SA 8000 (Social Accountability 8000) is the first international certification on social responsibility. Its main objective is to guarantee workers’ rights, in such a way that everyone involved wins: companies, workers, trade unions, government.
The standard Requirements of SA8000 was launched in 1997 by CEPAA – Council on Economics Priorities Accreditation Agency, an NGO, later renamed to SAI – Social Accountability International. Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) is the first global standard for corporate social responsibility. SA8000 is based on both international human rights´ conventions (International Labour Organization, the International Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) and satisfying relevant local legislation. It aims to guarantee basic rights of workers involved in the production processes. SA 8000 Standard is composed of following requirements:
- Child labor is not permitted
- Forced labor is not permitted
- Health and safety have to be assured
- Freedom to organize and collective bargaining have to be guaranteed
- Discrimination is not permitted
- Disciplinary practices are not permitted
- Working hours shall not exceed 48 hrs a week, with a maximum of 12 hrs overtime
- Remuneration shall be sufficient
SA8000 follows the structures of both the Quality Management Standards ISO9000 and the Environment Management Standard ISO14000, and emphasizes the importance of an on-going improvement process. Development and ongoing oversight of the standard is addressed by a multi-sector Advisory Board with experts from business, trade unions, government and NGOs from around the world and across industries. Facilities seeking certification of compliance to the standard must have robust management systems in place and undergo an audit by an independent, accredited certification body.