Child Labour

As part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the international community adopted the ambitious goal of ending child labour by 2025.  But millions of children around the world are still trapped in child labour, depriving them of their childhood, health and education, and condemning them to a life of poverty.

Recent global estimates indicate that a total of 168 million children aged 5 to 17 are engaged in child labour (down by some 30% from 246 million in 2000).  These figures indicate a steady decline in child labour, but progress is far too slow.

Despite the fact that businesses are more aware of and increasingly proficient in developing responses to child labour risks, Global Child Forum’s benchmark report findings raise concerns around the actual impact of the policies in place and their implementation throughout operations and supply chains.

External Publication
Children’s rights and business Interview Frank Du- Samsung Electronics

Save the Children has been working together with Samsung Electronics China to set up ambitious policies on child labour prevention and training all managers in China on children’s rights and how to practically approach issues specifically relating to young workers. Frank Du is vice president and in charge of Human Resources at Samsung Electronics in China. Children’s rights and business videos

External Publication
Children’s rights and business Interview Klas Balkow- Clas Ohlson

Clas Ohlson is a leading hardware retailer in Sweden with over 200 stores in five countries. They source almost 70% of their products from Asia. Save the Children has supported Clas Ohlson with a child rights focused assessment of their entire value chain and continues to offer on-site support to factories in China. Klas Balkow is the CEO of Clas Ohlson. Children’s rights and business videos

External Publication
Children’s rights and business Interview Steve Howard- IKEA

International furniture giant IKEA has been at the forefront of corporate work on human rights and sustainability for decades. Since the early 1990s, IKEA has been working with Save the Children on a range of projects addressing education for children, children in emergencies, and protection of children from child labour. Steve Howard is the Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group. Children’s rights and business videos

External Publication
Toolkit Juara Child-Friendly Business: A guidance for business (hotel and restaurant) integrating children’s rights

Together with the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in West Java, Save the Children has been integrating a child-centred corporate social responsibility project in the hospitality sector of Indonesia. The project worked to encourage members to integrate children’s rights into their member’s business operations and strategies. One result of the project was the creation of this toolkit, which included the assistance of academics, several NGOs, and input from child and youth participants. It consists of four tools for children’s rights integration and eight tools that inspire hotels and restaurants in responding to issues and problems that most frequently arise and impact children’s rights.

External Publication
Children’s Rights: The ultimate definition of sustainability

Children’s rights are an essential investment in a sustainable future. Safeguarding these rights helps build the strong, well-educated communities that are vital to creating stable, inclusive and productive societies. The private sector impacts children’s lives both directly and indirectly, and all companies in all industries – global, regional or local – can make a difference. Business activity influences the daily life of children in a number of ways, from impoverished communities where children are held back from getting an education because they need to support the family with their income, to the marketplace where children react to marketing messages and learn about the world via the many products surrounding them. Companies that want to take part in the movement pushing sustainable development forward, creating the world that we together have formulated in the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030, need to safeguard, empower and consider the opinions of those we should be creating that world together with. Considering children’s rights holds the possibility of enriching your business and easing your way into the challenges of the future. Read these statements from companies and businesses that have incorporated a child rights approach into their work. 

External Publication
Child Labour and UNICEF in Action: Children at the Centre

This publication presents UNICEF’s stance and approach to child labour. While upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF and its partners work to strengthen legal and policy frameworks, enhance government and community-based structures and services, and engage with communities to promote positive social change. To achieve positive results, promoting understanding through research of the underlying causes of child labour and addressing their interconnectedness is key to UNICEF’s approach to response and prevention.

External Publication
Children’s Rights in Impact Assessments: A guide for integrating children’s rights into impact assessments and taking action for children

This publication is designed to guide companies in assessing their policies and processes to both prevent harm and actively safeguard children’s best interests. As a tool, this should be used as part of ongoing assessments of human rights impacts as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This publication has 58 primary criteria for addressing company policies and practices relevant to children’s rights. A company is taking an important step towards recognizing children as rights holders and stake holders by integrating children’s rights considerations into their ongoing impact assessments.