Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association (AEFFAA) and other associations & RINA Services S.p.A
Lead NCPItaly
Supporting NCP(s)
DescriptionSpecific instance submitted by five associations concerning an alleged non-observance of the Guidelines by RINA Services S.p.A
Theme(s)General policies, Human rights, Employment and industrial relations
Date11 Sep 2018
Host country(ies)Pakistan
SourceMulti-stakeholder, NGO, Trade Union
Industry sectorOther service activities

Read the Initial Assessment published by the Italian NCP on 8 April 2019: English

Read the Final Statement published by the Italian NCP on 11 December 2020: English.

On 11 September 2018, five organisations, namely Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association (AEFFAA), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Pakistan Institute for Labour Education and Research (PILER), European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Stichting Schone Kleren Kampagne/Clean Clothes Campaign, Campagna Abiti Puliti, Movimento Consumatori (MC) submitted a specific instance to the Italian NCP alleging that RINA Services S.p.A., an Italian multinational specialised in auditing and certification services, had not observed the General Policies, (Chapter II), Human Rights (Chapter IV) and Employment and Industrial Relations (Chapter V) provisions of the Guidelines.

The issues related to the destruction by fire in 2012 of a textile factory in Bangladesh causing the death of over 250 workers, less than a month after receiving a SA8000 certification from the company. The submitters claimed that the company should have identified the safety deficiencies that allegedly contributed to the fire before granting certification, and therefore had not observed some provisions of the Guidelines. The submitters requested that the company should review and improve its disclosure and accountability policies, its social auditing methodologies, its due diligence and internal quality review procedures, provide a financial remedy to the victims, and open a wider consultation on the effectiveness of social auditing.

The company claimed that it had performed the audit according to accreditation rules and standards and denied that it had not observed the provisions of the Guidelines.

On the 8 April 2019, the NCP issued an initial assessment accepting the specific instance case. The NCP offered its good offices through mediation led by an external conciliator, which both parties accepted.

Two conciliation meetings took place at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development between June and September 2019. The submitters signed the Terms of Settlement resulting from the mediation but the company refused to sign. Consequently, no agreement was reached between the parties.

On 11 December 2020, the Italian NCP published its final statement, recommending, in summary, that:

  • The company should:

          - make a humanitarian gesture in favour of the families of the victims - without any implication in terms of liability – and express their sympathy for the tragic event;
          - carry out effective and targeted risk-based due diligence when operating in countries and sectors at risk,;
          - implement and enhance the commitment to improve the certification mechanism, in particular in the textile sector and high-risk countries.

  •  The parties should continue the dialogue and cooperate to implement the recommendations.

The NCP invited the parties to report on the steps taken to implement the recommendations one year after the publication of the final statement.