Human rights violations in the context of global supply chains include labour rights violations, environmental damage, violations of the right to health, of the rights related to land, food and water, of International Humanitarian Law as well as the odious issue of child labour. In this regard, it is estimated that yet today 152 million children are still in child labour: a shameful figure which calls for starker action worldwide to allow for these children to access a better future.
Commenting on this landmark occasion, the President of Euro Coop Mr. Mathias Fiedler said: “Being enterprises which base their operations on a set of well-known and recognized values and principles, among which social responsibility and caring for others, consumer co-operatives are of course at the forefront of action when it comes to making their supply chains more socially sustainable and thus tackling thorny and endemic issues like child labour. This translates among others into a common understanding that the three dimensions of sustainability – environmental, economic and social – cannot exist in isolation and need to be furthered together. Structural change though needs shared responsibility at all levels, this is why we call today the broader international community to act in a starker and non apologetic way when it comes to address the plague of child labour. Consumer co-operatives do a tremendous work in this respect, but the tide needs to be turned in order for systemic change to happen”.
Euro Coop has recently deepened the internal debate on the issue of human rights issues - including child labour - in supply chains and a recent position paper detailing concrete segments of action and a broad yet not exhaustive list of best practices is available at this link.