The World Day Against Child Labour marked on 12 June this year aims to raise awareness on how to keep child labour out of supply chains, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The focus of the 2016 World Day Against Child Labour is on child labour and supply chains. Supply chains are the sequence of activities/processes involved in the production and distribution of a product. With globalization, supply chains have become increasingly complex, involving workers, small producers, and enterprises around the world. While most child labour occurs in production for domestic markets, children can also be found working in the production of goods and services for export.
With 168 million children still in child labour, all supply chains, from agriculture to manufacturing, services to construction, run the risk that child labour may be present. Enterprises need to be vigilant to ensure that their supply chains are free from child labour or risk having their reputations ruined and their business seriously damaged.
Child labour occurs largely in the rural and informal economy, in areas where trade unions and employers’ organizations are often weak or absent and in areas that may be beyond the capacity of labour inspectors to reach. This also holds true for child labour in supply chains, where the work may be done in small workshops or homes, and often goes undetected by firms at the top of the chain. Inadequate education systems heighten the risks, and governments must step up their efforts to tackle the problem.