Auditing suppliers is widely considered the gold standard for enforcing ethical values. But among the disturbing revelations that emerged from the BBC’s investigation into the Turkish clothing industry was the often ineffectual impact of audits, especially in spotting child labor.
There were two key troubling findings that emerged: Firstly, that auditors can be duped. Secondly, that suppliers engage in unauthorized outsourcing, which is veiled from the audit’s view.
Although both are different problems, they stem from a shared cause: deviant suppliers that are willing to break the rules and deceive the buyer.
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