Principle 4 – deeper understanding

Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities

Principle 4 calls upon business to ensure that its facilities are not used to abuse, exploit or harm children. 

The dangerous areas within a business’s facilities should also not pose a threat to children and young people, whether during or outside of business hours. This principle also requires business to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards violence, exploitation and abuse. Staff should be made aware of this policy and know that it applies to business activities conducted both on-site and outside of the company’s facilities. By extension, business should take appropriate action when suspected violations of this policy occur. Principle 4 also calls upon business to ensure the health and safety of young workers. Specifically, these workers should not be involved in hazardous work. Finally, business should commit to establishing a child protection code of conduct for its operations.

The safety of young workers is an increasing concern in the workplace. There are some places where this concern is more acute. Young workers have specific needs, and working long hours can negatively affect their healthy development. Likewise, young people require special safety measures in the workplace. While something may not be hazardous to an adult, it may very well be hazardous to a young person.

China is particularly affected by workplace hazards. In order to promote a better understanding of the situation there, as well as highlighting the potential risks faced by student workers, the CCR CSR performed a snap-shot survey of 300 student workers during the summer of 2013. Some of the key findings include:

  • 84% of the student workers had worked overtime

  • 48% of the student workers felt that the safety measures in their workplace were insufficient

  • Despite a legal requirement to place interns at the end of a study program, 54% of the student workers were only in the first year of their program

You can find the study here.