IKEA Children Labor Reaction

After the publication of the documentals that showed and proved that IKEA used children labor for the production of it’s company in India IKEA was forced to react, to try to stop the media crisis and to be concerned and active to stop children labor in non-developed countries like India. The first reaction when all the information appeared was to deny it, saying that IKEA never contract companies that use children labor to do their products, but they accepted the possibility that maybe the companies they were contracting, sub-contract at the same time other corporations that could have children working for them.

The spokesperson for IKEA defended the company, saying the contract with its suplier in the Philippines and India has been suspender, when under-age children were found to be making wicker baskets. But that was only the first reaction but sure not last. From that point IKEA changed the way of acting, taking more seriously this aspect and having it as a principal part of the company and of the foundation IKEA owns. From that IKEA addressed the event and it “sent a legal team to Geneva to seek input and advice from the International Labor organization on how to deal with the problem.

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Also the company “added a clause to all supply contracts, stating simply that if the supplier employed children under legal working age, the contract would be cancelled”. This clause, a two-pages code of conduct, is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The third thing IKEA decided to do is to contract a Third-party that controls and take care of avoiding child labor practices at its suppliers in India and Pakistan. This action was very profitable for the company because it showed a different point of view and favored good publicity and made thing seem fairer from the public’s view.

In that way the bussines manager of the corporation did some research with well known organizations like Save the Children ( an organization that received on May 15 of 2012 a pledge of $10 million to end child labor in India cotton industry) or UNICEF to get advice. With all that information the manager could travel around the world, see the real situation and developed a label certifying that the carpets to which it was attached were made without the use of child labor.

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