Canadian kids work for change

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87% of Canadians support supply chain transparency legislation
The Child Labour Challenge. Students at General Brock Elementary in Vancouver endure a mining simulation to raise awareness
for World Day Against Child Labour. Photo/World Vision
(June 11, 2015)
Vancouver school children and local youth unite to experience what child labour is really like 


Students at General Brock Elementary experienced realistic simulations of child labour to get a feel for what it is like to be one of the 85 million kids who suffer in dirty, dangerous and degrading work around the world.

The challenging, interactive and educational event was one the kids will not soon forget including:
  • Hauling bricks and carrying other heavy loads in a hurry
  • Mining for ore in piles of rock to make enough money for a meal
  • Sewing “fast fashion” apparel under stress
  • Searching for scraps in stinky piles of garbage
  • Picking coffee beans in order to caffeinate Canadians

The Child Labour Challenge was part of the aid organization’s No Child for Sale Campaign which has engaged millions of Canadians to help eliminate the worst forms of child labour.


“It’s really inspiring to see Canadian kids get a taste of what life is like for kids around the world who may be working for their very survival under indescribable conditions. Fortunately, Canadian families don’t face the horrors of having their children trafficked into slave-like conditions. We hope events like this will raise Canadian awareness of the global problem of child labour and how we can take action against it,” says Daniel Wilcox from World Vision’s No Child for Sale campaign.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for the children to get a “hands on” educational experience to learn about the issues regarding child labour,” says Angela Hughes, Principal, General Brock Elementary.

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 advance discussions on 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 child labour to help eliminate it from the products Canadians buy.  

It’s what consumers want: 87% of Canadians support supply chain transparency legislation according to a recent Ipsos Reid poll. Canadians don’t want to be part of the problem --- they want to be part of the solution.

Full World Vision Check the Chain report available upon request
Photos of child labour available upon request
World Vision UK report on child labour
Info on World Day Against Child Labour