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World Day Against Child Labour

Article, Industry Insights

World Day Against Child Labour

Highlighting Corporate Responsibility Through Supply Chain Transparency

World Day Against Child Labour, is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the exploitation of children in labour practices around the globe. This day, 12th June, established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2002, brings home the urgent need to protect millions of children from being trapped in dangerous and unfair working conditions. At Achilles, we recognise that the journey to eradicate child labour relies upon improvements in corporate transparency and ethical supply chain management. Without a focus on supply chain management, achieving long-lasting, measurable results is almost impossible.

Understanding the Challenge

Child labour continues to be a widespread issue, affecting approximately 1 in 5 children in the world’s poorest countries[1]. Half of these children are subjected to dangerous working environments, depriving them of their right to a safe childhood and in many cases taking away anything that resembles childhood. Almost half of child labour victims (73 million) work in hazardous conditions; more than one-quarter of all hazardous child labour is done by children less than 12 years old (19 million)[2]. The complexity of global supply chains often obscures these unethical practices, making it even more important for businesses to adopt transparency measures to ensure ethical compliance.

Corporate Responsibility in Supply Chains

Businesses must be at the forefront of the battle against child labour. Legislation and ethical working regulations alone cannot solve this global problem. The relationship businesses have with their supply chains can significantly impact labour practices – including those involving children. At Achilles, we enable companies to take solid steps toward transparency, accountability, and ethical supply chain management.

Ways businesses can elevate their commitment to eradicating child labour:

Supplier Qualification: Implementing a rigorous supplier qualification process sets clear ethical expectations amongst current vendors, and enables businesses to report, track and measure their risk hotspots allowing continuous organizational improvements and reporting. This code should unequivocally ban child labour and outline the repercussions of non-compliance. Regular training and communication about these standards reinforce a culture of responsibility and vigilance among suppliers

Comprehensive Supply Chain Audits: Regular, detailed audits of supply chains are essential. These audits help ensure every tier of the supply chain adheres to ethical labour standards. Companies openly sharing their audit processes, findings, and corrective actions. fosters consumer trust and compels suppliers to maintain higher ethical standards.

Collaborative Industry Efforts: Tackling child labour requires collaboration across industries, governments, and NGOs. By participating in initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact or the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), companies can amplify their impact. Collective efforts help share best practices and apply unified pressure for systemic change.

Community Development Investments: Child labour often stems from poverty and limited access to education. Investing in community development addresses these root causes. Supporting educational initiatives, creating economic opportunities for adults, and enhancing living conditions can significantly reduce reliance on child labour.

Leveraging Technology for Transparency: Advanced technology can enhance supply chain transparency and traceability. Technology platforms like MyAchilles foster more transparent supply chain relationships by opening opportunities for supply chain collaboration. Utilising technology reduces the compliance burden for suppliers and buying organisations’ by creating the ‘network effect’. Pre-qualification of suppliers is key, and platforms like MyAchilles allow you to do this in one place, searching for new suppliers that comply with certain regulations or standards as well as managing your existing supply chain.

The Business Benefits of Ethical Practices

Adopting ethical labour practices is not just a moral obligation but a strategic business decision. Ethical supply chains build brand loyalty, enhance corporate reputation, and attract socially conscious consumers and investors. Companies known for their integrity and commitment to ethical practices gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. You can download our latest whitepaper on the OECD six stages of supply chain due diligence here for a more comprehensive view of what can be done.

Our Commitment

At Achilles, we are dedicated to supporting businesses in their journey towards supply chain transparency and ethical compliance. The World Day Against Child Labour is a reminder of our collective responsibility to protect vulnerable children and uphold their rights. Through robust transparency solutions, we help companies manage their supply chain risk and contribute to a more just and humane world.

Together, we can create a future where child labour is eradicated, and every child enjoys the safety and dignity they deserve. On this World Day Against Child Labour, let us reaffirm our commitment to ethical supply chains and take decisive action to protect the world’s children.

If you want to find out more please get in touch (complete the form below) and one of our experts will review your business transparency and discuss how we can help you achieve a more ethical and transparent supply chain.

[1] UNICEF global databases, 2023, based on Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), other national surveys, censuses and vital registration systems, 2014-2022.

[2] Global Estimates of Child Labour: Results and Trends 2012-2016 / International Labour Office. Geneva: ILO, 2017

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