Ethical trade is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Trade contributes to economic and social development, however, unethical trade that leads to child labour, environmental degradation, poor working conditions, and wages below subsistence wage levels, inhibit sustainable development in societies that would otherwise benefit from trade.
Social, economic & environmental sustainability
Ethical trade involves socially responsible business practices that respect human rights, labour rights and the environment throughout the value chain. Ethical trade entails that businesses engage in ongoing efforts to improve the social and environmental conditions in the production of goods and services and endeavor to combat corruption.
Terminating trade relations
The purpose of ethical trade is not to reduce imports from developing countries. Terminating trade relations should only occur in exceptional cases, once improvements and progress have been unsuccessful. DIEH members should seek to avoid engaging in trade relations with countries whom the international community has agreed to boycott.
International standards & guidelines
Governments around the world are responsible for safeguarding human rights and the environment. If the authorities are incapable or unwilling to do so, businesses should not take advantage of this in their activities. DIEH members have to work according to international standards and guidelines even though these standards are not be fully implemented and upheld by local authorities.