Bangladesh ranked second after Taiwan in a global list comparing the ethical auditing practices in major manufacturing countries, according to an assessment of Qima, an international supply chain solutions provider.
The Hong Kong-based Quality Inspection Management (Qima) unveiled the study titled ‘Q1 Barometer 2021’ on Thursday based on the global supply chains compliance in 2020.Scoring 8.00 out of 10.00 in ethical auditing practices, Taiwan topped the list, followed by Bangladesh and Vietnam with scores of 7.7 and 7.6 respectively.
Other top-ranking countries include Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey, China, India and Brazil. Issues range from increased vulnerability to modern slavery and child labour, to labour violations in factories and less scrutiny on non-virus-related safety measures due to health and safety resources being stretched thin, the report suggests.
The Qima ethical audit data collected from reopened factories as well as in the course of remote audits paints an alarming picture, with the percentage of factories ranked ‘Red’ for critical non-compliances increasing by more than 100 per cent in the second half of 2020 compared to the first half of the year.
Some of the most pressing issues are in the area of working hours and wage compliance: in China, 14 per cent of factories audited were given a failing grade due to critical violations in the area of working hours and wages.
Examples of violations include sanitation duties being imposed as unpaid overtime, as well as workers being pushed to work excessive hours to meet tight schedules for high-demand goods, such as PPE.
"In response to the mounting ethical risks and limited physical access to factories, more businesses are accelerating the adoption of technological solutions for compliance and quality control, which include remote audits, worker voice solutions and integrated QC and compliance platforms that enable them to map their sourcing network and achieve better visibility into multiple supply chain tiers," Qima said in the report.According to the global agency, uncertainty and disruption continue dominating global trade. In 2021, global sourcing is liable to remain at the mercy of the pandemic, emphasizing the importance of supply chain agility and efficiency to any business’s continued survival, almost a year into the global pandemic.