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Social Accountability (SA) 8000

SA 8000, first released in 1997, was developed under the auspices of the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency (CEPAA) (now Social Accountability International (SAI)) by a diverse group of organizations, which included labor unions, human rights and children's rights organizations, academia, retailers, manufacturers, contractors, as well as consulting, accounting, and certification firms. SA 8000 is designed to be the first auditable international standard for companies seeking to guarantee the basic rights of workers. It is based on 12 International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Requirements of this standard address nine essential areas where companies must comply with relevant local legislation and with SA 8000's own provisions. These include: Child Labor; Forced Labor; Health and Safety; Freedom of Association; Freedom from Discrimination; Disciplinary Practices; Work Hours; Compensation; and Management Practices. SA 8000 also requires substantial 'transparency,' i.e., public reporting.

SAI serves as the accreditation body and has accredited independent third-party registrars to assess and monitor conformity to the standard. Accreditation is valid for a span of three years, with surveillance and observation audits every six months, covering each/any country where the registrar audits ten or more facilities.

Companies that meet the standard's requirements and are registered by an accredited registrar have the right to display the SA 8000 certification mark. To register corporate conformance with SA 8000, every facility seeking registration must be audited. Additional information as well as a list of all accredited registrars and registered facilities is available on the internet at www.cepaa.org.

SAI can be contacted at:

Social Accountability International
220 East 23rd Street, Suite 605
New York, NY 10010
Phone: 212-684-1414, Fax: 212-684-1515,
Email: info@sa-intl.org

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For technical questions concerning the Global Standards and Information Group, contact us:

Global Standards and Information Group, Standards Services Division, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 2100, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2100
Phone: (301) 975-6094, Fax: (301) 975-4715, Email: gsig@nist.gov

Date created: February 29, 1999
Last updated: October 20, 2004

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