ILO and the International Organisation of Employers launch a new guidance tool for companies to eliminate child labour in supply chains by 2025.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) have launched a new resource to increase companies’ knowledge and ability to conduct business in line with international labour standards on child labour. The ILO-IOE child labour guidance tool for business aims to improve global supply chain governance, due diligence and remediation processes to advance the progressive elimination of child labour.
Companies from the food and beverage, apparel and mining sectors, and business members of the ILO-UN Global Compact Child Labour Platform were integrally involved in the research and development of the Guidance. Alongside the ILO and the IOE, the tool was developed with Shift , a non-profit centre of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) that is chaired by the former UN Special Representative and architect of the UNGPs, Professor John Ruggie. With this input, the Guidance Tool is of particular use to the following groups of companies:
- Large or multinational companies with global value chains
- Small and medium-sized companies that sit within such value chains and are seeking to strengthen their own efforts against child labour, for example to attract or reassure business partners
- Companies involved with communities, be it through their operations (particularly in the extractive and agricultural sectors) or investment and financing decisions, where there are potential child labour issues
The UNGPs, adopted unanimously in 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, provide a blueprint for employers to develop robust management systems for human rights due diligence. They do not create new legal obligations, but rather clarify what existing international instruments mean for business – in the case of child labour, ILO Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age and ILO Convention No. 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour. The Guidance Tool interprets the UNGPs for businesses to address child labour issues in their supply chains. Secretary-General of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Linda Kromjong, stated: “The IOE is delighted to present this material for the use of employers to assist them in better addressing and understanding the new expectations placed on businesses in the respect of human rights through a practical, expert-driven and compelling resource.” Commenting at the launch, Moussa Oumarou, Director, Governance and Tripartism Department at the ILO said, “We are pleased to present this comprehensive Guidance Tool to employers and are confident that it will prove to be a valuable resource in their efforts to address child labour in their supply chains, and a catalyst for their role in achieving the SDG to eliminate child labour in all its forms by 2025.”