Global March

Ending Child Labour in Supply Chains

Child labour denies girls and boys their rights and often child labour may be involved in many supply chains such as in agriculture and fishing, manufacturing and mining, services and construction, and even at a global or national scale. Child labour is mostly hidden and multinational enterprises may be linked to it in international supply chains directly – through their own facilities, suppliers or subcontractors – or simply by having operations in areas where child labour is common. In supply chains, child labour ( who may be trafficked in many cases)  may be performed in small workshops or homes, making it difficult to identify and remedy. Therefore it may well be possible that a shirt worn in Europe or a fish consumed in America may well be produced by a trafficked child or forced labourer, without the knowledge of the producer or the consumer. To ensure that children are out of the business of working and into schools, eradicating child labour from supply chains remains one of Global March’s top priority areas of intervention.

Tackling child labour in supply chains takes a multi-dimensional approach as well. Therefore Global March aims to only advocate with governments to introduce and enforce laws that protect children from being involved in business supply chains, but also seek to work on the ground to produce evidence and research that encourage businesses to abide by the international human rights and labour rights guidelines for sustainable business practices. Hence, Global March has been increasingly taking interest in addressing child labour in the supply chains of agricultural commodities such as sugarcane, shrimp in aquaculture and the garment sector in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Uganda and Philippines, with particular focus on addressing vulnerabilities faced by girls and young women in supply chains.
  • Designing tools such as guidelines for doing due diligence and analysing risk indicators in supply chains  for companies to identify and mitigate child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in their supply chains, with special focus on gender.
  • Using the research and knowledge created for addressing the issue on ground to work with stakeholders such as businesses, local enforcement agencies, national and global CSOs, trade unions and most importantly the communities.
  • Supporting Global March’s partners across Asia and Africa  in strengthening their advocacy on different issues of children’s rights especially on creative protective mechanisms for children at the risk of entering child labour and for children employed as forced labourers.
  • Prioritising the gender dimension in strategising process of identifying and supporting victims/survivors of child and forced labour and human trafficking effectively, within the SDG framework.
  • Describing the process of due diligence in the fishery and garment sector regarding human trafficking
  • Providing guidance on how companies can approach local law enforcement authorities, government and other relevant players in the supply chain to mitigate human trafficking and child labour.

Results in 2018:

  • Produced an insightful  repository on analysing the issue of child labour, forced labour and trafficking in the supply chain of garment and seafood sector in India, Bangladesh and Philippines
  • Produced guidelines for companies for addressing the risk of child labour, forced labour and trafficking by encouraging the process of due diligence, with a gender lens. Two volumes on garment and seafood sector have been published respectively.
  • Workshops conducted on introducing the guidelines to various stakeholders of the garment sector in India and shrimp sector in Bangladesh in 2018 where 30-40 critical potential stakeholders were reached.
  • Worked towards conducting research on child labour in sugarcane sector in India and Uganda with a focus on looking at it with a gender lens
  • Explored partnerships within the garment and seafood sector in India and Bangladesh to further strengthen the guidelines and implement it with different stakeholders, businesses being the most important
Centre for Responsible Business
Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum
Girls Advocacy Alliance

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