RHSF's Action Pledges for the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour

RHSF’s Action Pledges for the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour

Published on Mar 31, 2021

Upon the invitation of Alliance 8.7, we publically engage to reinforce our awareness-raising programme and are currently coordinating with our partner companies the way we will communicate the outcomes of our field experimentations to eliminate child labour by 2025. Here is our first Action Pledge.

  • provide accurate educational information to citizens and organizations internationally
  • take action with our stakeholders and partners within the framework of Lab 8.7:
    • on the one hand, sharpen the vigilance and actions of stakeholders to prevent child labour,
    • on the other hand, experiment with new solutions to the complex risk of child labour

Find out more about our three action pledges.

Spread expertise: Awareness-raising being essential to RHSF, we commit to provide accurate educational information to citizens and organisations internationally.

How will your Action Pledge contribute to ending child labour by 2025?

Preventing the risks of child labour and forced labour in supply chains is the mission of RHSF. We experiment with pilot prevention solutions with stakeholders, and share our expertise to all publics based on three convictions: REFUSE, UNDERSTAND, ACT. We are convinced everyone has a role to play in ensuring that children are not exposed to abusive work in our supply chains.  

By 2025, we will put all our efforts to embark professionals in the detection and prevention of risks of child labour, as well as equip consumers to require goods and services free from any forms of indecent work.

How will you implement your 2021 Action Pledge?  

Concretely, we commit to scale-up our awareness-rising work in 2021 by 

  • Formalizing a three-year awareness programme that will capitalize on our resource center in order to expand our offer of tools and training programmes targeting professionals, volunteers, consumer organisation by 2025. We will also define and monitor the impact of our awareness programme with indicators.
  • Offering new tools and expanding existing ones. We commit to ensure a wider promotion of our existing Explorer, especially towards our members and via the cartoon competition as well as to add new content. Explorer is RHSF awareness-raising online tool openly accessible to all (professionals, citizens, companies…). We will issue a new version of our Country Risk Maps which is better adjusted to the expectations of the French law Devoir de Vigilance. We will define and seek for financing for the creation of a consumer kit. Finally we will launch a public version of our Flash info sessions – today offered to our Business Club members – and hold 2 sessions in 2021.
  • Develop new training programmes. We will elaborzte and implement 3 sessions of dedicated training for RHSF members. We will design the training programme to encourage our members to become the voice of RHSF. We will roll out a minimum of 10 sessions of our training to professionals.
  • Establishing key partnerships to leverage actions
    • We run the international cartoon competition on forced labour with ILO (International Labour Organisation) and Cartooning for Peace and dedicate a Special Award called the best cartoon on “Forced labour of children”. All drawings will then be leveraged in a travelling exhibition as well as a catalogue and leaflet. 
    • Additionally RHSF shares expertise with a key consumer organization so they can formalize their methodology to integrate the risks of child labour and forced labour in their comparative evaluation of products.

2021 is a very special year: the international year of the elimination of child labour. In addition, France has committed to become a “pathfinder” country of the Alliance. As a French-based NGO, we have decided to use the universal language of arts to disseminate a better understanding of the issue and instill each and every one to act against child labour. For RHSF, the cartooning competition is one tool. Furthermore, we produced a hymn and is creating a play reflecting on the first ever law on child labour in France. These will come in addition to the RHSF tools and trainings available online. 

How will you communicate about this 2021 Action Pledge? – This last one is key as regular communication about the implementation process will not only inspire others to follow your lead but will also show how these commitments are turned into real action.

Our ambition is that every child can dream about the future. We believe to be successful in our mission and ambition we can’t stay alone: everyone, at their own level, can make a contribution. Therefore we will continue to share our knowledge of the field and our expertise with all stakeholders as well as all publics to mobilise everyone in a voluntary and constructive manner.

Conscious of our limited financial and human resources, our communication strategy focuses on targeted and direct actions on key digital channels. Our communication will focus on key audiences and equip them to become voices for the elimination of child labour. Our effort in 2021 and beyond will also be to guarantee regularity in our interactions.

We will mobilize our members and partners companies with direct communication tools via Flash info sessions, newsletters and press reviews. 

We will reach out professionals via LinkedIn as well as free online training sessions. We also grant them with open access to operational tools available 24/7 in our resource center.
We will sensitize consumers as well as citizens via our regular Facebook posts. Most of all, we will leverage our partnerships with key established partners such as ILO and a consumer magazine to reach out a much wider audiences. 

We will use editorial skills to push our expertise in the media at least in France. 

Finally, we will do our utmost to leverage our artistic pieces – cartoon exhibition, hymn and play – via social network and via our key partnerships to ensure the widest audience and to sensitize as many citizens as possible. 

Read our action pledge on the End Child Labour 2021 website.

Lab 8.7 sharpen the vigilance and action of stakeholders to prevent child labour in supply chains.

The complexity of child labour risks in supply chains precludes simple, one-sided solutions. Such solutions, applied to symptoms, at best displace the problem, at worst exacerbate it. In parallel, current compliance audits and compliance policies, while necessary, have proven insufficient to prevent child labour.

In the course of its 15 years of field missions around the world and in a wide variety of environments, the NGO Human Resources Without Borders (RHSF) has acquired first-hand knowledge of these realities. Because new solutions must be designed and validated in a comprehensive approach involving stakeholders, RHSF launched the operational solutions incubator Lab 8.7 with pioneering actors including the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs as well as committed companies ready to test solutions. Together, they engage to invent, test and disseminate new operational solutions.

How will you implement your 2021 Action Pledge?  

Our approach in 2021: empower all stakeholders of the supply chains to prevent risks effectively and sustainably and to engage in new experiments from 2022 onwards. Our commitments:

  • Develop and share a common reference framework that will enable each stakeholder in supply chains to act step by step to prevent risks. Based on the French “corporate duty of vigilance” law and anticipating the European regulation in preparation, this common framework will allow the different stakeholders to intervene in the same direction and in a way that is consistent with their environment and not only with the requirements but also with the spirit of the French and European legislation, to ensure their impact on child labour prevention. Already tested with stakeholders in supply chains and to be refined thanks to further testing with them, this reference framework should enable organisations to define a sincere and coherent policy to prevent the risks of child labour and forced labour. Equipped with this powerful reference framework, companies will sharpen their vigilance, assessors (analysts and civil society representatives) their demands, investors their analysis while governments will strengthen their steering of risk prevention.
  • Deploy at least 10 training sessions for professionals, French diplomats and elected officials to enable joint actions. The training sessions will enable them to gain a common understanding of the issues and levers for action and to set up experimental projects together.

How will your Action Pledge contribute to ending child labour by 2025?

As there is currently no turnkey solution to the complex risks of child labour, we need to test and disseminate new solutions: this is the aim of Lab 8.7. Based on its field expertise, the NGO RHSF will compile a reference framework tested and validated by the companies and
actors of Lab 8.7. It will then be widely disseminated to all stakeholders in supply chains so they can build a coherent, effective and sustainable policy to prevent child labour. Training will also support those willing to engage in this virtuous framework within Lab 8.7.

Read our action pledge on the End Child Labour 2021 website.

Lab 8.7 experiments with solutions in supply chains: education and skills for the future in agriculture (Costa Rica, France)

There is currently no turnkey solution to the complex risks of child labour in supply chains.
We need to experiment with new, comprehensive approaches involving all stakeholders along the supply chain. This is the mission of “Lab 8.7”, the operational solutions incubator launched by the NGO Human Resources Without Borders (RHSF) with pioneering actors including the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as committed companies ready to test solutions. Together, they engage to invent, test and disseminate new operational solutions.

Lab 8.7 has defined 3 main guidelines for experiments in the supply chains up to 2025 :

  • Fair recruitment channels,
  • Responsible management of the workforce,
  • Education and skills for the future in agriculture

Lab 8.7 will create and experimentwith an educational and apprenticeship approach that should give children emancipation and parents and workers pride. All three guidelines will be deployed simultaneously to experiment with a sustainable model of excellence for an agricultural sector that is respectful of workers, attractive to young people, and capable of perpetuating and developing its professions and know-how in line with the economic and environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.

How will you implement your 2021 Action Pledge?  

In 2021, Lab 8.7 is launching two field experiments in parallel, one in France and one in Costa Rica, involving 3 supply chains and their local ecosystems. Our commitments in 2021:

  • In France, in 2 regions (Landes and Alpes-Maritimes):
  • Define the action plan with involved partners, in a co-construction approach and based on the results of the analysis led in 2020 in the field and among young people.
  • Launch the experiment, begin with identifying the tasks and skills that can contribute to a sustainable agricultural sector (“skills for the future”), identify their impact on the quality of the products, and launch a cluster aiming at social, environmental and product quality excellence.
    • Share the first lessons of the experiments in the 4th quarter of 2021.
    • Initiate the development of a practical guide to prevent child labour in one specific agricultural sector step by step, drawing on the lessons learned from the experiment in France as well as the vision of farmers, contractors and actors in the supply chain. The guide will be based on the child labour prevention reference framework developed by Lab 8.7 (see the other Action Pledge of Lab 8.7) and will be adapted to other agricultural sectors and other countries after 2021 for wider deployment.
  • In Costa Rica :
  • Launch the experiment in the 4th quarter of 2021, begin with the launch of focus groups including workers, farmers and other stakeholders.
  • Define the 3-year action plan with involved partners, in a co-construction approach and based on the results of the analysis led in 2020 in the field.

How will your Action Pledge contribute to end child labour by 2025?

Child labour is massively present in agriculture and can take diverse forms, from 5-year-old migrant children exposed to work in Costa Rica, to dangerous work conditions for apprentices in France. A vicious circle arises between indecent work and lack of attractiveness of the professions. We want to break this cycle by valuing education and providing a sustainable model of excellence: an agricultural sector respectful of workers, attractive to young people and adjusted to current economic and environmental challenges. With international academic experts, our experiments will validate operational solutions and be openly shared with all the
stakeholders by 2025.

Read our action pledge on the End Child Labour 2021 website.