2 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 2020-23

2.2 Pillar 2: the corporate responsibility to respect human rights

… as part of the UN Global Impact, a number of Swiss companies … seek to abolish child labour….

 

2.2.1 Foundational principles

Guiding Principles 11 to 15

The responsibility of business enterprises to respect human rights refers to internationally recognised human rights. … Depending on the circumstances, business enterprises must also observe additional standards concerning particularly vulnerable population groups, including agreements protecting … children …

 

Guiding Principles 16 to 21

Measure 27: Promote efforts to end all forms of child exploitation in supply chains

The exploitation of children includes child labour, forced labour, sexual exploitation and child trafficking. The federal government works with civil society and the private sector to develop tools and organise events to raise awareness among businesses about the exploitation of children in all its forms.

The federal government will establish partnerships with the private sector and civil society to advance Goal 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: end child labour in all its forms by 2025, eradicate forced labour, and end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030. It will also evaluate its participation in Global Alliance 8.7, which aims to strengthen international cooperation, coordination and assistance through appropriate multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The federal government also takes action to prevent the exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The ‘Don’t look away’ initiative seeks to raise public awareness of the problem. Tourists and travellers who suspect cases of child sexual exploitation can go to the website, fill out the online report form and send it directly to the Federal Office of Police (fedpol). Increasing numbers of European countries are now joining the campaign. As part of its membership of ECPAT International, which works to end all forms of child sexual exploitation, the federal government launched the ‘Don’t look away’ campaign (ne-detournez-pas-le-regard.ch), regularly attends meetings organised by the network and contributes to discussions.

In accordance with the Federal Council decision of 14 August 2019, the FDJP is mandated to examine the introduction of a mandatory due diligence in the area of “child labour”. In the meantime, on 18 December 2019, the Council of States adopted a regulation on this issue as part of the preparation of an indirect counter-proposal to the popular initiative for responsible businesses. The National Council has not yet commented on this. The Federal Council is of the opinion that it should await the end of the parliamentary debates.

Objective Indicator Responsibility
Promote efforts to end all forms of child exploitation Launch an event/tool to raise companies’ awareness of child exploitation.

Federal government efforts to promote the ‘Don’t look away’ campaign.

Participation in the ECPAT global network.

Swiss participation in Global Alliance 8.7 was evaluated.

EAER [Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research],

FDJP [Federal Department of Justice and Police].

 

2.2 Pillar 2: the corporate responsibility to respect human rights

2.2.2 Operational principles: human rights due diligence 

Measure 29: Public-private partnerships to promote respect for human rights in the value chain

…the federal government, together with the ILO, supports the Better Work programme for the textile industry and the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme to support SMEs in creating decent working conditions. These projects … are focused on compliance with fundamental labour standards, including measures to combat child and forced labour. The tools developed by these programmes are shared with the private sector.