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Analysis of challenges & best practices in tackling child labour in food, mining, retail, tobacco sectors

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Article
6 February 2014

Child Labor: Working to Eliminate a Worldwide Problem

Author: Philip Morris International

At Philip Morris International (PMI) we have a child and forced labor policy, which sets a minimum age and forbids the use of forced labor in all our facilities around the world. Although PMI does not grow tobacco, we purchase tobacco from suppliers and farmers in over 30 countries...Preventing child labor in...agricultural communities is a focus for PMI but continues to be particularly challenging, this is because labor practices can be rudimentary, work often occurs in impoverished circumstances, and there often exists a longstanding, cultural acceptance of child labor...[W]e are in the process of implementing an Agricultural Labor Practices Code which strengthens and expands our existing practices and policies, and includes tailored, in-depth training programs for our tobacco crop professionals and suppliers, farmers and their workers...[W]e are continuing to work with a range of governmental and nongovernmental organizations around the globe to implement programs that seek to eradicate child labor in tobacco growing communities...

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Article
6 February 2014

Child labour

Author: Imperial Tobacco

We seek to positively influence and address child labour risk in the supply chain through supplier partnerships, support of the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation and having community livelihoods projects...Our suppliers are expected to comply with generally accepted international standards as well as any local laws and regulations in relation to the employment of children. We engage with our suppliers through the Social Responsibility in Tobacco Production (SRiTP) programme, which includes monitoring of child labour, farmer standards of living and capacity building. Our suppliers have achieved a steady improvement in all three areas that should allow children to attend school and remain in full-time education...

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Article
6 February 2014

Malawi: Child labour in tobacco

Author: British American Tobacco

We firmly agree that children must never be exploited, exposed to danger or denied an education. We do not employ children in any of our operations worldwide and make it clear to all of our contracted farmers and suppliers that exploitative child labour will not be tolerated. We are a founding member and supporter of the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT) and this is helping to make a difference in Malawi...We prefer to work as closely as possible with tobacco farmers - as we do with the 160,000 growers worldwide who are directly contracted to supply the majority of the leaf we buy. This relationship enables us to offer farmers advice and support not only relating to their crops and their land but on social issues such as exploitative child labour. Regrettably, the way the tobacco industry is structured in Malawi means we are not allowed to work directly with the farmers...In some cases we are four or five steps removed from the growers themselves – with small-scale farmers selling tobacco to their landowners, who then sell it at auction to international dealers who then sell it on to us.

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Article
6 February 2014

Policy on Child Labor

Author: Alliance One International

It is the purpose of this Policy, and a requirement of the Alliance One Social Responsibility Policy, to establish a uniform, Company-wide mandate with regard to the employment of minors which is in violation of law, exploitive or which endangers the minor’s health, development, education, future livelihood or general well-being...It is the policy of the Company that it: Will comply fully with the child labor laws and regulations in each country in which it operates; Will not employ, directly or indirectly, minors (as defined by the laws of the relevant jurisdiction) in violation of this Policy; Will not contract for the purchase of tobacco with any producer who employs child labor in violation of this Policy; Will not purchase tobacco from any producer who employs child labor in violation of this Policy...This Policy shall apply to Alliance One International, Inc. and all of its subsidiaries...

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Article
6 February 2014

Elimination of Child Labor

Author: Universal Corporation

Universal does not employ child labor in any of its facilities worldwide. We actively encourage farmers and suppliers to follow this standard, and we work with communities to increase awareness and further understanding of the importance of this issue. Child labor is a serious concern within all agricultural industries, as it not only jeopardizes children’s health and safety, but also their attainment of education, which has a lasting impact throughout their lives...In addition to our internal activities and commitments, Universal is proud to be an active and responsible board member of the Elimination of Child Labor in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT), an international organization that seeks to address the challenge of child labor in tobacco growing areas.

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Article
1 January 2014

Sustainability Focus: Child Labour Due Diligence in Labour Intensive Industries

Author: Vigeo

Vigeo identified four sectors (Mining, Food, Tobacco and Specialised Retail) that are more exposed to child labour issues than others due their high labour intensity, complex supply chains and their frequent presence weak governance zones. Vigeo’s analysis...across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific has recorded multiple controversies regarding child labour in the supply chain further highlighting the importance of this topic...[This research] indicates that there is a widespread disclosure of policies explicitly mentioning Child Labour. When considering the implementation of due diligence measures implemented, in most cases there is no longer a distinction between child labour and other social rights...[A] variety of measures are...adopted with the most common one to integrate social issues in contractual clauses. Overall, European companies show more willingness to cooperate with external stakeholders and to conduct supplier audits. Both Retail and Tobacco sectors demonstrate on average better performances (in terms of policies and measures disclosed) than Food or Mining sectors. [Refers to Archer Daniels Midland, Alliance One International, British American Tobacco, Cargill, Glencore (now GlencoreXstrata), Hershey, Imperial Tobacco, Nestlé, Nike, Philip Morris Internationa, Universal Corporation]

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Company response
16 April 2012

Glencore response to BBC Panorama Broadcast

Author: Glencore

The children featured in the Panorama programme do NOT work for Glencore or any of its subsidiaries. The copper ore produced is NOT purchased by Glencore or any of its subsidiaries. We have every measure in place to ensure that the copper ore they produce is NOT processed by Glencore or any of its subsidiaries. Glencore does NOT profit from child labour...Glencore only took control of the Luilu plant in mid 2009, but the river pollution has been going on there for more than 50 years. Glencore has spent millions of dollars addressing this issue, whilst also keeping the plant open to safeguard 6,500 jobs...Glencore takes its responsibilities very seriously and sustainability is an integral part of everything we do. We have created a framework to balance social, environmental, ethical and commercial interests at every level of our Group which we call Glencore Corporate Practice...Glencore does not have any involvement in artisanal mining in the DRC.

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