Principle 2

All business should contribute to the elimination of child labour, including in all business activities and business relationships.
Young boy collecting garbage
Recyclable material collected by families is purchased by middlemen and sold to industry. About 1 percent of the urban population in developing countries – at least 15 million people – survive by this activity. Waste picking is among the worst forms of child labour.
Karin Beate Nosterud/Save the Children

The corporate responsibility to respect includes respect for the rights in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Actions for all business include:

a. Eliminating child labour
Do not employ or use children in any type of child labour. Establish robustage-verification mechanisms as part of recruitment processes and ensure that these mechanisms are also used in the value chain. Be aware of the presence of all children in the workplace. In removing children from the workplace, measures to ensure protection of affected children, and, where appropriate, decent work for adult household members should be pursued. Do not put pressure on suppliers,contractors and subcontractors that are likely to result in abuses of children’s rights.

b. Preventing, identifying and mitigating harm to young workers and protecting them from work that is prohibited for workers under 18 years old or beyond their physical and psychological capacity
Prevent, identify and mitigate harm to young workers and protect them fromwork that is prohibited for workers under 18 years old or beyond their physical and psychological capacity. Protect children from hazardous work, which is likely to harm their health, safety and morals. Prevent and eliminate workplace hazards or remove children from such workplaces. Children in hazardous work should be removed immediately from the source of the hazard and protected against loss of income as a result of such interventions. Be mindful that children of working age may face different risks in the workplace than adults, and that girls may face different risks than boys. Respect, in particular, children’s right to information, freedom of association, collective bargaining, participation, non-discrimination,privacy and protection from all forms of workplace violence – including physical,mental and other humiliating punishment, bullying and sexual abuse.

The corporate commitment to support includes:

c. Working with governments, social partners and others to promote education and sustainable solutions to the root causes of child labour

i.Work with business peers, communities, child rights organizations, trade unions and governments to promote children’s education and sustainable solutions to the root causes of child labour.

ii. Support broader community, national and international efforts to eliminate child labour, including through social mobilization and awareness raising, and programmes to eradicate child labour that are designed and carried out in cooperation with local community members and children.

iii. Work in partnership with other companies, sectoral associations and employers’ organizations to develop an industry-wide approach to address child labour, and build bridges with trade unions, law enforcement authorities, labour inspectorates and others.

iv. Establish or participate in a task force or committee on child labour in representative employers’ organizations at the local, state or national level.

v. Support the development and implementation of a national action plan against child labour as part of key policy and institutional mechanisms to combat child labour at the national level.

vi. Participate in programmes to promote youth employment, skills development and job training opportunities for young workers above the minimum age for employment.

vii. Seek to concentrate production in the formal economy and avoid informal working arrangements that may contribute to child labour. 

An estimated 85.3 million children are involved in the worst forms of child labour.
Advance your understanding of Principle 2.