Report examines 28 shoe companies' policies, practices & transparency on efforts to address child labour in supply chains

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Article
5 February 2014

[DOC] Response from Hivos – Stop Child Labour campaign to reactions companies Business & Human Rights Resource Centre website

Author: Hivos - Stop Child Labour

A first assessment of the policy and practices of 28 footwear companies was published in December 2012, and by mid-2013 Stop Child Labour requested the companies to provide an update on what they had done in the past year to improve their policy and practices. 22 of the 28 companies responded to this request and provided information...Based on the information provided, Stop Child Labour concluded that from 18 of these 22 responding companies we have received sufficiently concrete information to conclude that, as a result of the campaign, they have taken steps in the past year to (further) improve their policy, practices and level of transparency...All research has been as thorough and cautious as possible and of course the 28 footwear companies were given the chance to respond...Publication of the reports however triggered responses from companies that had not responded earlier and from suppliers further down the supply chain. Some gave reason to reconsider earlier findings and to update the reports. Any such instances have been fully transparent and documented in the different reports.

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Company response
23 January 2014

Marks & Spencer's response

Author: Marks & Spencer

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Marks & Spencer to respond to concerns raised in a Stop Child Labour report about its efforts to address child labour.] Child labour is totally unacceptable to Marks & Spencer in any form and in any part of the supply chain – we have very strict policies to prevent it occurring and any breach will simply not be tolerated. We have never been presented with any credible evidence by HIVOS and conducted our own investigations following its original report in 2012. No evidence of child labour was found.

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Company response
22 January 2014

Farida response

Author: Farida

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Farida to respond to concerns raised in a Stop Child Labour report about its efforts to address child labour.] HIVOS had alleged in their report that Farida’s supply chain has links with Sub contractors who engage Child labour. We strongly deny the allegations linking Farida with existence of “Child labour in the footwear industry”...We explained to HIVOS that the allegations against us are incorrect and substantiated our stand based on Documents obtained from the Government authorities. We have proved the inconsistency and incorrectness of the HIVOS’investigation by providing the below facts and proofs...[See details in document]...Farida being a socially responsible organization, has in place necessary systems and checks to comply with legal requirements on Prevention of child labour.

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Company response
22 January 2014

Lotto Sports response

Author: Lotto Sports

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Lotto Sports to respond to concerns raised in a Stop Child Labour report about its efforts to address child labour.] With reference to your Weekly Update to be released this week, all relevant details have been sent to the Stop Child Labour NGO and Lotto has no further comments or remarks to be added to the those information. As already mentioned in the previous e-mail exchanges with the NGO, we would like to highlight the committment of Lotto concerning our corporate General Sourcing Policy (Code of Conduct). The Policy requires that all processes and partners involved in the whole supply chain have to guarantee that all products are manufactured in compliance with local labour and employment laws and regulations and in any case under suitable working conditions and without the use of child labour.

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Company response
22 January 2014

Schoenenreus response

Author: Schoenenreus

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Schoenenreus to respond to concerns raised in Stop Child Labour report about its efforts to address child labour.] Schoenenreus disapproves child labor and violation of human rights completely as inicated already. Schoenenreus answered the questions as thorough as possible. We regret the final score on the scorecard, and aim for a better score. In 2014 we will continue and further improve our CSR policy. Important footnote when assessing Schoenenreus: the goods are not directly imported from producing countries. Schoenenreus works with wholesalers. Most of them are connected with BSCI. All of them ensure us that all regulations regarding the human rights in the factories in the producing countries are respected. In 2014 CSR remains an important item on the agenda of Schoenenreus. Also this year Schoenenreus is willing to achieve the score.

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Company response
22 January 2014

Wolky response

Author: Wolky

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Wolky to respond to concerns raised in a Stop Child Labour report regarding its efforts to address child labour.] The reason why we are mentioned in the 2 articles is very strange and also not right. We are producing our shoes for 97% in Portugal, this is an EU country, following strict international rules. The countries that were mentioned as possible child-labour countries are countries in which we are not producing. It is not the fact that we do not want to give information, it is simply not applicable for Wolky.

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Article
27 November 2013

Which companies are scoring against child labour?

Author: Hivos - Stop Child Labour

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited companies criticised in the report to respond. Farida, Lotto Sports, Marks & Spencer, Schoenenreus and Wolky responses provided. We will indicate whether Birkenstock and UGG-Deckers respond here.] More than half of the shoe companies have taken significant steps to fight child labour, but there are laggards. This is the conclusion of the Stop Child Labour (SCL) report ‘Working on the Right Shoes' which examined 28 Dutch and international footwear companies. The enclosed scorecard explains why Gabor, Lotto Sports, Marks & Spencer, Schoenenreus and Wolky score poorly...SCL...approached companies asking them about their policy and practices to combat child labour and labour rights abuses in their full supply chain. They also assessed transparency towards consumers and SCL’s researchers...17 companies out of a total of 28 received a total score ‘good’...Among others, Bata, bugatti shoes, Camper, Clarks and Geox have taken important steps and improved their performance from a 'moderate' to a 'good' score...Well-scoring companies took measures to investigate the risks in their supply chain and/or to improve their code of conduct and monitoring systems, especially for subcontractors...Despite the fact that many of the mentioned companies still have a long way to go, SCL is positive about the progress and concrete promises made by these companies regarding further improvement in the coming year. [Also refers to adidas, Deichmann, ECCO, Marks & Spencer, Premium INC (Cruyff Sports), Puma]

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Article
27 November 2013

[PDF] Working on the Right Shoes - Progress made in addressing child labour and other labour rights by 28 footwear companies since June 2012

Author: Stop Child Labour

The report ‘Working on the Right Shoes’ of ‘Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work’ (SCL) gives an overview of the progress made in addressing child labour and other labour rights in the leather footwear sector. It focuses on what has happened in the sector and what has been done by 28 footwear companies since the launch of the campaign ‘We want child friendly shoes!’ in June 2012. The report is a follow-op of a report on the same topic published in December 2012...[Refers to Adidas, Bata, De Bijenkorf, Birkenstock, bugatti Shoes – AstorMueller, Camper, Clarks, Cruyff Sports – Premium, Deichmann - Van Haren, Dr. Martens, ECCO, Euro Shoe Group – Bristol, Fred de la Bretoniere, Gabor, Geox, Lotto Sport, Macintosh - Dolcis, Invito, Manfield, Scapino, Marks & Spencer, Nike, PUMA, Sacha Shoes, Schoenenreus, Timberland, UGG – Deckers, Van Bommel, Van Lier, Veja, Wolky]

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