Guidance tool on "How to do Business with Respect for Children's Right to be Free from Child Labour"

Does your company have child labour in its supply chain? How would you know?

There are 168 million child labourers in the world, and millions of these work in supply chains in the private economy.

Join the ILO and the International Organization of Employers in a pathbreaking project that will provide your company with the tools and know-how it needs to tackle this key challenge to sustainable production.
The baseline of the corporate responsibility to respect children’s right to be free from child labour is established by ILO Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age and ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” in June 2011, developed by the former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. The Guiding Principles provide companies with a practical framework for meeting this responsibility.

The ILO-IOE project on business and child labour has provided valuable, cross-functional learning for The Coca-Cola Company on this critical issue. We have benefited from the expert assessment process, which has led to improvements in our policies and due diligence systems. TCCC would highly recommend this project to companies interested in developing effective systems to identify, prevent, mitigate, and, if necessary, remediate child labour, all while contributing to the creation of an authoritative global guidance tool.”
Ed Potter, Director, Global Workplace Rights, The Coca-Cola Company. 

The ILO-IOE project engages select companies in an assessment process that provides them with expert insight on the alignment of existing policies and processes in this area with the UN Guiding Principles and ILO standards, and, if relevant, where improvements could be made. These assessments, and related peer-learning workshops, are led by experts on child labour and human rights from the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour and the non-profit centre for business and human rights practice, Shift, comprised of former members of Professor Ruggie’s team who were central to the creation of the UN Guiding Principles.

Participation in this project is very important to Vale, because it contributed directly to our process of continuous improvement in the management of human rights.”
Adolfo Gonçalves, Director of Labour Relations, Vale.

In addition, participating companies will have a unique opportunity to help shape a public guidance tool on business and child labour, which will draw on the learnings derived from the company assessments and will be published by ILO and IOE in 2014.

The project comprises three stages:
  1. Participating companies receive confidential individual assessments of their policies and processes against the key elements of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, as set out in the UN Guiding Principles, in relation to the prohibition of child labour. These elements include: a policy commitment and embedding, conducting due diligence (assessing impacts, integrating findings, tracking and communicating on performance) and, where relevant, remediation. An overarching report identifying common trends among the companies will also be produced.
  2. Peer-learning exercises and dialogue with experts for participating companies to facilitate the integration of child labour concerns into company policies and processes.
  3. Based on the above activities, the development of evidence-based good business practices that contribute to respect for children’s rights. After endorsement by the participating companies, this guidance tool will be shared with other companies, using the networks of both the ILO and the IOE, as well as publicly.

More information on the project can be seen here.

For any further questions, please contact ILO-IPEC’s Senior Officer for CSR, Benjamin Smith,