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Clothes, Chocolate and Children: Realising the Transparency Dividend

Principal Investigator: Dr Alex Balch, University of Liverpool

Co-Investigator: Professor Helen Stalford, University of Liverpool

How does the new political economy of transparency enhance the well-being of workers and children in the developing world? The project will answer that question by focusing on one commodity (cocoa) and one manufactured good (garments) across four low and middle-income countries (India, Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Myanmar). This design will enable the researchers to trace the effects of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act where there already exist other development initiatives on sustainable, equitable and ethical supply chains. The project aims to demonstrate the development impacts of new requirements on business to report about slavery in the context of multiple types and modes of ethical supply chain governance; deliver the first comparative evidence regarding the role of the UK’s transparency agenda in wider challenges over workers’ and children’s rights; and develop new analysis and instruments (indicators) for addressing SDG 8.7 and helping companies improve working conditions in their supply chains.

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