Global Child Labour Certification Mark Announces 2016 UK Launch
Flipping the convention of 'blaming and shaming' into a consumer led movement for positive change and supply chain transparency
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December 21, 2015 (FPRC) -- A group of international social entrepreneurs – ‘Child Labor Free’ (CLF) – are bringing a new global accreditation system to the UK which will allow companies across all product categories to have their supply chains independently certified as ‘Child Labor Free’. Qualifying businesses will be able to display the prestigious mark of certification, communicating where their brand is on the journey to becoming child labor free.
CLF is working with Ernst & Young (EY) and DLA Piper, who are leading the supply chain analysis process and integrity of the accreditation system. CLF also collaborate with a range of regional accreditation partners to continue driving innovation across the accreditation process.
Saatchi & Saatchi and Britannia Communications have been engaged by CLF to provide business strategy, branding, and digital communications consultancy. CLF is also working with International NGOs, taking expert guidance on how to provide sustainable alternatives to child labor and to ensure children, families and communities are supported along the way.
Michelle Pratt, Co-founder of Child Labor Free said, “ Child labour might not be something people are even thinking about, but right now there are in excess of 150 million children around the world, labouring across almost every industry you can think of. We want to be able to give companies and consumers the opportunity to positively impact the issue directly, simply by choosing the Child Labor Free mark.”
“At a time when consumers are asking for greater transparency from brands and supply chain management is becoming ever more complex, this system will support brands as they work back through their supply chains – to certify their products at a manufacturing level, component level and eventually all the way to their source materials. From the consumer’s perspective, the mark will give them the information they need to make an informed choice. Effectively, our approach is about enabling conscious consumerism. In the same way that we have come to expect ‘cruelty free’ as an industry norm in beauty, or actively seek out ‘organic’ or ‘free range’ produce in our supermarkets, we believe that ‘Child Labor Free’ needs to become a globally recognised standard.”
“One thing we really want to stress is that this is a positive movement for change. We want to celebrate those brands that come on the journey with us. This is a highly complex issue, and for a company to come out today and say they’re prepared to take this first step with us, is a bold move, but one we believe their consumers will reward them for.”
Co-founder, Nikki Prendergast explained how the initiative had come about, “Child Labor Free came to life two and a half years ago when we were made aware of something that hit at the heart of our own commercial operation. After attending an early childhood conference we learned about the prevalence of child labor and its presence in almost every industry, including our own. This led us to the question: ‘How do we know the products we’re sourcing for children haven’t been made by children suffering somewhere else in the world?’ We needed to be able to stand behind our own products and verify our supply chains, but when we went looking for a system to give us that assurance, we couldn’t find it. Given our working lives have been dedicated to the wellbeing of children, this just didn’t feel right to us. So in true intrepid kiwi style, we set about creating the system ourselves which we are making available for any business globally, to provide certainty around their supply chain.”
“This started a journey that has taken us around the world, consulting with some of the biggest brands and experts on the issues of labour, accreditation systems and of course, the protection of children. In preparing the product for market, we started by looking at supply chains – that’s when we approached several brands to become beta testing partners. These pilot partners currently include: Starex Furniture, Hailwood, Kate Sylvester, NomD, RUBY and Stolen Girlfriends Club. They’ve worked with us while we stress-tested the proprietary software and the accreditation system. They’ve helped us by documenting and sharing their journey with the industry and customers along the way. Becoming accredited takes some time. Whilst many of the brands on the journey now have better insight into the tier one of their supply chain, that’s just the beginning of what will likely be a challenging but rewarding journey’.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive interest we’ve received from both consumers and major multinationals.
It is clear there is a need out there for this system. The ultimate solution to this issue goes far beyond an accreditation system of course, but what the system stands for - honesty, transparency and ethics is what we believe will drive the real change.”
Dr Amabel Hunting, an expert in consumer behaviour and ethical consumption from Auckland University, a contributor to CLF said, “While ethical consumers were once considered a niche group, recent research has found an increasing number of consumers across the market are concerned about these issues. This is especially true among the younger generation; they care about how workers are treated and will reward brands that share information on their supply chain. An inability to respond to this issue means businesses will miss out on this future market and potentially alienate their existing customers. There is currently a significant gap between what customers expect and what most businesses are delivering, so I believe this system is well timed to help brands meet this need.”
Child Labor Free dream of a world where children are free to be just that - children. Join us on our journey and change the story of children everywhere.
More information is available at http://www.childlaborfree.com
Notes to Editors
The Child Labor Free Story
Child Labor Free is an innovative accreditation system certifying brands, supply chains and businesses as free of child labor.
A revolutionary movement, Child Labor Free is dedicated to working with brands and services to ensure their supply chains are free of child labor. Flipping the convention of 'blaming and shaming' into a consumer led movement for positive change, the Child Labor Free mark will stand for sustainability, ethical practice, and most importantly - certainty children are not being exploited.
With 168 million children all around the globe in labor, Child Labor Free is dedicated to not only ensuring supply chains are free of children, but that children are protected. The Child Labor Free Foundation will work alongside brands and businesses, supporting them if child labor is found in their supply chain, as well as working with local communities and NGO's to combat the underlying causes of child labor.
Child Labor – the definition
Child Labor is defined as work undertaken by a Child, which: The Child is legally
prohibited from undertaking; or is likely to be harmful to the Child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development; or interferes with a child’s education.
Appropriated from: Convention of the Rights of the Child (1990), Article 32. 1;
The International Labor Organization (2012, 2014), and the United Nations definition (2014).
Child Labor - the issue: UNICEF estimates that there are currently 150 million children engaged in labor around the world, who grow up without an education and into a life of poverty. More than half of these are in hazardous and harmful circumstances. For more information on the issue of child labor – please see the UNICEF website.
For media enquiries including further imagery please contact:
Ann Westwood, M: +44 7887 521834
For general enquiries please contact:
October Conway, M: +64 21 891 910
Send an email to A Westwood of Child Labor Free
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