Child labour risks in global supply chains
Date of publication
12 November 2019
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Download the technical paper
G7 Trade Ministers' Statement on Forced Labour
The Joint Statement issued by the G7 countries at the G7 Trade Track on Forced Labour says:
“We commit to further enhancing clarity and predictability for businesses. We further commit to promote guidance on human rights due diligence, including but not limited to responsible recruitment practices, in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Due Diligence Guidance on Responsible Business Conduct, including at sector levels; the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy and ILO general principles for fair recruitment; the IOM’s ethical recruitment standards; and the UNGP. We highlight the role of our National Contact Points for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in this regard. We commit to promote, within the relevant multilateral institutions such as the UN, ILO and OECD, common definitions and guidance to collect and share data and evidence on forced labour, and facilitate business compliance with international labour standards and international standards on responsible business conduct throughout global supply chains.”
About the report
Achieving commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end child labour, forced labour and human trafficking requires that governments, business, the financial sector and civil society take strong action to address the root causes and determinants of these human rights violations. While global supply chains have the potential to generate growth, employment, skill development and technological transfer, they have also been linked to human rights violations and abuses.
Ending child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains presents research findings and recommendations on child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains. Jointly authored by the ILO, OECD, IOM and UNICEF under the aegis of Alliance 8.7, the report also represents the first-ever attempt to measure these human rights abuses and violations on a large scale. It is divided into two parts:
A preliminary version of the report was presented at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting in Matsuyama, Japan, on 1-2 September 2019.
Watch OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría discuss the report during the Paris Peace Forum.
Cristina Tebar-Less, Acting Head of the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct, launches the report during the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights along with the International Labor Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNICEF during the panel session "Ending child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains: New evidence and policy options".
About Alliance 8.7
Alliance 8.7 is a global and multi-stakeholder partnership launched in 2016 to achieve a world without forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labour by 2030. It has now 217 partners and operates with 4 Action Groups on the global level, addressing root causes of these human rights violations in the context of conflict and humanitarian crisis, supply chains, migration, and the rule of law and governance.
Child labour risks in the minerals supply chain
International law and policy on child labour is premised upon the belief that each child has inherent dignity and worth as a human being. A global priority is to eliminate without delay the worst forms of child labour as defined by Article 3 of ILO Convention No. 182.
The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains identifies the worst forms of child labour as a serious human rights abuse associated with the extraction, transport or trade of minerals that companies should not tolerate, profit from, contribute to, assist with or facilitate in the course of doing business. Although the Due Diligence Guidance recommends that companies implement a supply chain due diligence risk framework in order to respect human rights, there is little detail available on how companies can conduct due diligence of child labour-related risks.
Practical actions for companies
The OECD has developed Practical actions for companies to identify and address the worst forms of child labour in mineral supply chains to help them identify, mitigate and account for the risks of child labour in their mineral supply chains. It has been developed to build on the due diligence framework of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. This publication was released at the 11th Forum on responsible mineral supply chains on 2-4 May 2017.