The Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) is “enhancing” its activities after becoming a stand-alone organisation fighting to improve labour rights in the global supply chain for apparel and other products.

For 12 years, it was the human rights programme within As You Sow, a non-profit foundation promoting corporate social responsibility, but it has now set itself up as an independent non-profit corporation to continue its work.

RSN’s board of directors voted to make Patricia Jurewicz — formerly vice president at As You Sow — as its CEO.

RSN has now embarked on enhancing its activities championing human rights and fighting slavery among vulnerable communities in the harvesting of raw materials such as cotton as well as in the mining sector.

It builds multi-stakeholder networks, including a coalition of more than 330 global apparel brands – from schoolwear supplier One+All to Fruit of the Loom and H&M – which have signed up to its slavery-free cotton pledge.

This has enabled RSN to negotiate with the Uzbek government for the rights of forced labourers — children and adults — in cotton fields.

Jurewicz said: “RSN is committed to unifying stakeholders to identify, prevent and mitigate abuses of human rights and forced labour.

“Activating RSN as an independent organisation will allow us to pursue an enhanced theory of change. Building multi-stakeholder groups with corporations, RSN aims to leverage capacity for human rights due diligence at multiple tiers of the production process.”

Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow, added: “As You Sow is proud to have incubated RSN and will continue to support and work with Patricia and the RSN team.

“We know that now is the right time for the organisation’s independence, and look forward to RSN’s continued positive impact on underrepresented groups around the world.”