In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) as well as the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), “and the ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138), a child is a person below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”.
While children are one third of the world’s population and, thus, play a significant role in the global economy – as consumers, young workers (see: ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), family members of workers, future workers or employers, as well as members of the communities and environments in which business operates – they are also one of the most vulnerable groups exposed to negative impacts from business. As stated by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie, “[c]hildren are among the most marginalized and vulnerable members of society and can be disproportionately, severely, and permanently impacted by business activities, operations, and relationships”.
Businesses can impact the rights of children in various ways. Business impacts on children may also be aggregated with other impacts (e.g. a girl may face additional impacts because of the combination of her sex and age) so it is important for impacts on children to be viewed from an intersectional lens. Adverse impacts on children’s rights may be linked to, for example, marketing (e.g. advertisements promoting ‘unrealistic body images that can lead to eating disorders; advertisements relying on gender stereotypes; promotion of breast milk substitutes for babies under the age of 6 months), distribution of products (e.g. violent computer games, gender-specific toys that based on gender stereotypes influence perception of male/female roles), environmental and land impacts (affecting the ability of local communities s to sustain themselves, as well as affecting their health and right to food and water, which disproportionately impact on children). Where companies pay insufficient wages to sustain families, the right to education of children may be affected, with children dropping out of school and going to work to help supplement family income. Dropping out of school may have disproportionate impacts on girls, as girls with no education are 3 times as likely to marry by 18 as those with a secondary or higher education. Over 60% of women (20-24) with no education were married before 18. (Girls Not Brides).
According to the ILO’s Global Estimates of Child Labour: Results and trends, 2012-2016:
- Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment.
Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
- In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
- In terms of prevalence, 1 in 5 children in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1% in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3%in the Americas (1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
- Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years.
42 million (28%) are 12-14 years old; and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
- Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old. Nevertheless up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
- Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls.
- 58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
- Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including mining.
In 2013, The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) adopted General Comment 16 on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights. The General Comment includes guidance on the measures of implementation that are required to prevent and remedy violations of child rights by businesses, and ensure businesses carry out their responsibilities in the realisation of the rights of the child and encourage them to positively contribute to the realisation of these rights. Further guidance material has since been developed to advise governments on how to ensure that all business activities respect children’s rights. A useful guide for States on how to implement UN CRC General Comment 16 was published by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and UNICEF in 2015.
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and UNICEF developed the Children’s Rights in NAPs on Business and Human Rights, as guidance on how children’s rights should be considered in the process of developing NAPs.
An example of government efforts in this area is the US Executive Order 13126 on the “Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor” (1999). This requires federal contractors who supply products on The List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor published by the Department of Labor to certify that they have made good faith efforts to determine whether forced or indentured child labour was used to produce the items listed.
Another example is the Dutch ‘Child Labour Due Diligence Law’, which was adopted by the lower house of the Dutch Parliament in 2017. The law will require companies to determine whether child labour exists in their supply chains and set out a plan of action on how to combat it. This law is awaiting approval by the Senate. If approved, companies covered by the law will have to submit a statement to regulatory authorities declaring that they have carried out due diligence related to child labour in their full supply chains.
Interesting examples of national implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes through legislation regulating a range of marketing practices by the private sector are provided in an annual status report. For example, Norway are consulting children when developing a national policy on healthy diets.
Children’s rights are reflected across the 2030 Agenda. Whereas a number of goals – including good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16) are of heightened importance for the rights of children, issues of critical importance for children are also cross-cutting. SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (Zero hunger), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 11 (sustainable cities) contain targets with explicit references to children. Further, SDGs 5 (gender equality) and 10 (reduced inequalities) are also of direct relevance as they reflect principles of equality and non-discrimination that are cross-cutting for the 2030 Agenda.
Across all these goals, there are specific targets or indicators that make reference to children in a specific manner, or require disaggregation of data to measure progress by, among other things, age.
Business’ contribution to many of these goals/sectors is significant. Given that 92% of SDG targets reflect specific provisions of international and regional human rights and labour law, the UNGPs can provide a baseline standard of expected conduct for all businesses in all these areas, thus ensuring that responsible business respects human rights but also, through this, makes a more effective contribution to SDG realisation.
What National Action Plans say on Children’s rights
Action Point 19
Promote best practice of SMEs that adopt responsible supply chain management, especially through the « CSR Compass » tool
Promouvoir les bonnes pratiques des PME qui adoptent une gestion de la chaine d’approvisionnement responsable, notamment grâce à l’outil « CSR Compass »
The NAP broadly mentions children’s rights in relation to the CSR Compass: “By highlighting child labor and forced labor as main issues, the portal also addresses human rights.”
Action point 24
Pay special attention to the issue of children’s rights in awareness raising of enterprises
Accorder une attention particulière à la question des droits de l’enfant dans la sensibilisation des entreprises
According to the Belgian federal government, “the area of children’s rights have not been enshrined in the UNGPs to the extent they find necessary to address businesses responsibility to respect human rights.” Belgium wants “to give special attention to this particular issue in its NAP by engaging through several parallel measures:
- Systematic reference in international fora and bilaterally to concerned States on the ratification of Conventions Nos. 138 (on minimum age) and 182 (on the worst forms of child labor) of the ILO.
- Active support and awareness raising of companies on the Principles governing enterprises in the field of children’s rights, in order to allow Belgian companies to maximize the positive effects of their activities on the lives of children by supporting and respecting their rights and those of their parents or guardians, including the right to a decent wage.
- Continued support to UNICEF activities, including the publication of the reading guide for the Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Observation No. 16 and the creation of a platform for businesses that wish to commit to the basis of the Principles governing businesses in the field of children’s rights.
- Emphasis on children’s rights in awareness building throughout the network of Belgian diplomacy, particularly through active distribution of the Principles governing businesses in the area of children’s rights in the Toolbox set out in Action Point 1.
- Ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the ILO Convention on Forced Labor.”
The Flemish government added that “with the support of Flemish authorities, UNICEF Belgium aims to raise awareness on how important the role of the business community plays already, and to present a new perspective to better support CEOs, managers and workers on a wider scale, the “Rights of the child and principles governing the enterprises,” developed by UNICEF and Save the Children.” They mention that policy-makers also play a role in this field. As a second objective, the Flemish government “wants to develop networks and partnerships on the theme of these Guidelines. Dissemination is the first step of a long-during process, in which concrete actions and events will be established accordingly, in order to promote of the Guidelines and their implementation in Flanders, Belgium and beyond.”
Action point 33
Import, export and transit of arms, ammunition, military and law enforcement equipment and dual-use goods
Importation, exportation et transit d’armes, de munitions, de matériel militaire et de maintien de l’ordre et de biens à double usage
This states that Flemish regulations explicitly prohibits the export and transit of arms and military equipment to countries that incorporate child soldiers to their regular armies.
Pillar 1: The State Duty to Protect Human Rights
Strand 3: Inclusion and Non-Discrimination
Action Point 3.2 (page 47)
The Ministry of Social Development will:
- Create a board, integrated by representatives of the public and private sector, civil society organisations and academia, to address the work and family conciliation and its impact on children and their careers. The aim is to raise awareness on the impacts of the work and family conciliation in the development of children and adolescents and disseminate best practices on this issue, on the private and public sector.
- Prepare, through the Division of Social Policy of the Under-Secretariat of Social Evaluation, a statistical report about the socio-economic situation of risk groups including migrants, youth, disabled people, women and indigenous peoples, based on the Socio-Economic Qualification (SEQ) including income generated by work, capital and pensions, contained in the Household Social Register, divided by territory (regional division). This has the purpose of having available information regarding vulnerable groups within certain territory.
Contributions by other actors (page 88)
Although this Plan was prepared by State institutions, it seeks to become a platform collecting the existing efforts for the implementation of the business and human rights agenda in Chile. Therefore, it is an invitation for other institutions that may wish to participate and commit actions within this framework.
In this regard, the following institutions will contribute in the development of this agenda at a national level based on the following commitments:
1. UNICEF Chile will coordinate the development of a baseline to collect the potential negative impacts on the human rights of boys, girls and youths by the activity of business enterprises in Chile, including recommendations. The findings of this baseline and associated recommendations will be publicly available, and delivered to the relevant authority.
IV. POLICY DEFINITION
- Focus on children and adolescents: According to the document Technical Guidelines of the Model for the Care of Children and Adolescents [Lineamiento Técnico del Modelo para la Atención de los Niños, las Niñas y Adolescentes]: “The rights of children and adolescents are human rights and specifically include the right to special care and assistance. The recognition of children and adolescents as subjects of rights implies that society should modify its representations of them, that it should transform its social relations and practices and build conditions so that all contexts of socialisation of children and adolescents become protective, guaranteeing and safe environments that favour the effective enjoyment of their rights”.
VIII. FUNDAMENTAL PILLARS
i. Fundamental Pillar 1: The State’s obligation to protect human rights
Strand 2 [Eje nº 2]: Encourage the creation of regulations and strategies that promote respect for human rights in the development of business activities
- The Ministry of Labour will formulate departmental plans for the eradication of child labour and the protection of adolescent workers within the framework of the CIETI [Comité Interinstitucional para la Erradicación del Trabajo Infantil] .
ii. Fundamental Pillar 2: The duty of business to respect human rights
Strand 1 [Eje nº 1]: Provide companies with the tools to fulfil their responsibility to respect human rights
- The ICBF [Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar] will promote plans, programmes, strategies and projects coordinated with the State, to eradicate child labour in economic sectors identified as critical, in which children and adolescents participate in the production value chain.
Strand 3 [Eje nº 3]: Train public and private companies on the need to mitigate the consequences of possible human rights impacts due to their operations, products or services provided, with an emphasis on those located in the region
- The ICBF [Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar] will provide technical assistance, advice, training and accompaniment to public-private agents in the integral respect of children’s rights, as well as in the implementation of the principles and actions set out in the Rights of the Child, as well as in the adoption and implementation of the Business and Childhood Strategy [Estrategia de Empresa y Niñez] within the framework of business activities in Colombia.
The Czech NAP makes no explicit reference to children’s rights, but does reference child labour.
National Action Plan – production and objectives [page 6-7]
“Respect for human rights is not inherently voluntary – modern-day slavery, child labour, and environmental over-exploitation cannot be dependent on corporate goodwill.”
Supply chains and conflict minerals [page 20]
“Increasing attention is being paid to safety conditions at work (e.g. the use of slave and child labour in mining). Risks of this type are particularly serious in areas plagued by armed conflict, which can be attributed to the absence of state authority here. Raw materials imported from geopolitically unstable regions and flashpoints may be used as a source of funding to reconstruct the country and improve the conditions in which its inhabitants live. On the other hand, various groups may exploit slave or child labour in mining operations or in factories, and the proceeds from sales could then be used to pay for weapons and soldiers.”
Pillar II, Scope and content of the obligation to respect human rights [page 30-31]
“- Do not be associated with violations of human rights: This applies to other parties’ activities about which a business knows, on which it has a bearing, and/or which are closely related to its own business, and may encompass: …
- The use of suppliers or subcontractors who exploit child labour or otherwise violate human rights in their activities.”
“What human rights? States bear liability for the full range of human rights. Businesses are required to respect those rights that could be affected by their operations, and must do so to the extent of a definite minimum, generally acknowledged fundamental standard deriving from:
- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; and
- the International Labour Organisation’s core conventions.
These rights are fleshed out in a series of other specific instruments, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
In practice, this concerns matters such as the ban on forced labour, child labour, and life- or health-threatening working conditions”.
“Where does respect come into play? …
The supply chain and business partners: Businesses should have a vested interest in ensuring that the components, raw materials and external services they use are not associated with violations of human rights (e.g. “sullied” by child labour).”
Introduction [page 9]:
“Denmark has a long political tradition of supporting and addressing human rights. Changing governments have concentrated on special focus areas such as … children’s rights …”
Appendix 1, GP 3b
Status in Denmark (initiatives implemented before the UN ratification of the Guiding Principles) [page 26]:
“Large parts of Danish national law support compliance with the UNGPs such as legislation on labour issues, the environment, child labour etc. This type of protective legislative framework of Denmark enables business respect for human rights.”
1 The state obligation to protect human rights
1.1 Human rights in Finnish legislation [page 13]
“According to the equality provision of the Constitution, no one may be treated differently based on sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, handicap or other reason related to the individual. In addition, the Constitution states that children should be treated equally as individuals and that it should be possible for them to be involved in matters relating to them in accordance with their development.”
1.2 Activities in international organizations [page 15]
“Finland shall report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the implementation of the recommendation by the Committee on Business. In addition, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment No. 16 on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights shall be translated into Finnish and Swedish, and a summarised introduction to its contents shall be made for distribution to entities such as companies.”
I. The State’s Obligation to Protect Human Rights
The International Framework
5. The International Organisation of la Francophonie (OIF)
Actions to be Implemented [page 16]:
- Work to enhance cooperation between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and ILO to better integrate international social standards on responsible production processes and methods (for example, targeting child labour and forced labour), in order to promote a level playing field that takes into account existing frameworks and regulations.
The National Framework
13. The Role of Public Agencies
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) [page 28-29]
… The AFD considers human rights when selecting the projects it finances. Every year, it produces a corporate social responsibility report which mentions human rights in accordance with the ISO 26000 standard. It also has an exclusion list which prevents it from financing projects that involve forced labour, child labour, …
II – Businesses’ Responsibility to Respect Human Rights
3. Risk Analysis and Impact Assessment
Practical Tools Addressing Specific Issues [page 41]
- ILO has created a business helpdesk providing questions and answers, resources and tools on issues connected with … child labour, etc.
III – Access to Remedy
2. Non-Judicial Mechanisms – At the National Level
2.5 The Defender of Rights [page 58]
… Lastly, the Defender of Rights can be called on whenever someone considers that a child’s rights are not being respected…
… This Defender of Rights replaces four previous entities: … the Defender of Children, …
There is no mention of children’s rights in the Business and Human Rights Chapter of the Georgian Human Rights NAP.
1.1 Basic rules of economic policy
Protection within states’ own territory – challenges within Germany
The current situation [page 15]
“The instruments that are now binding in Germany include … the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”
“Germany is also bound by EU Directive 2011/36/EU and has ratified both the Council of Europe Convention of 2005 on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.”
Measures [page 20]
- “The Federal Government will also take specific action to step up its wide-ranging commitment to the protection of human rights defenders when applying the UN Guiding Principles. In the field of business and human rights, as elsewhere, development policy is about standing up for the rights of vulnerable groups, such as indigenous peoples or children and youth or persons with disabilities.”
- Public procurement
The current situation [page 21]
“Germany has fully transformed into domestic law its obligations to protect human rights under international agreements. This applies, for example, to the prohibitions of child labour and forced labour that are imposed by the ILO core conventions.”
Section 1: International Context and Domestic Consultative Process
Other international initiatives [page 10]
“The Recommendation elaborates on access to judicial remedy, drawing on Council of Europe expertise and legal standards and puts special emphasis on the additional protection needs of … children …”
Section 3: Actions – Initial priorities for the Business and Human Rights Implementation Group
II. Initial priorities for the Business and Human Rights Implementation Group [page 18]
“The State Duty to Protect Human Rights …
vii. Promote awareness of relevant multi-stakeholder and multilateral initiatives such as the UN Global Compact, the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles among State owned or controlled companies.”
I. Guidelines and General Principles
“The second Italian NAP-BHR intends to strengthen the application of the UNGPs through a series of complementary measures, referring in particular to the following guidelines:
– the commitment to update and improve collective action in relation to multiple human rights issues from the perspective of protecting the ‘most vulnerable’ (women and girls, minors, persons with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ persons, migrants and asylum seekers, persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, the elderly), with the aim to empower their role and involvement as right-holders, where individual aspects related to business activities may have a significant impact on these categories from a labour and economic point of view.” (p. 7)
b) Italy and the UNGPs
“The NAP (…) introduces limited objectives and actions, with reference to the national context translated into the following priorities:
2. The fight against caporalato (especially in the agricultural and construction sectors) and forms of exploitation, forced labour, child labour, slavery and irregular work, with particular attention to migrants and victims of trafficking” (p. 10)
IV. Italian ongoing activities and future commitments
Smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings
“In particular, the new Plan will be based on the following key priorities: (…) (f) strengthen efforts to prevent child trafficking for multiple exploitation purposes (…) (i) continue to take measures to ensure that the return of trafficked persons is carried out with respect for their rights, safety and dignity and, with regard to children, in full compliance with the principle of the best interests of the child” (p. 24)
International development cooperation
“for a targeted sectoral intervention concerning vulnerable categories, it is important to enhance wider knowledge in the business world about some guidelines adopted in this field: the Guidelines on Childhood and Adolescence, recently revised, the Cooperation Guidelines on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Girls and Children (2020-2024)” (p. 25)
Children’s and adolescents’ rights
“The Italian Government supports public and private sector initiatives to promote attention, inclusion and protection of children’s and adolescents’ rights in business practices with the aim of integrating them into all aspects of the value chain – from investment practices, supplier relations, marketing, end-product safety, data protection 41 and privacy protection, to the impact of business activities on communities, market and the environment. Mention should be made, in this regard, of UNICEF commitment which, starting from the “Children’s Rights & Business Principles”, has developed and promoted a series of materials addressed to both Governments and businesses to integrate the protection of children’s rights in business practices. In this context, Italy recalls the relevant contents introduced in the European Union Strategy on the Rights of the Child adopted by the EU Commission on 24 March 2021 and, more specifically, renews its commitment inherent in Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda to end child labour, in all its forms, by 2025. Italy also promotes “family friendly policies”, as national and corporate policies aimed at supporting workers in their role as parents/caregivers. On this issue, UNICEF has formulated some important indications on the best ways Governments and the private sector can build “family friendly” policies: – encouraging employers to introduce gender-sensitive and inclusive paid leave entitlements, flexible working arrangements and childcare support systems; – the introduction of paid parental, maternity and paternity paid leave in the early-birth period and for the first year of a child’s life; fair and gender-sensitive parental leave to ensure that no parent is overburdened by family care; leave available to all, both for fulltime employees and those working part-time or under non-standard contractual arrangements; and financial coverage linked to birth care; – childcare services made accessible by the end of parental leave, so that there is no gap in available support; – quality childcare services, made accessible, flexible and affordable, available to all children, regardless of family circumstances; – alignment of childcare services with other family support policies, such as universal family allowances, to reduce the risk of existing inequalities in access to public childcare facilities.” (p. 40)
ANNEX 1 – Accountability Grid and Assessment Tools for the Implementation of the NAP
“7. Fully implement the provisions contained in the new legislation on Development Cooperation, with particular focus on the relationship between for-profit and not-for-profit actors and promote the widest knowledge among companies of the Guidelines on Childhood and Adolescence, the Cooperation Guidelines on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Girls and Children (2020-2024) and the Guidelines on Disability and Social Inclusion in Cooperation Interventions” (p. 62)
“21. Reaffirm as a priority the elimination of all forms of exploitation of child labour in Italy and with reference to the economic activities of Italian companies abroad, as provided for by the relevant ILO Conventions; to this end, encourage the dissemination among companies of initiatives aimed at increasing attention on impacts of business activities on children’s rights and on the need for the inclusion of adequate remedies and mitigation measures as per the risk of violation of such rights. The inclusion of children’s rights in business practices includes: the provision of “family friendly policies” designed to support workers in their role as parents/caregivers (smart working, paid parental leave, social protection and adequate wages for all); the introduction of measures to monitor the presence of minors in the workplace; the adoption of Child Safeguarding Policies/Codes of Conduct to foresee, report and take charge of potential risk situations for minors who come into contact with the company; the provision of security guarantees for digital environment (data protection, access to age-appropriate content, privacy protection).” (p. 64)
Chapter 2. Action Plan
2.Areas of the NAP
(1) Cross-cutting areas
A. Labour (Promotion of Decent Work)
(Existing framework/Measures taken）
As measures that have already been conducted in the labour area, the Government made efforts to realize decent work by promoting labour policies to respect, promote, and realize the four principles concerning the fundamental rights stated in the ILO Declaration, namely: … (3) the effective abolition of child labour;
B. Promotion and Protection of Children’s Rights
(Existing framework/Measures taken）
As measures that have already been conducted, the Government has supported initiatives in the area of education that leads to eradication of child labour and measures against trafficking in persons by contributing to the UN Trust Fund for Human Security and international organizations. In addition, the Government has supported initiatives to enhance measures against trafficking in persons and protection of such victims mainly in Southeast Asian countries, through technical cooperation by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and contributions to various UN agencies. Furthermore, the Government has been making contributions to and participating in the Asia-Pacific regional framework, the “Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime” (hereinafter referred to as the Bali Process). The Government has also taken part in the WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online. Moreover, the Government reaffirmed the G20 commitment to eradicate child labour and various forms of modern slavery in the G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration and the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Declaration, both compiled by Japan as the chair. For these initiatives, sufficient attention has been paid to gender perspectives considering that a large number of the victims involved are women and girls.
At national level, the Government has started to formulate a national action plan to end violence against children jointly with civil society and businesses, as a pathfinding country for the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (GPeVAC). The action plan is being drafted through respecting the opinions of children obtained through an online survey called “Comments from Children.” In addition, relevant ministries and agencies cooperate to develop a better Internet use environment for young people through means such as the enhancement of initiatives concerning protection of young people, including filtering, in accordance with the Act on Development of an Environment that Provides Safe and Secure Internet Use for Young People (Act No. 79 of 2008, hereinafter referred to as the “Act on Development of Internet Use Environment for Young People”) as well as the Basic Plan. Furthermore, the Government works on the eradication of child sexual exploitation such as child prostitution or the production of child pornography, in accordance with the Basic Plan on Measures against Child Sexual Exploitation with a view to eliminating such abuse by the Tokyo 2020 Games.
(Future measures planned)
(a）Contribute to international efforts to eliminate child labour, including trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation
- Continue to make efforts to reinforce measures against trafficking in persons and the protection of victims with gender perspectives through technical cooperation by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and financial contributions to various UN agencies, in cooperation with the international community, including contribution to and participation in the Bali Process. [Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
- Continue to support efforts for eradicating child labour through financial contributions to international organizations. [Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare]
(b) Raise awareness about child prostitution through compliance with the Travel Agency Act
- Continue to engage in awareness-raising activities concerning child prostitution through compliance with the Travel Agency Act (Act No. 239 of 1952), and on-site inspections based on the Travel Agency Act to prevent travel agencies from being involved in organizing inappropriate tours such as those with the intention of child prostitution. [Japan Tourism Agency]
(c) Continue initiatives through the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
- Engage in ending violence, including sexual exploitation, against children in Japan through steady implementation of the National Action Plan to End Violence against Children. [Cabinet Office, National Police Agency, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare]
- Promote initiatives to end violence against children overseas through engagement in the humanitarian window of the Fund to End Violence against Children. [Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
(d）Cooperate with relevant industries and organizations to disseminate and raise awareness on the Children’s Rights in Sport Principles
- Cooperate in disseminating the objectives of the principles at international conferences, and in disseminating and raising awareness of the objectives to local governments, schools and sports organizations. [Japan Sports Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
(e) Cooperate to disseminate the Children’s Rights and Business Principles
- Cooperate in disseminating the objectives of the principles to relevant organizations. [Cabinet Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
(f ）Steadily implement measures for developing an environment that provides safe and secure Internet use for young people
- Continue to engage in fostering an environment that provides safe and secure Internet use in accordance with the Act on Establishment of an Enhanced Environment for Youth’s Safe and Secure Internet Use and the Basic Plan on Measures for Providing Safe and Secure Internet Use for Young People. [Cabinet Office]
(g) Steadily implement measures based on the Basic Plan on Measures against Child Sexual Exploitation
- Continue to engage in the following: enhancement of public awareness, development of social awareness, and collaboration with the international community; support of children and families to ensure the growth of children without victimization; promotion of measures to prevent the occurrence and spread of victimization that focuses on tools; prompt protection of child victims and appropriate support; strengthening of crackdowns and the rehabilitation of offenders; and strengthening of the foundation for realizing a society where children will never become victims. [Cabinet Office, National Police Agency, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry]
D. Rights and Roles of Consumers
(Existing framework/Measures taken）
Goal 12 of the SDGs is to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” Accordingly, the creation of sustainable economies and societies requires action by consumers alongside businesses and governments. The Government works on realizing the rights of consumers in accordance with the Basic Consumer Act (Act No. 78 of 1968) that sets forth the responsibilities of the government, local governments, and businesses for the protection and promotion of consumers’ interests. Ethical consumption is the concept of consuming in a way that is considerate of people, society, and the environment, while incorporating the perspectives of regional revitalization and employment. In raising awareness on ethical consumption, explanations on social problems such as child labour and environmental issues are provided at workshops for children and using educational tools (leaflets, posters, and video) to introduce people to a manner of consuming that could lead to the resolution of such problems.
CHAPTER TWO: SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS AND THEMATIC AREAS
2.2 Kenya’s Experience with Business and Human Rights
Under the social pillar of the Vision 2030, Kenya aims to build a just and cohesive society with social equity in a clean and secure environment. The Key sectors under the social pillar namely: […] youth […]
CHAPTER THREE: POLICY ACTION
3.1 Pillar 1: The State Duty to Protect
Policy Actions [Page 17]
The Government will:
viii. Develop procedural guidelines for use by businesses, individuals and communities in their negotiations for land access and acquisition. These guidelines will ensure and safeguard the participation of […] youth, children [….]
3.3. Pillar 3: Access to Remedy
A) State-based judicial and non-judicial remedies [Page 21]
The Government will:
vii. increase the capacity of the labour inspection department to handle labour related grievances, including through:
- increasing the number of labour inspectors to monitor and enforce compliance with labour standards by businesses, with particular attention to the implementation of mandatory policies to prevent and address […] prohibition of child labour […]
B) Non- State-based Grievance Mechanisms [Page 21]
The Government will:
- Develop and disseminate guidance for businesses on the establishment of credible operational-level grievance mechanisms that are consistent with international standards. Such grievance mechanisms should be responsive to the needs and rights of vulnerable groups such as.[…] children […]
CHAPTER FOUR: IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING [Page 22]
To ensure that the measures proposed in this NAP are implemented, there shall be a NAP Steering Committee overseen by the Department of Justice and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The Implementing Committee will consist of representatives from the following institutions: […]
14. National Council for Children Services
Objective 2: promoting corporate responsibility and respect in the field of business and human rights
C. Planned Measures [page 8]
2. “Innovation promotion. … Innovation programme foresees that: …
- it is important to promote the creation and development of social innovation in order to provide more effectively services for families, children, socially vulnerable groups by employing the public, private and civil society sectors as well as the potential for cooperation with education institutions;”
‘Luxembourg’s NAP does not explicitly address this issue’
The 2020-22 NAP states the second edition of the National Action Plan complements the first NAP. Additional information about the first NAP can be found here.
Content from non-BHR specific chapters in the Human Rights NAP:
Strategic priority 3.4. Set the conditions for the full exercise of adolescent and children’s human rights
3.4.4. Enhance the actions aimed at the prevention, sanction and abolition of child labour.
3.4.8. Collaborate in the consolidation of programmes aimed at the labour insertion and professional training of the young.
Strategic priority 5.3. Draft, implement and spread human rights protocols aimed at the improvement of civil servants’ performance
5.3.2. Collaborate in making and implementing action protocols within security and judicial institutions for the assistance and protection of adolescents and children.
The Dutch NAP makes no direct reference to children’s rights, but makes reference to child labour in a number of places.
2. Current policy [page 9]
“To prevent abuses in terms of working conditions, child labour, environment, corruption and human rights in their supply chains, the government expects companies to act in accordance with the OECD guidelines wherever possible.”
3.1 An active role for the government
Level playing field [page 15]
“The Netherlands is also committed to universal ratification of the ILO’s fundamental labour standards: the ban on child labour and forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and freedom of association.”
3.2 Policy coherence
Trade and investment agreements [page 20]
“The government is committed to including clear provisions on the relationship between trade, investment and sustainability in trade and investment agreements. Within the EU, the Netherlands urges the inclusion in these agreements of a section on trade and sustainable development, with monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. The aim is for parties to reaffirm their commitment to fulfilling their ILO obligations to eliminate child labour and forced labour and to working together to this end.”
3.3 Clarifying due diligence
CSR Risk Check [page 23]
“Using a grant from the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, CSR Netherlands has developed the CSR Risk Check for companies wishing to apply due diligence. Based on the sector and country in which a company is operating, this internet tool provides an indication of possible social impacts. CSR Netherlands works with the agency responsible for carrying out Sector Risk Analyses to harmonise the information on which the two instruments are based. This information will be used in the course of 2014 to compile sectoral world maps on which colour coding will be used to indicate whether a certain theme (e.g. child labour, discrimination of women) plays a role in a given country or region.”
2. The State duty to protect human rights
2.3 State ownership and practice for supprting the business sector
Responsible management [page 22]:
Norges Bank has chosen to focus on certain areas in order to achieve the best and most effective risk management and exercise of ownership rights. At present the bank has three focus areas that are directly linked with environmental and social conditions: children’s rights, climate change and water management.
3. The Corporate responsibility to respect human rights,
Principle no. 12 [page 31]:
Internationally recognised human rights are those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the two 1966 International Covenants, on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Political and Civil Rights, and the ILO core conventions. In some cases, other standards may also be applicable, such as the rights of women, indigenous peoples, national, ethnic or linguistic minorities, children, people with disabilities, or foreign workers and their families.
4.2 Non-state-based grievance mechanisms [page 41]:
Norway has a number of well-functioning institutions such as the Labour Inspection Authority, the Ombudsman for Children. (…) There are also complaints mechanisms in connection with the rights of employees, children, women and men.
CHAPTER 2 – Protect, Respect, Remedy Framework
Pillar I: State duty to protect human rights (page 12)
‘Pakistan’s domestic legal framework provides various guarantees and includes protection of the rights of workers especially in relation to […] the elimination of child labour.’
‘The NHRIs in Pakistan have an evolving role and special powers to protect human rights and improve Pakistan’s reporting standards internationally. In addition to the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), other NHRIs include the National Commission on Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD), the National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) […].’
CHAPTER 3 – National Action Plan Priority Areas and Proposed Actions
3.1. General Proposed Actions (page 15)
‘1. Conduct a mapping exercise to chart national progress made against, and steps required to advance, the four elements of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, that is: […] (2) abolishment of child labour […].
Performance indicator(s): (i) Mapping exercise report
UN Guiding Principle(s): 1, 2, 3, 8
Relevant SDG(s): Goal 5 – Gender Equality; Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities; Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’
This information is also covered under Annex I: Implementation Plan, Proposed Action 1 designating the Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Commerce as Leading Entities (page 42).
3.2. NAP Priority Areas
3.2.4. Labour Standards and the Informal Economy (page 28)
‘As established during the NBA and consultative process, Pakistan’s labour challenges stem from the lack of strict enforcement of labour laws at the ground level [including] […] child labour.’
‘The respective Provincial Governments of Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa each passed a Labour Policy in 2018 committing to the provision of decent work for workers, in accordance with several ILO Conventions, and focusing on Occupational Health and Safety for workers, and the eradication of child labour as well as forced labour. […] Pakistan has also ratified several ILO Conventions that require States to protect the rights of workers, eradicate child labour, […].’
3.2.5. Child Labour (page 32)
‘As established during the NBA and consultative process, legislation regarding child labour in Pakistan requires more effective implementation and enforcement at the ground level. Additionally, lapses in procedural safeguards such as the appointment of labour inspection mechanisms hinder progress. Furthermore, greater consensus and coherence regarding the definitions of child labour, hazardous work, and the worst forms of child labour is also needed. The State of Pakistan is committed to fulfilling its obligation to eliminate child labour as per the Constitution, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ILO Convention No. 138 (Minimum Age), ILO Convention No. 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour), as well as other international and domestic legal instruments. Additionally, in March 2019, the Ministry of Human Rights, with the support of UNICEF, launched a national Child Labour Survey. The results of this survey will be used to generate evidence-based cross-sectoral responses to support the eradication of child labour across Pakistan.’
- Federal (page 32)
‘51. Conduct a national study to determine progress made against the elimination of child labour in all its forms by 2025 in line with SDG 8.7, and provide recommendations and actions for rectification of gaps.
Performance indicator(s): (i) Amendment of law UN Guiding Principle(s): 1, 3
Relevant SDG(s): Goal 4 – Quality Education; Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
This information is also covered under Appendix I: Implementation Plan, Proposed Action 51, designating the Ministry of Human Rights, the Commission on Human Rights and the National Commission on the Rights of the Child as Leading Entities (page 65).
‘5.2. Amend the Children (Pledging of Labour) Act 1933 to raise the penalties payable, by both parents/guardians and employers, for the pledging and employment of children.
Performance indicator(s): (i) Amendment of law
UN Guiding Principle(s): 1, 3
Relevant SDG(s): Goal 4 – Quality Education; Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’
This information is also covered under Appendix 1: Implementation Plan, Proposed Action 52, designating the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Human Rights as Leading Entities, and designating the Parliamentary Functional Committee on Human Rights and the National Commission on the Rights of the Child as Additional Entities (page 65).
- Federal and Provincial (pages 32-33)
’53. Pass legislation, and amend existing legislation where applicable, and ensure implementation, on Employment of Children to (1) raise the age of a child, as defined by the legislation, to the compulsory school-going age of 16, per Article 25-A of the Constitution; (2) prohibit hazardous work under the age of 18; (3) raise the penalties payable for violations; and (4) include domestic work amongst schedule of hazardous occupations.
Performance indicator(s): (i) Legislation or amendments enacted
UN Guiding Principle(s): 1, 3
Relevant SDG(s): Goal 4 – Quality Education; Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’
This information is also covered under Appendix 1: Implementation Plan, Proposed Action 53 designating the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Provincial Law Departments, the Provincial Labour Departments and the Ministry of Human Rights as Leading Entities, and designating the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the Provincial Parliamentary Affairs Departments, the Provincial Human Rights Commission on the Rights of the Child, the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination and the Ministry of Interior as Additional Entities (page 66).
’54. Conduct nationwide awareness and advocacy campaigns on children’s fundamental right to education and the elimination of child labour.
Performance indicator(s): (i) Number of awareness-raising activities
UN Guiding Principle(s): 1, 3
Relevant SDG(s): Goal 4 – Quality Education; Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’
This information is also covered under Appendix 1: Implementation Plan, Proposed Action 54 designating the Ministry of Human Rights and the Provincial Human Rights Departments as Leading Entities, and designating the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, the Provincial Child Welfare Departments/Bureaus, the National Commission on the Rights of the Child, the Provincial Social Welfare Departments, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, the National Commission on Human Rights, Media, CSOs & NGOs, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage and the Provincial Education Departments as Additional Entities (page 66).
3.2.8. Access to Remedy
- Federal and provincial (page 37)
‘66. Establish Child Protection Courts in all districts, and review the framework of existing Child Protection Courts to include the authority to direct the training and rehabilitation of victims of child labour.
Performance indicator(s): i) Number of newly established Child Protection Courts; (ii) Review reports; (iii) Budgetary allocations
UN Guiding Principle(s): 1, 3, 25, 26
Relevant SDG(s): Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’
This information is also covered under Appendix 1: Implementation Plan, Proposed Action 66 designating the Ministry of Human Rights, the Ministry of Law and Justice, Provincial Home Departments, Provincial Legal Departments and Legal experts as Leading Entities, and designating the High Courts, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, the Provincial Human Rights Departments, the Federal Public Service Commission, the Provincial Service Commissions, the Federal Judicial Academy and the Provincial Judicial Academies as Additional Entities (page 70).
CHAPTER 4: State Expectations of Business Enterprises (pages 38-41)
‘To facilitate and guide business enterprises in ensuring compliance with and supporting the effective implementation of the NAP priority areas and the UNGPs, the State of Pakistan expects business enterprises to:
2. Ensure the elimination of child labour, forced or bonded labour, and all forms of modern slavery from their business operations and supply chains. This may be expedited through the utilisation of effective and thorough human rights due diligence.
13. In addition to the UNGPs, be cognisant of and guided by international guidelines and principles such as […] OECD Practical Actions for Companies to Identify and Address the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Mineral Supply Chains […].’
ANNEX II: Actions Already Undertaken by Pakistan
B. Measures Relevant to NAP Priority Areas
ii. Anti-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Inclusion
- Gender-Based Discrimination (page 74)
‘The Ministry of Human Rights has launched a helpline aimed at offering legal advice and support regarding women’s right to inheritance. The Ministry has also launched an awareness campaign on ‘Rights of the Girl Child’.’
a) Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups and Marginalised Communities in Workplace
- Sindh (page 79)
‘The Sindh Labor Policy 2018 contains a separate chapter that covers the following: […] iii) Child labour […].’
v. Child Labour
- ICT (page 84)
‘Domestic child labour was proscribed through an amendment in 2021 on Employment of Children Act 1991.’
- Punjab (page 84)
‘In 2016, the Punjab Government passed the Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Act, which prohibits employing children in hazardous occupations. It also imposes a fine of up to fifty thousand rupees and jail time of at least 7 days, which can be extended up to 6 months if the provisions of the Act are disregarded. The Act also contains punishments for those caught subjecting children to slavery, prostitution, or have them involved in illicit activities such as drug trafficking i.e. jail time of up to 7 years and no less than 3 years and a fine of no less than three thousand rupees and no more than one million rupees.
The Punjab Prohibition of Child Labour at Brick Kilns Act prohibits the employment of anyone younger than 15 years old at brick kilns.
Elimination of child labour and bonded labour project has been initiated in Punjab to provide education to vulnerable children, rehabilitate bonded laborers working in brick kilns, promote integration and coordination of Government responses, strengthen legislation, increase the capacity of law enforcement and service providers, and increase the knowledge base on these issues. As of May 2017, the program provided cash assistance to families of 88,000 child laborers to support children to attend school rather than working in brick kilns. The project ended in July 2018.’
- Sindh (page 84)
‘The Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act 2017 prohibits the employment of children and regulates the employment of adolescents in certain occupations of work.’
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (page 85)
‘The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prohibition of Employment of Children Act 2015 is a specialized law which defines a child as anyone under the age of 15 years old, and states that a child above the age of 12 years old can engage in light work for a maximum of 2 hours per day alongside a family member to acquire skills. Moreover, it stipulates that no adolescents (between 15 – 18 years old) can be engaged in hazardous work.’
- Balochistan (page 85)
‘In 2016, the Balochistan Assembly passed the Balochistan Child Protection Act, which provides protection to children from all forms of mental or physical violence, injury, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment, or exploitation, including sexual abuse.’
|CHAPTER III DIAGNOSIS AND BASELINE: ACTION AREAS
3.2. Conclusions of the specific issues
There are organizations of working children and adolescents that have a critical appraisal of the work, due to the precarious working conditions. However, the international standard establishes the need to raise the minimum age of working children and adolescents, as well as to monitor that those who are of the minimum working age do not perform hazardous work. It is also important to mention that the measures to be adopted require a special focus on the areas of informality (where this problem is specific to), as well as in rural areas and particularly in relation to indigenous or native peoples.
Progress was found in the reduction of child labor rates, as part of the expected results, but the evaluation and monitoring of the National Strategy for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor 2011-2021, in charge of the MTPE, the governing body in this area, is required. However, being in the last year of its implementation, its evaluation is relevant, which will allow the formulation, based on evidence, of the new national policy for the prevention and eradication of child labor, aligned with the country’s international commitments in relation to the fulfillment of Target 8.7:
– Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end contemporary forms of slavery and trafficking in persons and ensure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and, by 2025, to end child labor in all its forms […].
In addition, it is required to adopt measures in contracting processes with the State for the commission of infractions related to child labor in the production chain, as determined by the evaluation of the situation of the GP-RBC approach in the public procurement system, which will be carried out within the framework of the implementation of the NAP.
Although companies are committed to and have made progress in respecting human rights, there is a need for information on informative or guiding instruments that provide guidelines for the eradication of child labor throughout the production chain. – page 44/45
Table 8: NAP strategic guidelines and objectives, and alignment with the axes of the Peru Vision 2050
Strategic guideline No. 2: Design of public protection policies to prevent human rights violations in the business environment. Objective No. 1: Promote regulatory actions to prevent human rights violations in the corporate sphere
Action: Raise the minimum working age to 15 years of age.
Background: The country has received recommendations from the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the following are pending implementation: Raise the minimum age to work to 15 years of age. In this sense, it is required to evaluate the issuance of regulations to raise this age.
Indicator: 1 annual report of activities and progress of the organizational unit regarding its work in implementing, following up, monitoring, evaluating, and updating its GP-RBC policy and the NAP. – page 70
Action: Ensure that all hazardous forms of work are prohibited for persons under 18 years of age
Background: The country has received recommendations from the Committee on the Rights of the Child, with the following pending implementation: “Ensure that all hazardous forms of work, which include domestic work, are prohibited for children under 18 years of age. In this regard, it is required to update the list of hazardous work developed as part of the activities of the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor (CPETI)”.
Indicator: To have a technical report. – page 70
Action: Evaluate, based on the status assessment report, the incorporation of appropriate measures to contribute to formalization through the public procurement system; as well as to prevent the State from contracting with companies that commit serious human rights violations, specifically those related to forced labor and the worst forms of child labor, directly or through their supply chain; and promote and guarantee respect for human rights by companies in their supply chains
Background: Peru should also continue to make progress in ensuring that public procurement excludes companies that directly or through their supply chains engage in forced labor, the worst forms of child labor, and other serious human rights violations. Likewise, the State should promote measures so that through public procurement, companies and their supply chains are encouraged to respect human rights.
Indicator: Report identifying appropriate measures. – page 71
Objective No. 3: Review, design, and adoption of national plans and programs to guarantee human rights in the framework of business activities.
Action: To prepare a study that includes an analysis and situational status of child labor in the informal sector
Background: Study of the analysis and situational status of child labor in the informal sector and production chains.
Indicator: To have a study on child labor in the informal sector. – page 89
Action: Provide information and raise awareness on the importance of not contracting with the State in the case of companies sanctioned for forced labor and the worst forms of child labor, making visible the harmfulness of this practice
Background: Despite the international instruments on business and human rights, our country has not yet issued any specific regulation that includes mechanisms to require companies to ensure that their supply chains do not contract with companies that have been sanctioned for forced labor and/or worse forms of child labor. These mechanisms should also consider micro and small companies.
Indicator: Informative booklet on the importance of not contracting with the State in the case of companies with sanctions for forced labor and the worst forms of child labor, making visible the harmfulness of such practice. – page 116
Strategic guideline No. 5: Design and strengthening of mechanisms to ensure that those affected by human rights violations have access to judicial, administrative, legislative, or other means of redress.
Objective 1: Strengthen mechanisms at the state level to redress human rights violations in the corporate sphere.
Action: To guarantee mechanisms for redress in the event of violation of the rights of children and adolescent workers in business activities
Background: Both administrative and criminal liability are focused on sanctioning offenders, in the absence of expeditious and accessible procedures for the redress and rehabilitation of victims of child and hazardous labor.
Indicator: Approval of the strategy for the comprehensive care of children and adolescents identified as child and hazardous laborers. – page 122
2017-2020 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
Pillar I: The state’s duty to protect human rights
Planned changes in national legislation
Prevention of economic exploitation of children [page 12]
“Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that States Parties to the Convention “recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development”… In turn, the freedom to employ individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 is limited by the provisions of the Ordinance of the Council of Ministers of 24 August 2004 listing jobs prohibited to young people and conditions of employment for some of these jobs.”
Amendment to the Act on Tourism Services [page 25]
“Plans are in store to undertake work on an amendment of the regulations on the provision of hotel services, with a view to introducing provisions related to the prevention of sexual exploitation of minors in hotel facilities (detailing the requirements for hotel regulations), as provided for in the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.”
Appendix 1: International non-binding mechanisms and international legal framework in force in Poland in relation to business and human rights
International non-binding mechanisms
“(…)4. Children’s Rights and Business Principles: a set of guidelines for the wide-ranging rights of children prepared in 2012 by, among others, UNICEF and the Global Compact”
2021-2024 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
|2. Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy
Another area in which ESF+ (European Social Fund +) support will be implemented is care for the youngest children. Ensuring greater availability of care facilities for children below the age of three is one of the key instruments influencing the professional situation of parents and carers, especially women, who are most often responsible for childcare. Increasing the reach of care institutions therefore has a positive impact on the issue of equal opportunities in the labour market. For this reason, ESF+ resources will be used to finance establishment and operation of nurseries, child clubs and day carers as well as activities ensuring high quality of care (such as trainings for personnel of care institutions). – page 7
4. Ministry of Family and Social Policy
The first Polish Strategy for Persons with Disabilities 2021–2030
The scope of the regulation will include, among others, the introduction of provisions aimed at facilitating access to buildings and related facilities by persons with various types of disabilities, which will certainly exert an additional positive impact on other social groups such as older persons, carers with young children or persons with temporary motor dysfunctions. – page 14
Amendment to the Act on hotel services and tour managers and tourist guides services
Work is planned to amend the regulations on the provision of hotel services in order to make the provisions relating to the prevention of sexual exploitation of minors in hotel establishments more specific. – page 14
Development programme for care institutions for children under the age of three TODDLER+
Care institutions for children below the age of three are one of the tools enabling employees to combine private and professional life. The instrument which increases their territorial and financial availability is the Ministry’s programme for the development of childcare institutions for children under the age of three TODDLER+. It is announced annually, starting from 2011 (annual programme). The programme allows for co-financing of two types of activities:
a) establishment of new care facilities,
b) operation of care facilities.
Since 2011, approximately 56,500 facilities have been established with the funds obtained from the programme, including 37,400 facilities in 2017-2019. It is estimated that about 17,200 care facilities will be established with the funds of the ‘TODDLER+’ 2020 programme. Moreover, according to the results of the competition of ‘TODDLER+’ 2021 edition, the funds earmarked for the establishment of care facilities will make it possible to create about 25,000 such facilities. The programme is to be continued in the coming years. – page 20
Implementation of Directive (EU)2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU
Following the entry into force of Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU, it will be necessary to make systemic changes to Chapter 8 of the Labour Code on employees’ rights related to parenthood in the context of the implementation of the provisions of this Directive into Polish labour law. At that point, further solutions will be considered to facilitate achieving work-life balance by employees. The deadline for implementing the Directive into national legal systems has been set for 2 August 2022. – page 21
12. Public Procurement Office
The new Public Procurement Law (Journal of Laws of 2021, items 1129 and 1598)
Article 104 on the possibility of direct reference by the contracting body to a specific label in the description of the subject-matter of the contract, the description of the contract award criteria or in the contract performance requirements in order to highlight the specific characteristics of the contract (including social ones). Labels by means of which contracting bodies may specify requirements connected with the pursuit of social objectives in the description of the subject-matter of the contract, the contract award criteria and the contract performance requirements , in the criteria on which their award to certain products and services is based, refer, inter alia, to compliance with social and economic rights, such as … non-use of child labour, …. – page 34
– issuing and revoking permission for a child to perform work or engage in other gainful activity until they reach the age of 16; – page 35
Appendix 2 (information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
GOOD PRACTICE CATALOGUE FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE FIELD OF BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
– cooperate with reliable partners whose reliability, including in the area of respect for human rights, has been checked using available instruments such as verification by specialised economic bodies. Particular attention should be paid to respect for human rights in the context of forced and bonded labour and child labour in the supply chain. – page 47
Preventing discrimination involves dedicating special attention to gender equality, women’s empowerment, and the rights of children… (pg. 6)
Principle 3a – Work and employment of persons with disabilities
In accordance with the European Disability Strategy 2010–2020 and the World Programme of Action for Youth, special attention is devoted to measures for the effective development of employment possibilities and opportunities for young people with disabilities. (pg. 14)
C. Current Status
1. Domestic Status [page 3]
- Increased discussion of corporate social responsibility as a result of human rights issues such as … child labor … in the management process of multinational corporations.
Guiding Principle 1
“Spain is party to all of the main treaties on human rights and, specifically, to the following:
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its three Optional Protocols.”
“Spain has also ratified the eight fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO):
- Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention. (No 182)”
Guiding Principle 2
“In particular, the Government will develop awareness-raising campaign on actions aimed to protect groups with greater risk of vulnerability. In this sense, and in collaboration with the Spanish and international organizations, the Government will disseminate the UNICEF document, Save the Children and the Global Compact “Children’s Rights and Business Principles” among the business sector and will specifically take into account General Comment No. 16 of 2013 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.”
“The self-regulation codes will also be promoted, taking as an example relevant sector experiences, such as the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) or the Code of Conduct for the protection of children and adolescents against sexual exploitation in the Tourism and Travel Industry, as well as the relevant labor conventions of the ILO.”
2 The corporate responsibility to respect human rights [page 13]
“Internationally recognised instruments provide guidance for companies in their human rights efforts.2 The UN Guiding Principles focus on businesses and human rights. The United Nations Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles take a broader approach and address not only human rights but also other issues such as the environment, working conditions and anti-corruption. …
The conditions for companies’ efforts to respect human rights vary depending on their size, the countries and regions they operate in and their line of business, but the common goal is to prevent the companies’ activities from leading to human rights abuses, including the exploitation of children. UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Global Compact have developed the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, which provide guidance for companies in their work”
3 Access to remedy [page 15-17]
“The Ombudsman for Children in Sweden is a government agency whose main task is to represent the rights and interests of children and young people, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It monitors society’s compliance with the Convention and drives implementation in municipalities, county councils, regions and government agencies. It is responsible for drawing attention to deficiencies in the application of the Convention and proposing amendments to laws and ordinances. The Children’s Ombudsman submits an annual report to the Government, containing analyses and recommendations to improve the situation of children and young people. The Ombudsman does not monitor other government agencies and, by law, is not able to intervene in individual cases.”
Annex: Measures planned [page 27-28]
Regulations and legislation
- “The Government has launched an inquiry to examine whether the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should be incorporated into Swedish law. …
- The EU has adopted new procurement directives: a Directive on public procurement, a Directive on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, and a Directive on the award of concession contracts. …. the new directives prescribe that the contracting authorities or entities exclude tenderers who have been found guilty in a definitive judgment of crimes including child labour …”
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.
|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.
III. The state duty to protect human rights
B. Actions taken
- Voluntary commitment to implementation of international covenants (page 6)
‘[…] although Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, it has nevertheless signed and ratified important United Nations human rights covenants in recent years, including the […] “Convention on the Rights of the Child” […].’
- Business-related human rights safeguards in Taiwanese legislation (page 7)
‘The Taiwan government has already incorporated the […] “Convention on the Rights of the Child” […] into domestic legislation, so they can be directly applied as Taiwan law.’
This information is also covered under Appendix 4: Overview of the implementation of the state duty to protect and the access to remedy, The state duty to protect, UNGP2, Actions taken (page 39).
Appendix 1: Concrete steps taken by Taiwan to fulfil the state obligation to protect
- Taiwan’s commitment to human rights and international participation (page 23)
‘Regarding the ratification and the entry into force of important UN conventions, the Taiwan government has taken following actions:
The “Implementation Act of the Convention on the Rights of the Child” came into force on 20 November 2014. This convention uses international child rights protection norms as the benchmark to build an environment that protects all aspects of children’s physical and mental health.’
Appendix 4: Overview of the implementation of the state duty to protect and the access to remedy
The state duty to protect
Actions taken (pages 50-51)
‘The Taiwan government has committed to fully implement human rights both at home and abroad. […]it has […] signed and ratified important United Nations human rights covenants in recent years, including the […] “Convention on the Rights of the Child” […].In addition, the Taiwan government has gone through the legislative process to incorporate these covenants and conventions into domestic law, and has periodically prepared national reports and submitted them for review by international experts.’
3. The core content of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
3.1 Action plan on labour
3.1.3 Action Plan (2019–2022)
Pillar 1: State duties in protecting (Protect)
|Responsible agencies||Time-frame (2019–2022)||Indicators (wide frame)||Compliance with National Strategy/ SDGs/UNGPs|
|10.||Children of migrant workers||Address the problem of access to education by children of migrant workers by providing basic education in accordance with the problem’s conditions and needs, both in the public and private system and informal (non-formal education)||– Ministry of Education||2019–2022||Number of establishments received promotion of welfare other than those stated by law (places/ persons)||– National Strategy for Human Capital Development and Strengthening
– SDG 4 and 8
– UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7
|Encouraging establishments to organize childcare centres at work by registering as child service centres in the workplace with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Such establishments will receive tax deductions and children of employees and workers are taken care of with proper development.||– Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
Ministry of Labour
|2019–2022||Number of establishments registered as
a child service centre in the workplace
|– National Strategy for Human Capital Development and Strengthening
– SDG 8 and 11
– UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7
|Consult with the business sector to determine guidelines for service provision by taking into account children in the business sector, such as organizing staff to supervise a chat line in the mobile phone network, develop a mobile application or channel to receive complaints, refer the case to relevant agencies if there are children who need help or give counselling to children bullied in schools or support the study and research by working with relevant state agencies and CSOs||– Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
– Ministry of Digital, Economic and Society
– Ministry of Education
– Royal Thai Police
|2019–2022||Number of activities and services of the business sector in collaboration with other sectors that aims to protect children from cyber bullying (online media) Number of activities and services of business that aims to protect children from cyber bullying have extended their activities into schools Percentage of success in counselling and ongoing collaboration with relevant agencies||– National Strategy for Human Capital Development and Strengthening
– SDGs Target 11
– UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7
3.2.3 Action Plan (2019–2022)
Pillar 1: State duties in protecting (Protect)
|Responsible agencies||Time-frame (2019–2022)||Indicators (wide frame)||Compliance with National Strategy/ SDGs/UNGPs|
|2.||Public participation||Promote participation and listening to opinions of children through the Juvenile and Youth Council mechanism in order to ensure that children and youth are acknowledged and able to comment on changes in communities that will affect the quality of their lives.||– Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
Ministry of Interior
|2019–2022||– Collecting data of children’s comments regarding changes in the community through the Juvenile and Youth Council Implemented measures or procedures to promote, support and educate children and youth to be able to comment effectively||– National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth
– SDG 9, 11, 13, 14
– UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7
CHAPTER THREE: SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS
3.3 Labour Rights
The Government has created conducive working environment that allows for businesses to thrive. As such, businesses have become a major source of employment for Ugandans especially the youth and women.
According to UBOS (2018), overall unemployment was at 9.7% while youth unemployment stood at 40.7%. The unemployment situation has left many Ugandans especially the youth with no choice, but to accept any form of work offered to them. This has led to the growing trend of employment opportunities in business activities. However, there have also been reports of cases of human rights abuses associated with businesses operations.
Notwithstanding the progressive legal regime, there are a number of abuses experienced by especially vulnerable groups like women, people with disabilities and youth.
Uganda Human Rights Commission highlighted an emerging human rights concern of trafficking of persons abroad for work. It was noted that most of the victims were women and youth. The commission also highlights that there is no clear reporting and response mechanism for those caught up in violations abroad. It was further noted that despite registration and licensing of companies to regulate this business, many fraudulent companies were not fully complying with the established guidelines thus exposing Ugandans to violations of their rights. During stakeholder consultations the issues raised include; negative impacts of externalization of labour where youth especially girls were taken to work abroad without contracts. Subsequently such victims experience abuse of rights, physical and psychological violence and lack of protection while abroad.
3.8 Women, Vulnerable and Marginalized Groups
Children: Child labour remains a serious issue in Uganda. At least two million children aged 5-17 are engaged in child labour with 1.7 million below 14 years of age, and 507,000 involved in hazardous work (ILO/IPEC & UBOS, 2013). This includes children working in the agriculture sectors, domes c services, extractive industry (including children involved in artisanal and small-scale mining) and those that are victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The proportion of children in hazardous work was more than double in urban areas (61 percent) as compared to the rural (23 percent) (ILO/IPEC & UBOS, 2013). These issues were also raised during stakeholder consultations. Children were reported to be recruited to work on sugar, rice and tea plantations, as well as in the fishing sector. The vices were also reported to be common in mining (mineral and stone quarrying) and the construction sector where children are involved in manual labour. Poverty was cited as a main factor driving children to engage in labour. Stakeholders noted that there were reported cases of sexual assault and increase in child labour in the context of the construction of roads, for example during the construction of the Kabwoya Fort Portal Kamwenge road.
Youth: Concerns were raised during the consultation regarding reports of discrimination experienced by youth in terms of accessing employment opportunities. In many cases, they are offered only the least paying casual jobs and without formal contracts specifying the terms of employment. Youth, in the Eastern and Western regions, stated that there were instances of underpay and outright non-payment, in particular by construction companies. The consultation in Northern Uganda also revealed that there were abuse of the rights of the youth working on the large commercial farms established in the region. They claimed that most of these youth were ferried from far districts of West Nile who then end up stranded thus seeking help from the nearby districts whose resources are too meagre to offer repatriation to these victims.
CHAPTER FOUR: STRATEGIES AND INTERVENTIONS
OBJECTIVE 2: To promote human rights compliance and accountability by business actors
4.2.1. Empower communities especially vulnerable persons to claim their rights
II. Conduct community dialogue meetings with rights holders prioritizing women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and people in hard to reach areas.
OBJECTIVE 4: To promote social inclusion and rights of the vulnerable and marginalized individuals and groups in business operations.
4.4.1 Empower communities to demand for protection and fulfilment of their rights and access to justice
II. Implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP).
The UK 2013 NAP states in Section 2. The State’s Duty to Protect Human Rights, New Actions planned that [page 11]:
“The Government will do the following to reinforce its implementation of its commitments under Pillar 1 of the UNGPs: … (vi) Promote new project activity on raising awareness and tackling the negative impacts of business activity, including on the human rights of groups like indigenous peoples, women, national or ethnic minorities, religious and linguistic minorities, children, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers and their families, by tasking our diplomatic missions in countries where these are concerns.
The UK 2016 Updated NAP states in Section 2. The State’s Duty to Protect Human Rights, Government commitments that [page 11]:
“18. The Government will do the following to reinforce its implementation of its commitments under Pillar 1 of the UNGPs: … (vi) Consider new project activity on raising awareness and tackling the negative impacts of business activity, including on the human rights of groups like indigenous peoples, women, national or ethnic minorities, religious and linguistic minorities, children, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers and their families, by tasking our diplomatic missions in countries where these are concerns.”
The U.S. NAP makes reference to children’s rights largely in terms of child labor.
Foreword [page 1]
“Corruption is not only immoral, it diverts public and private resources away from priorities such as feeding children…”
Outcome 1.3: Leverage U.S Government Purchasing Power to Promote High Standards
Ongoing Commitments and Initiatives [page 11]
“Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor,” (E.O. 13126), signed on June 12, 1999 and in effect since 2001. This executive order is intended to ensure that U.S. federal agencies do not procure goods made by forced or indentured child labor. The U.S. government will seek to review the status and effectiveness of implementation of these requirements and take steps to improve implementation, as feasible and appropriate.” – Implementing Department or Agency: State, DOD
Outcome 2.1: Enhance the Value of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives on RBC
Ongoing Commitments and Initiatives [page 15-16]
“Engagement with International Cocoa and Chocolate Industry: As the Secretariat for the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG), DOL plays a leadership role in facilitating coordination among the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and the United States and the international chocolate and cocoa industry (including six major producing companies) to address the worst forms of child labor in cocoa growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. CLCCG members held their annual meeting in June 2016 at DOL to discuss new project funding and other initiatives.” – Implementing Department or Agency: DOL
“Sustainable Development Goals: The 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) establish an ambitious framework to make progress on many of the fundamental social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the world over the next 15 years. The U.S. government encourages uptake and implementation of the SDGs and intends to facilitate dialogue among key actors to discuss best practices, public-private partnership opportunities, lessons learned, and action necessary to ensure the SDGs’ success. As part of this initiative, DOL has been actively engaged in the ILO-led Alliance 8.7, a coalition of business and other stakeholders committed to increasing action to achieve SDG Target 8.7 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.” .” – Implementing Department or Agency: State, Treasury, USAID, DOL
Outcome 3.1: U.S. Government Reports
Ongoing Commitments and Initiatives [page 18]
“DOL Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports: DOL publishes and updates three reports on international child labor and forced labor (the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor, and the List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor) that serve as valuable resources for government action, civil society advocacy, and private sector due diligence on these issues. Since 2015, DOL releases these three reports through a new mobile application, Sweat & Toil: Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Around the World, which streamlines this wealth of information and makes it available on mobile devices. DOL regularly engages with companies and industry groups on how they can use these tools to strengthen their social compliance programs.” – Implementing Department or Agency: DOL
“Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor: A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses: This DOL online resource, launched in December 2012, will continue to provide step-by-step guidance to businesses that seek to develop and improve social compliance systems to address child labor and forced labor in supply chains. The Toolkit is available to the public in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese and will be regularly updated based on feedback from users.” – Implementing Department or Agency: DOL
Outcome 3.3: Capacity Building and Technical Support to Promote Enabling Environments
Ongoing Commitments and Initiatives [page 20-21]
“Eliminating Child and Forced Labor in Agricultural Supply Chains: In 2011, USDA, DOL, and State released the Guidelines for Eliminating Child and Forced Labor in Agricultural Supply Chains, developed as part of a multi-stakeholder process that included high-level officials of these agencies, representatives of business, civil society, and academics. The Guidelines’ specific elements should be integrated into any agricultural company program to reduce child or forced labor, and include adhering to ILO standards on child USDA, DOL, State -21- labor and forced labor; mapping supply chains and conducting risk assessments; providing communication and monitoring mechanisms; and developing plans and programs for remediating violations. DOL is now funding a four-year pilot project in Turkey to test implementation of the above Guidelines by a leading company.” – Implementing Department or Agency: USDA, DOL, State
Outcome 4.1: Recognize RBC Best Practices
Ongoing Commitments and Initiatives [page 22]
“DOL Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor: The Iqbal Masih Award is a non-monetary award presented annually by the U.S. Secretary of Labor to recognize the exceptional efforts made by an individual, company, organization, or national government to reduce the worst forms of child labor internationally. DOL will continue to consider outstanding private sector efforts for this award.” – Implementing Department or Agency: DOL