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27 Nov 2017

Nina Smith, GoodWeave International, Business and Human Rights Journal

Commentary: Real-time, comprehensive approach is key to remedy for child labor & trafficking in global supply chains

"Remedy to Children Toiling in Global Supply Chains", 24 Nov 2017

...The key is to respond to child labor and trafficking cases in real-time, and to follow tested, legal guidelines to help the victim separate from exploitative circumstances without exposure to danger or risk. This intervention must be followed with services that help them to recover, and to remain protected from exploitation going forward...Yet most supply chain auditing programs never reach children...[I]f they do, then the protocol is usually to issue a “corrective action report” requiring the employer to resolve the issue...[E]fforts to audit production and account for worker legitimacy and welfare are limited to factories...[M]ost exploitation is in the sub-contracted tiers of labor down to homeworkers...

...The other half of the successful equation in delivering remedy, is for companies to adopt actionable remediation policies and strategies, partner with local NGOs, and train their compliance staff to deploy appropriate responses...[H]aving a proper mapping and verification process combined with remedy can be the difference between complying with the law and solving the root causes of child labor...A comprehensive program will be country-specific and sensitive to the local context...[and] must include: 1) Removal of children from the work place...2) Counselling and care; 3) Advocacy of child rights; 4) Education; 5) Rehabilitation into community/family; 6) Ongoing support; 7) Follow up and tracking; and 8) Prevention through awareness raising and community-based interventions...[refers to C&A and Monsoon]