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Kids doing chores, how much is too much?

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Canadians weigh in on when childhood chores become child labour

MISSISSAUGA, ON (June 12, 2015) – To mark World Day Against Child Labour (today), World Vision recently asked Canadians how they felt about today’s children doing traditional chores. Participants were given a list of common jobs to see what kind of work they considered to be acceptable for a 10-year old Canadian child.

Canadians overwhelmingly agree that classic chores like cutting the grass, taking out the garbage or babysitting are all a perfectly acceptable part of growing up, according to a new poll by Ipsos Reid. But Canadians are adamant --- the worst forms of child labour are completely unacceptable.

WHAT CANADIANS CONSIDER ACCEPTABLE WORK FOR A 10-YEAR OLD CHILD
  • Doing chores around the house (doing dishes, taking out garbage, cleaning their room, cutting grass) (89%)
  • Babysitting neighbourhood children (72%)
  • Using heavy machinery in a factory and/or farm (12%)
  • Manual labour (digging, carry heavy loads) (12%)
  • Using chemicals and/or pesticides (9%)
  • Dropping out of school to work in a restaurant (7%)
  • Panhandling or begging (8%)
 
World Vision is asking Canadians a simple question: if child labour isn’t acceptable in Canada, why should it be acceptable anywhere?  While lighter, age-appropriate child work is often necessary for a family’s survival in developing countries, the worst forms of child labour, including long work long hours and exposure to physical, psychological or sexual abuse, must be eliminated. In addition to being dangerous, child labour also interferes with their education and the opportunity for a better future.

That’s why World Vision is asking Canada to Check the Chain! In a new report, World Vision is calling for a multi-stakeholder advisory group including Canadian companies, the Government of Canada and civil society to develop legislation that would require large companies to publically report on what they are doing to address child labour in their supply chains. Other countries, including the US and UK, have already introduced similar legislation. By harnessing consumer and investor pressure, supply chain transparency legislation will raise the bar on the actions companies are taking to respond to the problem of child labour to eliminate it from products Canadians buy.  

QUOTES

“Kids need to be given the opportunity to have a real childhood, whether they are in Canada or in a developing country. That’s why the results of this survey are so striking --- because it brings the problem of child labour home. We want to work with business and government to develop legislation that would require companies to report on their efforts to address child labour in their supply chains so that Canadians can be better assured the products we use every day aren’t made by kids,” says Elly Vandenberg, Senior Director, World Vision Canada. Download audio clip 

“Far too often child labour is being used to make the things that Canadians consume and use daily. It’s time for Canadian companies, governments and civil society to work together to develop new legislation that would help eliminate child labour from the everyday products Canadians buy. It’s what consumers and investors want: 87% of Canadians support supply chain transparency legislation. Canadians don’t want to be part of the problem --- they want to be part of the solution,” says Reena Vohra, Child Protection Policy Advisor, World Vision Canada.  

RESOURCES 
Full World Vision Check the Chain report 
World Vision UK report on child labour
Photos of child labour
#WorldVisionCan

TO BOOK INTERVIEWS CONTACT:
Britt Hamilton: 416-419-1321, britt_hamilton@worldvision.ca

The Ipsos Reid survey was conducted between March 4 and 9, 2015 on behalf of World Vision Canada. The results are based on a sample of n=1,007 Canadian adults in the general population and are accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.                      

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. 

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