Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Series - Realising the transperency dividend

Clothes, Chocolate and Children: realising the transparency dividend


This seminar will explore the added value of the transparency agenda for improving working conditions in supply chains. It draws on British Academy-funded research which looked at one commodity (cocoa) and one manufactured good (garments) in four low and middle-income countries: Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Ghana and Myanmar to highlight issues around gender and children in work. Discussion will include the disconnect between ‘brands’ and ‘workers’ in supply chains, problems and unintended consequences relating to certification schemes, auditing practices and codes of conduct, and the effects of exploitative practices on families and young people in and outside the workplace.

About the speaker

Alex Balch is Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool. He is a specialist on the politics and policy of modern slavery and immigration. He has written extensively on state and non-state responses to mobility and exploitation. He is currently leading an international network (with the Universities of Ghana, Nottingham and Hull) that seeks to establish the value of arts and humanities in addressing contemporary slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa, funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Alex has conducted a number of research projects in collaboration with regulators, the NGO sector and businesses to improve outcomes for vulnerable and marginalised groups. His work is currently funded by the British Academy and Arts and Humanities Research Council.