New Hivos report on progress tackling child labour in the leather footwear sector

November 28, 2013

The Hivos campaign ‘Stop Child Labour’ has brought out a new report, Working on the Right Shoes, that gives an overview of the progress made in addressing child labour and other labour rights in the leather footwear sector. It focuses on recent developments in the sector and the action taken by twenty-eight footwear companies since the launch of the targeted campaign ‘We want child friendly shoes!’ in June 2012. The report is a follow-up of last year’s report on the same topic, published in December 2012.

As in 2012, twenty-eight companies were asked about their policy and practices for eliminating or reducing child labour abuses in their full supply chain and for promoting labour rights. Eighteen out of the twenty-two companies that responded provided sufficiently concrete information to conclude that they have taken steps to (further) improve their policy, practices and level of transparency in the past year.

The eighteen companies showing progress have taken specific steps, some to a greater degree than others, to:

  • investigate the risks in their supply chain
  • improve their policy and supplier code
  • set up or improve monitoring systems that also take into account subcontractors or material suppliers
  • start working with third party auditing
  • join a multi-stakeholder initiative and/or improve their transparency toward the public

These steps seem to be to a large extent the result of the Hivos ‘We want child friendly shoes!’ campaign. Despite the fact that many of them still have a long way to go, ‘Stop Child Labour’ is positive about the progress and the promises made by these companies regarding further improvement in the coming year.

Go to the Hivos ‘Stop Child Labour’ website to read more about which companies were assessed and how they all scored. You can also download the 2013 report and other relevant documents.