Check the chain Canada! Child labour is everyone’s business

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85 million children are toiling in dirty, dangerous, and degrading jobs.
World Vision report makes the case for new Canadian legislation to help eliminate child labour from the products Canadians consume every day. Photo/World Vision
(June 09, 2015)
MISSISSAUGA, ON – To mark World Day to End Child Labour on June 12, World Vision is asking Canada to Check the Chain! Right now, 85 million children are toiling in dirty, dangerous, and degrading jobs and many of those child labourers are hidden within the supply chains of products that Canadians use every day, according to the international development agency.

It’s time for Canada to end our child labour habit. In a new report, World Vision is calling for a multi-stakeholder advisory group of Canadian companies, the Government of Canada and civil society groups 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 jurisdictions in both the US and the UK already require similar public disclosures of what companies are doing to address modern slavery in their supply chains --- including child labour.

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.

  • Inclusion of large companies doing business in Canada with annual revenues above a pre-determined amount
  • Set minimum reporting criteria
  • Creation of an accessible database of company reports
  • Require company disclosure to be made public
  • Enforcement mechanism to ensure companies comply
  • Equivalent to similar legislation in the UK and US 

“Child labour is a complex issue that requires joint efforts by companies, governments, civil society and communities. There is no simple solution, but the first step is recognizing our own complicity. It’s time for Canada to join the UK, California and other economic partners and work towards legislation that would require companies to report on their efforts to address child labour in their supply chains. Doing so can help ensure that Canadian consumers and businesses do not fuel the demand for child labour in other countries,” says Elly Vandenberg, Senior Director, World Vision Canada. 

“Canada’s child labour habit isn’t going away on its own – in fact it could be getting worse. Canadian imports of cereal, cocoa, fruit, clothing, shoes and electronics are increasing from countries where child labour is a harsh reality. Voluntary initiatives from companies are welcome but we need to raise the bar on what companies are doing to respond to child labour in their supply chains. This isn’t about compromising Canadian competitiveness, it’s about helping companies satisfy the demands of both consumers and investors. This can be a win-win situation,” says Reena Vohra, Child Protection Policy Advisor, World Vision Canada.  

World Vision Check the ​Chain​ report
Info on the UK Modern Slavery Act 
World Vision UK report on child labour
10 Steps Companies Can T​ake
Info on World Day to End Child Labour​

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.