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16 Okt 2018

A call to action: ending the use of all forms of child labour in supply chains

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[T]he Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (the Subcommittee) undertook a study on child labour in supply chains in November and December 2017... The Subcommittee recommends that the Government of Canada systematically focus on eliminating all forms of child labour, including by enhancing its support for programs that target child labour’s root causes... Despite the progress made by certain industries [with voluntary CSR guidelines and initiatives]...witnesses identified persistent challenges. For example, companies’ internal audits usually extend to only the first tier of production and capture just a single point in time, while human rights violations such as child labour tend to exist further down the supply chain and represent an ongoing issue. Likewise, when best practices are not disseminated, the result is an uneven playing field for businesses. The Subcommittee thus recommends that the Government of Canada enhance its support to Canadian businesses abroad to build their capacity to monitor their supply chains for child labour and to share best practices.

... With due consideration for Canada’s constitutional division of powers, the Subcommittee recommends that the Government of Canada advance legislative and policy measures to further motivate businesses to eliminate the use of all forms of child labour in their supply chains. The Government of Canada will have the benefit of evaluating models chosen by like-minded states... Canada has already taken the first steps towards the elimination of child labour in supply chains. Nevertheless, global progress to eliminate the use of child labour has stalled. The time to take more concerted action, in the form of legislative and policy initiatives that motivate businesses to end the use of child labour, is now.

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