A new inter-agency project “Ending Child Labour in Supply Chains” led by the ILO and funded by the European Union will tackle the root causes of child labour in supply chains, focusing primarily on coffee in Honduras, Uganda and Viet Nam.
For the first time in 20 years, child labour has increased, with over 160 million children compelled to work across the globe. Seventy per cent of child labour occurs in agriculture, where it is both a cause and an effect of poverty. Child labour in global supply chains is particularly prevalent at the upstream level, in the production of raw materials and agricultural commodities.
With funding from the EU, the “Ending Child Labour in Supply Chains” project will be implemented over the next three years and will benefit from collaboration among UN agencies and supply chain actors at the global, regional, national and local levels. In particular, the ILO, through the Child Labour Platform and the Alliance 8.7 Action Group on Supply Chains, will bring together a coalition of governments, workers and employers, companies, and civil society stakeholders to facilitate knowledge sharing, cooperation, and collective action to tackle the root causes of child labour.
Through the ILO CLP, the private sector will play a central role in this project. CLP member companies, many already active in combatting child labour in supply chains, will participate directly in the project’s implementation and activities. These companies include:
The Coca-Cola Company, JDE Peet’s, Lavazza Group, Louis Dreyfus Company, Nestlé, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, ofi (Olam Food Ingredients), Sucafina, Tchibo, and Touton.
With the private sector, the project will promote sustainable solutions to child labour in the coffee sector in Honduras, Uganda and Viet Nam. The project, moreover, will scale up child labour due diligence and responsible sourcing in coffee supply chains at all levels, strengthen social dialogue and small producers’ organizations, and foster synergies between private sector initiatives and those of governments and country-level institutions and actors to address child labour and promote decent work in coffee production.