Study | Child Rights Risks in Global Supply Chains: Why a ‘Zero Tolerance’ Approach is Not Enough

Save the Children and The Centre for Child Rights and Business (The Centre) have published a study on Child Rights Risks in Global Supply Chains: Why a ‘Zero Tolerance’ Approach is Not Enough.


The study involved 20 assessments across eight countries, with over 2,751 parents and 1,799 children interviewed, and focused on areas such as child labour, education, childcare, and young worker protection. The study also took into account other variables, including working conditions, gender, human trafficking, and forced labour.


Key findings from the study include:

•      Child labour is prevalent in most assessments, with a very high risk of child labour observed in eight of the remaining 10 assessments.

•      Workers' actual wages or incomes in all sectors are significantly lower than the living wage standards or incomes for an average family in all assessed countries, leading to poverty and denying children their basic rights. 

•      The lack of formalisation of a sector exacerbates child rights violations

•      Zero-tolerance policies marginalise youth and drive them towards hazardous work.


The study also identified industry-specific issues, such as the absence of childcare in the manufacturing sector, leading to left-behind children being more susceptible to labour exploitation and human trafficking. Additionally, farmers heavily rely on their children's contribution in the agriculture sector, with older children being more exposed to hazardous work. Finally, the mining sector was found to pose the highest child rights risks, especially in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).


The report recommends various strategies and ways to identify and address child rights violations in global supply chains. For detailed findings and recommendations, the full report is available for download below.

Published on   11/05/2023
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