Do not accept child labour and do your utmost to determine the correct age of the workers employed by yourself and by your subcontractors. More concretely, reject work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, their schooling and their dignity, and whatever is harmful to their physical and mental development, e.g. heavy, night or dangerous work.
The effective abolition of child labour
Child labour is a sensitive issue. While it is easy to agree that children generally should not work before they have reached the age of completing compulsory education, the fact remains that in some societies child labour does exist, often due to very poor social conditions. NICE encourages you to always work for the children and the improvement of their situation. For example if a child is found in your workforce, the best solution is often not to dismiss the child. Instead you should have clear guidelines on how to cope with the situation in a manner that assists the child with e.g. compensation, alternative work and education or vocational training.
The ILO defines hazardous work for children as:
- Work that exposes children to physical, psychological or sexual abuse;
- Work underground, underwater, at dangerous heights or in confined places;
- Work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools or involving the manual handling or transport of heavy loads;
- Work under particularly difficult conditions, such as work for long hours or during the night or work where the children are unreasonably confined to the premises of the employer;
- Work in an unhealthy environment that may expose children to hazardous substances, agents or processes, temperature, noise levels and vibrations damaging to their health.
- Establish an age verification procedure when hiring workers
- Ensure that all labour contracts include an identity card with date of birth and photo.
- If a child is discovered in the workforce, have an action plan that points out the role of the company, suppliers and family and takes measures to ensure that the child’s situation is improved
- Be familiar with the NGOs that work for children’s rights and who to contact in case you have questions and need help
- Have responsible managers to ensure that no youths are exposed to night work or hazardous work as defined by the ILO
- Collaborate with relevant parties, i.e. trade unions, subcontractors, NGOs, or other companies, to improve the systems and processes that prevent children from working in the manufacturing industry and setting clear minimum age requirements in accordance with international standards