a multi-year GSO programme on promoting fairer trade and employment in the post-MFA environment
  4. Build collaborative working partnerships between stakeholders for on-going collaboration in a future programme
  5. Begin to prepare a proposal for a multi-year programme of dialogues and dissemination of their findings and recommendations for stakeholders

Further information about the dialogue can be found in the following documents.

Background paper
About Friedrich Ebert Stiftung