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Improving rights of children in toy-making business is regulator’s next mission

The Ethical Toy Program has made a move to advance the rights of children of migrant workers in the global toy industry through a new partnership with Save the Children.

This new partnership will broaden well-being programmes to support migrant parent workers and launches a webinar series exploring innovation, opportunities and best practices to support child rights in the industry.

The campaign will take the Children’s Rights and Business Principles as a framework in order to engage the toy global industry in the conversation in order to make a positive impact on children and families across the toy industry supply chain.

The CRBPs are based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and are aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They  support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Save the Children has worked with numerous businesses over the past 20 years to advance children’s rights through advocacy, capability building, and education.

Since 2016, Ethical Toy Program has partnered with the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR), a subsidiary of Save the Children, on programmes to support migrant parent factory workers with left-behind children in China. The partnership has already established Family-Friendly Spaces that reunite migrant parent workers with their left-behind children. They’ve also delivered migrant parents training to strengthen the remote parenting skills of over a thousand workers.

The new partnership will start with a series of webinars exploring some of the aspects of how children are impacted through the life cycle of a toy, and updating companies on actions they can take to respect and support children’s rights. The first webinar in the series will take place on May 2nd and will introduce and present how the Children’s Rights and Business Principles are relevant for the toy and entertainment industry together with examples of practical actions in China.

Next, starting from a two- factory pilot in 2016, the Family-Friendly Spaces programme will be expanded to cover 30 factories in 2019 reuniting thousands of workers with their left behind children and strengthening childcare provision for factory workers.

Charlotta Sterky, executive director Child Rights and Business at Save the Children, said: “Children are crucial stakeholders of business in their roles as consumers, family members of employees, future employees and business leaders, and as citizens in the communities and environments in which business operates.

“Businesses – whether large or small – therefore inevitably interact with and affect the lives of children in direct and indirect ways. We are delighted to partner with the Ethical Toy Program to support the global toy industry in its work to advance and implement the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.”

Mark Robertson, senior vice president at the Ethical Toy Program, added: “We are proud of the progress we’ve achieved with the toy industry to advance worker well- being in the global toy supply chain, and working with Save the Children, we look forward to extending these programmes to benefit thousands more factory workers and their families.

“We are excited to partner with Save the Children to guide our members as they work to respect and support children’s rights through their core business strategies and operations.”

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