GOOD PRACTICE: Addressing the Root Causes of Child Labour
A global home furnishings company has developed a comprehensive approach to preventing child labour in its supply chain. Suppliers are supported in implementing a corrective action plan if child labour is identified, which should take the child’s best interests into consideration, including age, family and social situation and level of education. The action plan emphasizes that responses should not merely move child labour from one supplier’s workplace to another, they should instead enable more viable and sustainable alternatives for the children involved. Since 2000, the company has developed long-term partnerships with child rights organizations to prevent and eliminate child labour in rural communities, including supporting large-scale programmes to create awareness and mobilize local communities around school enrolment drives and improved quality of education, aiming for both boys and girls to finalize their schooling. Another important component is the formation of self-help groups among rural women, helping them to enhance their economic, social and legal status by improving access to credit and income-generating opportunities. This helps to reduce the burden of debt that is one major reason families send their children to work.
GOOD PRACTICE: Supporting migrant workers with distance parenting
A multinational company based in the United Kingdom partnered with a Chinese women’s NGO in 2009 to provide assistance to the children left behind by migrant worker parents in 10 provinces of China. The initiative is expected to benefit around 600,000 families. Under the programme, parent-to-child telephone cards, known as ‘love cards’ are issued, to facilitate regular communication between migrant workers and their children and families. The programme also provides practical guidance to the families and children who are left at home while parents migrate from rural to urban China for work. Statistics show that there are 58 million children left behind within the country, which accounts for 30 per cent of the total number of children in rural China. More than 40 million of these children are less than 14 years old.
GOOD PRACTICE: Protecting Children from Sexual Exploitation
A global hospitality and travel company has implemented a comprehensive strategy to combat and raise awareness about sexual exploitation and child trafficking. The company is a member of The Code (Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism). As part of their commitment, it requires all suppliers to agree to a legally binding clause in their contracts affirming their denouncement of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Specialized child protection training has been integrated into employee training programmes. Since late 2011, the company began to issue special advisory notices on electronic travel itineraries issued in the U.S. to specific destinations with a high prevalence of child trafficking and sexual exploitation. Travellers are also provided with a dedicated hotline number to report any instances of sexual exploitation or suspicious behaviour. The company also works to address root causes of the problem through partnerships with community organizations working for the elimination of child trafficking.