With year two of the global pandemic as a backdrop, the UN-designated 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour could not come at a more pressing time. With the impact of the global pandemic threatening to reverse decades of progress in addressing child labour, the time to come together and act is now. A key campaign to emerge from the momentum of this year’s designation is the UN and Alliance 8.7’s drive to get stakeholders from across society to pledge actions related to child labour elimination that can be completed in 2021.
As a leader on child rights and business issues that has spent over a decade working with companies to prevent and remediate child labour in supply chains, The Centre has developed a Joint Action Pledge to strengthen the protection of children’s rights and accelerate action to address child labour in global supply chains.
The Centre’s Joint Action Pledge see ten brands and retailers – all members of our Child Rights in Business (CRIB) working group – joining forces to work together towards the elimination of child labour, with a collective focus on the following five activity areas:
1) Further extending due diligence, remediation and monitoring activities to increase understanding of child labour in supply chains
2) Delivering programmes to support juvenile workers and to create decent work opportunities for young workers
3) Building the capabilities of companies and their suppliers to address child labour risks through training and support
4) Offering practical support to parent workers and their children through practical family friendly workplace activities and programmes
5) Working collaboratively as a group to share learnings, and establishing best practices to address child labour
“We’re thrilled that these companies have come together to join this action-oriented pledge. ‘Action’ is the key word here and a meaningful contribution to the International Year of the Elimination of Child Labour means going beyond words to implementing practical solutions at the supply chain level,” said Ines Kaempfer, CEO at The Centre.
"That is why we will be working very closely with all ten of these companies to support them in the development, implementation and tracking of child labour elimination interventions. We also look forward to reporting on the impact as the year progresses,” she continued.
As part of The Joint Action Pledge, The Centre will also leverage its experience and expertise in addressing child labour to support the setup of a new Centre for Child Rights in Mexico (El Centro Derechos De La Ninez Y Empresas, Mexico) which will offer support to businesses in Mexico and beyond to prevent and remediate child labour and advance child rights.
The ten brands and retailers that have committed to The Centre’s Joint Action Pledge for the Elimination of Child Labour include ALDI Nord Group, ALDI SOUTH Group, Arena S.P.A, Colosseum, IKEA, Mekong Timber Plantations, Morrisons, REWE Group, VF Corporation and Varner.
Comments from our pledge partners on their commitment to the Joint Action Pledge:
ALDI SOUTH Group:
“The prevention of child labour in our supply chains is very important to ALDI SOUTH and ALDI Nord, which is reflected in our "Child Labour Policy". 2021 is the "International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour", therefore, we are pleased to work with an experienced partner like The Centre to integrate children’s rights considerations into our operations and to create a positive impact in our supply chain,” Katharina Wortmann, Director Corporate Responsible International, ALDI SOUTH Group
Colosseum Athletics Corporation:
“Colosseum is proud to add our name to the Joint Action Pledge for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. With the support of The Centre, we’re looking forward to exploring opportunities to strengthen policies on child labour and juvenile/young workers and to continue our goal of providing family friendly workplaces in our supply chain,” Kelsey Keene, Senior Director of Licensing and CSR, Colosseum Athletics Corporation
Inter IKEA Group:
“Children are key stakeholders of our business – as members of the communities where we operate, as users of our products and services, as family members of our co-workers, as young workers and as future co-workers and IKEA leaders. All children have rights, everywhere and always. IKEA supports 2021 as the UN international year for the elimination of child labour. The work to eliminate child labour requires continuous effort and the engagement of society as a whole. As a global business, we have a big responsibility to demonstrate leadership and be aware of our impact throughout the IKEA value chain and take action to address it,” Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer, Inter IKEA Group
Mekong Timber Plantations:
“Youths contribute significantly to family livelihoods in Lao PDR and benefit from employment opportunities that also provide for skills development, potential career pathways, and time to pursue schooling simultaneously. MTP focuses on training, occupational health and safety, and supportive structures to maximise youth workers’ potential for a safe and quality life,” Mr. Nico Strydom, General Manager, Mekong Timber Plantations
“For years, REWE Group has been committed to actively combating child and forced labour and ensuring socially acceptable working conditions along global supply chains. By signing the Joint Pledge with The Centre, we are taking an important next step to further bundle and strengthen our efforts with the partners involved." Mr. Torsten Stau, Member of the Executive Board Non-Food & Indirect Spend, REWE GROUP
Varner Far East LTD:
“Being responsible is one of our core values in Varner, and we are committed to ensure child labour does not take place in our value chain. By participating in the Joint Action Pledge, we will further collaborate with the Centre and other companies to better consolidate resources and actions to protect children’s rights,” Kenneth Hui, Regional CSR Manager, Varner Far East LTD
“At VF, we are committed to using our scale as a force for positive change. We have been an ardent advocate for children’s rights and the elimination of child labour in the global apparel supply chain for years. We are proud to be furthering our efforts as members of the CRIB Working Group. Collaboration and partnerships such as the Joint Action Pledge are crucial to achieve our collective goals and fully eliminate child labour from global apparel supply chains by 2025,” Peter Higgins, Vice President Responsible Sourcing, VF Corporation
Watch our short video introducing the Joint Action Pledge below or click here to view it on Youtube.
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