G7 leaders: It’s time to change the way we do business

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World Vision is commenting on the following global issues:
  • Responsible economic growth
  • Accountability & progress on promises
  • Global peace & security
Quotes can be attributed to Chris Derksen-Hiebert, Director of Public Policy, World Vision International
(May 26, 2016)
ISE-SHIMA, Japan – As the 2016 G7 summit gets underway, World Vision has identified key priorities for the leaders of the richest and most powerful nations to deliver real hope to vulnerable children around the world, particularly those caught up in supply chains, conflicts and natural disasters.
The international aid agency is commenting on the following global issues:
  • Responsible economic growth
  • Accountability & progress on promises
  • Global peace & security
Last year, G7 leaders said they would step up and address child and forced labour in supply chains, and acknowledged that both government and business have a role to play. Now is the time for leaders to consider practical policy solutions that encourage transparency and due diligence to reduce the risk of exploitation in range of industries. 
“Economies should not be strengthened on the backs of children. We remain deeply concerned that 85 million children are working in dirty, dangerous and degrading jobs, often producing goods that Canadians buy every day. As economies grow, governments must lead the way on eliminating the scourge of child labour."
“Strong economies are responsible economies. It’s time for Canada to work towards new legislation requiring large Canadian companies to report on their efforts to address child labour in their global supply chains. The UK has done it, California has done it. Canada should do it.”
G7 countries have delivered on the maternal, child and newborn health commitments promised at the Canadian summit in 2010, according to the Ise-Shima Progress Report. However, there is still a long way to go. Preventable child and maternal deaths are still unacceptably high.
“As this report finds, we failed millions of women and children because we missed the target to reduce preventable deaths by two thirds. This is why children in the poorest communities, those most affected by conflict, must be at the front and centre of decisions made by leaders.”
“Much of the progress achieved by the G7, especially on reducing child mortality rates, has missed children in the poorest parts of the world, and those affected by conflict and instability.”
The G7 comes a day after the World Humanitarian Summit where despite a number of positive outcomes, protection of children in fragile places including Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic remains grossly underfunded. Less than three per cent of humanitarian funding is spent on child protection; only two per cent is spent on education.
“The lack of political will to address the critical issues of bringing peace to children and families affected by conflict remains a terrible gap in the global conscience. It’s a gap we implore the G7 leaders to step up and fill, with clear and measurable promises.”

Chris Derksen-Hiebert is in Japan and available for interviews.