Social conditions in global supply chains explained

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Social conditions help to eliminate social injustices in the supply chain, such as child labour, starvation wages, and inhuman working conditions. Implementation of social conditions is required in the Netherlands for European public procurement by the State. They help to safeguard international labour standards and human rights.

It is mandatory to include social criteria in government public procurements with a value greater than or equal to European public procurement thresholds. 

Further details: Preparing the invitation to tender 

Analysis of supply chain risks

Suppliers are obliged to improve social conditions in the supply chain "to the best of their ability". After a contract has been awarded, the supplier should be engaged in in dialogue on this matter. Social conditions require suppliers to determine whether they foresee risks, in terms of labour standards and human rights, in their supply chain. The CSR risk checker tool is a first step in this direction. Are there any risks, within the supply chain, that social standards might be violated? If so, then the supplier must make every effort to prevent or reduce such risks, and to resolve any violations of the standards.

CSR risk checker  at (Dutch)

EXAMPLE | Risk analysis of electronics products

If you purchase electronics products from China, you run the risk that these will have been manufactured using child labour. In China, hundreds of cases of forced child labour have been identified. This is especially true of factories in Guangdong province. Factories and schools force children to work to pay off alleged tuition fees. They call this "internship", but some children have reported that they were forced to stay. Half of their wages goes directly to the school. Once the cost of board and lodging has been deducted, little is left for the children themselves. Children are also abducted or deceived by recruiters, sent to Guangdong and sold to employers. Some children are held captive and forced to work long hours for a meagre remuneration.
Source: World map  at

Proceed to: Getting started with social conditions in global supply chains