Stop child labour, one supply chain at a time

By Quirijn Foeken | December 20, 2017
Quirijn Foeken

To stop child labour, it is important that companies, governments and consumers around the world firmly act against it. Governments can develop and enforce legislation. Mindful consumers increasingly use the power of their wallet by buying products from business that can proof they have the right balance between people, profit and planet.

At the end of the day, we believe that child labour only can be rooted out by the collective policies and power of individual businesses worldwide. Together we can stop child labour, one supply chain at a time. There is one thing that you can start doing already today to help stop child labour: ensuring your supply chain is totally free of child labour.

Trust is good, enforcing is better

Most companies have a strict code of conduct which forbids any form of child labour in their supply chain. But how can you be absolutely sure this does not happen beyond your Tier 1 suppliers, with whom you have a direct relationship? Enforcing a code of conduct with suppliers of suppliers throughout your entire supply chain is a much bigger challenge. There are two basic ways to achieve this. You can either adopt existing standards from organizations such as GoodWeave or the Rainforest Alliance, or you can choose to develop and enforce your own standards such as our client Tony’s Chocolonely has done.

Standards organizations

There are many existing standards organizations you can work with, depending on the industry you operate in. A well-known example is GoodWeave International, who is working to stop child labour in the carpet and rug industry and replicating its market-based approach in other sectors. GoodWeave uses ChainPoint technology to carry out audits using mobile technology. The data is automatically uploaded to a central system for analysis. With greater transparency throughout the chain, GoodWeave works with producers and importers to improve workers’ conditions in a sustainable way.

Do good, like Tony’s does

The cocoa industry is one of the industries where child labour and slavery is endemic. To stop child labour in the cocoa industry, true market transformation is needed. ChainPoint client Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 with exactly that mission. Tony’s Chocolonely today has a fully transparent ‘bean to bar’ supply chain, knowing the exact origin, flow and quantities of the beans. ChainPoint developed the BeanTracker platform for Tony’s Chocolonely, which facilitates data collection from the farmer coop down until production realising full traceability of the cocoa beans. This platform can be easily modified for other cocoa companies or other industries.

Act now

Do you want to learn how your organization can also contribute to a child labour free world? Then please download our free whitepaper ‘Using technology to prevent child labour’ to learn how technology can help you achieve this.

Download our solution paper on child labour now!

 

Posted in child labour, child slavery

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