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February 2013
1. Living Wage: Challenges & Opportunities Ahead
2. SA8000 Q&A: Recruitment Agencies
3. Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee Focuses on Occupational Health & Safety
4. RAGS Project Engages Primark on Gender Discrimination
5. Call for Suppliers: Brazil Worker Engagement Program
6. Upcoming Workshops: RJC Code of Practices in India
7. Reflections on the ISEAL Credibility Principles & SA8000
8. Social Fingerprint: Measure & Improve Your Social Performance
9. As SAI Grows, Congratulations are in Order
10. SA8000 Auditor Training in Bangkok
11. Meet SAI's New Intern: Carley Clement
12. Highlights & Announcements
Jobs & Internships 

SAI - New York, NY


India Program Interns

SAI-Bangalore, India

Top 3 News Stories 


Training Courses 

-Getting Started in Your Company

-Building Your Internal Social Performance Team  


Developing & Implementing Effective Social Performance Management Systems
New York, NY
Date TBD


Date TBD



Auditing for Fire Safety in the SA8000 & BSCI System

 SA8000 Basic Auditor Training

Istanbul, Turkey
March 4-8
New Delhi, India
March 4-8
Yokohama, Japan
March 11-15
Sao Paulo, Brazil
March 11-15
New York, U.S.
March 25-29

 SA8000 Advanced Auditor Training 

Yokohama, Japan
March 6-8
Cairo, Egypt
March 12-14
Shenzhen, China 
March 20-22
Sao Paulo, Brazil  
March 20-22
New York, U.S.
April 1-3 

SA8000 Online Training 

SA8000 Online Revision Course
NGOs & Trade Unions
Complimentary seats available for NGO & trade union representatives. For more information, email SAI Training Manager Stephanie Wilson at
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Social Accountability International (SAI) is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established to advance the human rights of workers by promoting decent work conditions, labor rights, and corporate social responsibility through voluntary standards and capacity building. 


SAI is headquartered in the United States with field representation in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Switzerland, and UAE.

SAI- Human Rights at Work

For newsletter inquiries contact: SAI Communications Manager Joleen Ong,
top1Living Wage: Challenges & Opportunities Ahead
SAI's Edwin Koster discusses the context of living wage issues, and opportunities ahead for a broader collaboration    
SAI Europe Representative & Lead Trainer on Implementing the UN Guiding Principles, Edwin Koster


On January 30, 2012,the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and Rainforest Alliance hosted a Seminar on a Living Wage in Amsterdam. Over 60 labor standard experts and policy makers from state governments, NGOs in the international social accountability, sustainability and fair trade field, companies and academia, attended. SAI Advisory Board member Dorianne Beyer, Esq., delivered the keynote address, focusing on the history of living wage, definitions, calculation, implementation and continuing issues.  


SAI Europe Representative Edwin Koster led a presentation on the role of living wage in the SA8000 Standard, and opportunities for its implementation via the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, and the recent MoU agreement between SAI, Fairtrade International and GoodWeave.  


"SAI was the first NGO to integrate the living wage concept in a standard - SA8000," said Mr. Koster. "There are various experiences, positive and negative out of our own 'kitchen' on the impact of implementing a living wage in the SA8000 Standard. For example, some facilities note that it has helped to set them apart from their competitors, or provide assurance to their clients who find good labor conditions more important. On the flipside, others also note that higher wages in many cases combined with reduced working hours substantially increases costs and therefore reduces profits, or this increase in costs results in the brands shifting their manufacturing to different countries where the cost is lower, as we've seen in the case of...>>Read more 


This article includes contributions from SAI Europe Representative Edwin Koster. For more information, please contact SAI Communications Manager Joleen Ong -


SA8000 Q&A: Recruitment Agencies
SAI Lead Trainer Sanjiv Singh assesses the risks behind the use of recruitment agencies for workers, and what auditors can do

Question: The tendency to work with recruitment agencies is growing in Western and Eastern Europe. In your opinion, when factories chose to recruit workforce through an agency, are they posing higher risk to brands they work with? Do they shift the focus of attention and at the same time shift responsibility? Brands rarely audit the agencies, however, and real or potential violations in this sector multiply: types of contracts are signed from which workers do not benefit, deductions are taken from the wages, workers are employed in two companies and work twice as much, etc. As auditors, what can we do to protect workers today?


Sanjiv Singh: There is an issue here - will brands be willing to dig as deep as looking at the paperwork that goes into hiring and the historical problem of recruitment agents especially when it concerns migrant workers? You are correct in saying that brands rarely audit the recruitment agents, but we know of some that do.

Two kinds of employment arrangements are mostly seen. From my experience in Europe, employees are hired through recruitment agencies and such employees stay on the payroll of the agency and are paid wages by the agency. Workers could be from the country where the company in question is located or they could be foreign workers. This has a different set of risks. The other type of arrangement is when the factory uses recruitment agents in a foreign country and pays them a fee to hire workers - those employed are paid directly by the factory. This is common in the Middle East and several parts of Asia.  


So what can auditors do to prevent such practices and what evidence should be brought to a customer brand's attention? Here are a few of the checks auditors can use, depending on the situation...>>Read more 

This Q & A was adapted from a question that was originally posted on LinkedIn's 'CSR and Human Rights Consultants' group. If you have a question, please let us know by contacting Joleen Ong -

Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee Focuses on Occupational Health & Safety
In Shenzhen, concrete steps sought to improve working conditions in China


On January 23, more than 30 participants from a wide range of stakeholder groups met in Shenzhen, China to continue the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC) dialogue and consultative process that began in 2012. Mainetti, the global apparel hangar brand, hosted the meeting, which aimed to address common issue areas and seek concrete steps to improve health and safety in the working environment in China.


MACs provide a forum for dialogue about specific labor issues in a particular economic sector and geographic area, which will lead to the development of responsible, competitive and sustainable businesses. They aim to drive collaboration among standards and code systems, to develop dialogue among global and local stakeholders, and to disseminate consensus-based strategies to improve industrial relations, labor conditions and business competitiveness.  


Due to the heightened awareness of fire and occupational safety and health issues in supply chains, including in China, the partners agreed to discuss occupational safety and health and the importance of improved audit oversight and management systems in any improvement efforts...>>Read more  

For inquiries, contact SAI Senior Advisor Alan Spaulding -

RAGS Project Engages Primark on Gender Discrimination

Primark's Ethical Trade Manager explains how the RAGS project workshops support the company's supplier development initiatives

SAI India Project Dir. Rishi Sher Singh leads a workshop in English & Hindi for managers, workers & supervisors in Gurgaon, India. For more photos, visit

In 2012, SAI's RAGS Project exceeded its targets for number of participants in workshops to combat gender discrimination in the ready-made garment sector by raising awareness through the workshop, 'Management Systems to Address Gender Discrimination.' Led by SAI India Project Director Rishi Sher Singh, over 300 participants from 131 factories in Bangalore, New Delhi and Tirupur were trained, with more workshops scheduled through March 2013.


Among the active group of participants were representatives from the major UK and European retailer Primark, as well as representatives from 70 of their supplier factories. Deepak Sharma, Ethical Trade Manager at Primark, explained, "we found this as a good option to train our factories on this sensitive issue. We audit factories for social compliance issues and feel that such issues are difficult to identify due to their sensitive nature."


Primark staff and suppliers have actively participated in the trainings in New Delhi and Tirupur. SAI has also planned special trainings for Primark's buying house in New Delhi and Tirupur, giving focused attention and creating an intense learning group. The inputs provided by Primark staff during the trainings have provided valuable perspective on the issue of gender discrimination...>>Read more  


For more information and to participate in these courses, please visit, or contact SAI Rishi Sher Singh at 

Call for Suppliers: Brazil Worker Engagement Program
SAI invites São Paulo factories to join the Worker Engagement Program to improve health & safety systems
Companies in the São Paulo Region will be selected to participate in this program. Learn more at

Download Brochure:  
>>English [PDF | 1MB]
>>Portuguese [PDF | 1MB]

Over the past decade, it has become clear that to improve workplaces, management systems and effective ways to engage teams in tackling specific problems are needed.

Established October 2012, SAI's Worker Engagement Program aims to improve health and safety in workplaces of companies in the São Paulo region. This program is designed to help supplier factories enhance health and safety systems to better meet international labor standards.

The program will work with groups of companies to set 100-day internal goals towards improving a specific health and safety issue. It will utilize the award-winning Rapid Results Institute methodology for change management to set and achieve goals through team building.

It will also leverage cutting-edge mobile technology to help support internal communications during the process...>>Read more  

For more information, visit For inquiries, contact SAI Senior Manager Jane Hwang -

Upcoming Workshops: RJC Code of Practices in India 

Responsible Jewellery Council & SAI workshops review the RJC Code of Practices

Learn more and register for the workshops:

February 26: Mumbai, India
February 28: Surat, India

From July 2012 to November 2013, the RJC is revising the Code of Practices (COP), the standard against which all RJC Members seeking certification must demonstrate independently verified conformance. The Code of Practices is the cornerstone of RJC's Certification program and sets standards for responsible business practices for companies in the jewelry supply chain.  


These companies operate in a wide range of sectors - from mining through to retail - and in a wide range of geographies.  They include small, medium and large businesses.  Any business in the gold, diamond or platinum group metals jewelry supply chain is welcome to join the RJC and seek Certification against the RJC Code of Practices.


SAI and the RJC invite you to participate in these workshops...>>Read more


Learn more about the Code of Practices and upcoming events at For more information, contact SAI India Program Manager Rishi Sher Singh -

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Reflections on the ISEAL Credibility Principles & SA8000
Tata Steel notes its history & experience implementing SA8000
On December 5, 2012 in New Delhi, the ISEAL Alliance hosted a workshop on its upcoming Credibility Principles. The workshop featured some lively debates about what makes a credible standard system, and included the participation of Priyadarshini Sharma, Sr. Manager, Vice President (CS) Office, Tata Steel, SAI India Program Director Rishi Sher Singh and SAI Training Manager Stephanie Wilson among 50 representatives from standard systems, capacity building organizations, businesses, certification bodies, investors, development agencies and government.

As panelist at the event, Ms. Sharma noted that many themes from the proposed credibility principles have emerged in the steel works' journey with the SA8000 Standard since its implementation and initial certification in 2004. These have served as building blocks to strengthen cross-functional participation and stakeholder engagement. She cited Tata Steel Managing Director, Mr. H.M. Nerurkar's address, made while receiving the second recertification in 2010, that standards were "going to get more stringent with time and that organizations would have to continuously strive to keep raising their own bar to meet them." Ms. Sharma added, "the ISEAL workshop to reflect on self-assessment, design and deliverables of voluntary standards, was a step in this direction."  


Two recent innovations at Tata Steel in the course of implementing SA8000 were also highlighted and summarized by Ms. Sharma, "first, IBM, a Tata Steel strategic partner, factored Affirmative Action to engage the youth...>>Read more  


This article was written with contributions from Priyadarshini Sharma, Sr. Manager, Vice President (CS) Office, Tata Steel. For more information, contact SAI Communications Manager, Joleen Ong -

Social Fingerprint: Measure & Improve Your Social Performance
Feedback from Timberland & STX Vietnam on User Experience 
Watch a demo of Social Fingerprint, and learn more at 

Since SAI first launched Social Fingerprint in 2010, over 500 companies globally have signed up to use it in their company and in their supply chain, to measure and improve their social performance. Two online courses have been released: "Social Fingerprint: Getting Started in Your Company" and "Building Your Internal Social Performance Team" - which have been integrated into SAI Corporate Programs and capacity building programs.   

Major companies from such diverse industries as Timberland in the apparel and footwear sector, and STX Vietnam in the shipbuilding sector have been using Social Fingerprint and have noted its impact:  

"Since we've been using Social Fingerprint we have noticed a real improvement in the openness of the communication between the factory manager and our staff on how they go about managing social/labor conditions. The factories have become even more engaged with us. When they get their Social Fingerprint score they want to know how they compare to the other Timberland suppliers and what they can do to improve. Social Fingerprint has proven itself as a very useful communication tool in establishing a clear road map and work plan...>>Read more 


To learn more, visit, or contact Christie Daly - SAI Manager, Corporate Programs at

As SAI Grows, Congratulations are in Order
SAI is very pleased to announce promotions at our dedicated teams in New York & Bangalore
SAI Staff Members (from left): Christie Daly, Manager of Corporate Programs; Rishi Sher Singh, SAI India Program Director; Stephanie Wilson, SAI Training Manager

Christie Daly, Manager of Corporate Programs

Ms. Daly has been promoted to the role of Manager of Corporate Programs.  She has excelled in multiple functions at SAI over her three years serving in the executive office, lastly as Coordinator of Executive and Corporate Services.  In her new role, Ms. Daly will manage service delivery to Corporate Members, including Social Fingerprint evaluations, supplier and supply chain management trainings and multi-stakeholder panels, and support the expansion and utilization of SAI capacity building programs.  She will also provide project management and research support for programs such as the Brazil Worker Engagement Program...>>Read more  


Rishi Sher Singh, India Program Director

In his past two years as SAI India Project Director, Mr. Singh has managed partnerships and projects on the ground in India, most notably the SAI-BSCI-GIZ development partnership and the DFID RAGS project. He has managed the development and delivery of well-received workshops and trainings for 100+ apparel companies, potentially touching many thousands of workers. He has meaningfully expanded our network of partners and stakeholders, impressing many with his dialogue-driven approach and his commitment to broadening and deepening our impact...>>Read more 


Stephanie Wilson, Training Manager

Upon joining SAI a year ago, Stephanie quickly learned to juggle multiple responsibilities as SAI Training Coordinator. She helped exceed our 2012 participation goals for auditor training and significantly improved operations and processes for all of our courses in general. Colleagues and partners have frequently cited her professionalism and dedication to SAI's mission, as well as her inspiring volunteer efforts outside the office. In her new role as Training Manager, Stephanie will manage the planning, operations and expansion of all public classroom trainings, including Auditor, Professional Development and Social Fingerprint courses...>>Read more 


SAI is hiring! Chief Operating Officer in New York and offering internships in New York and India. Learn more at more information, please contact SAI Communications Manager Joleen Ong -

SA8000 Auditor Training in Bangkok
Group photo of participants from the Basic SA8000 Auditor Training course in Bangkok on January 21-25, 2013. View more photos at & feedback from participants. [Photo credit: Badri Gulur]

On January 21-25, 2013 SAI convened an Basic SA8000 Auditor Training course in Bangkok, Thailand hosted by SGS. The course was led by SAI Lead Trainer, Badri Gulur. The course was attended by 22 delegates from countries, that included Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Myanmar and Kenya. Prior to this course, Mr. Gulur led a SA8000 Advanced Auditor Training course in Bangkok, Thailand. Special thanks to Phanom Hutaphaiboon from SGS for actively coordinating with SAI and organizing these courses.  


To see more photos from the SA8000 auditor training courses, check out SAI's Facebook page . 



Upcoming SA8000 training courses:    

Location: Madrid, Spain  

Date: May 20-24, 2013   
SA8000 Advanced Auditor Training
Location: New York, NY 
Date: April 1-3, 2013

SAI training courses are designed to encourage proficiency in social compliance and emphasize the implementation of management systems in combination with performance elements. These courses are required for all SA8000 and BSCI auditors, and are just as valuable to internal auditors, buyers, managers and workers for auditing to any labor code or standard. The courses are open to all.


Complimentary seats for NGOs & trade unionsSAI knows that NGOs and trade unions are critical in helping to ensure human rights at work around the world. As class sizes vary based on venue capacity, we limit these complimentary seats to one representative per class. 


For more information, contact SAI Training Manager, Stephanie Wilson at

Meet SAI's New Intern: Carley Clement
We are pleased to introduce Ms. Clement, in her own words:

"I am a junior at New York University studying Latin American Studies and Social and Public Policy. I just returned to New York after studying abroad last semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which only further galvanized my passion for the Spanish language and the politics and culture of Latin America. I am particularly interested in advocating for social justice issues in Latin America, especially issues of human rights in the work place, equal employment opportunities, and alleviation of extreme poverty. 


I am so excited to be working at SAI this semester to learn more about how global business contributes to injustice in the workplace around the world...>>Read more  


For more information, contact Ms. Clement at To learn more about SAI Internships in New York and India, please visit

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Highlights & Announcements
Business Ethics Series at Yale University 
On Monday, February 18, SAI President Alice Tepper Marlin gave the Mars Family lecture on Business Ethics at Yale University, in which she focused on a variety of CSR issues, including challenges faced by brands in managing their global supply chains. The following day, she led Susan Rose-Ackerman's seminar "Ethics and the Multinational Business Firm" for a group of undergraduate students interested in working in the business and non-profit sectors. Learn more
Disney Added to Calvert Social Index Congratulations to SAI Corporate Member Disney for meeting Calvert's environmental, social and governance criteria as a result of clear progress on workplace safety and human rights. Read on
The Socially Conscious Consumer In the latest issue of McKinsey & Co's Voices on Society, it explores the impact of the socially conscious consumer on environmental and economic sustainability. Also, test you Socially Conscious Consumer Quotient to determine what kind of consumer you are. Read on