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February 19, 2008

Action Plan for Companies to Combat Child Labour launched in Delhi

An ‘Action Plan for Companies to Combat Child Labour’ will be launched on 20 February in New Delhi, India, during the ‘International Conference for Child Rights Organisers and Campaigners’ by the campaign ‘Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work’*. The conference is an initiative of the Global Trade Union Movement.
The document combines good practice experiences and insights in the field of combating child labour and rights-based corporate social responsibility.

The Action Plan was finalized after receiving input from union, employers, NGOs and officials of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The Action Plan focuses on 18 steps that companies should take to combat all forms of child labour: not only in the main production or service facilities, but also in their supply chain.

Gerard Oonk, senior advisor to the Stop Child Labour campaign, states: "We feel the Action Plan is a very useful tool which gives clear recommendations to companies to combat child labour. We will be actively approaching companies worldwide with the Action plan, but also hope and expect others to do the same".

Part of the added value of the Action Plan lies in the combination of:

  • a focus on áll forms of child labour prohibited under the ILO child labour conventions and its link with the right to education;
  • the need to engage companies in the supply chain with a view to assisting them to deal with any child labour issues rather than ’cutting and running’ from suppliers employing children;
  • fighting child labour as part of the larger effort to implement labour rights;
  • a focus on engagement with other stakeholders like unions, NGOs, governments, multi-stakeholder initiatives etc.
Oonk highlights the ‘Final Appeal’ made at the end of the Action Plan, which states: ‘Do not allow yourself, as a company, to be lured into thinking that child labour is a fact of life and that the company does something good by employing a child. Employing even one child perpetuates child labour and child labour perpetuates poverty. Combating child labour helps to create more jobs and better wages for adults and thus also to alleviate poverty!’

Find the Action Plan at: http://www.indianet.nl/pdf/actionplanchildlabour.pdf.

More information:
Gerard Oonk (India Committee of the Netherlands): tel. +31(0)30-2321340, email: g.oonk@indianet.nl

* The campaign ‘Stop Child Labour – School is the bet place to work’ is a joint effort of ten organisations in six European countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and The Netherlands.
India Committee of the Netherlands - February 19, 2008