Prohibition of child labour
Any form of child labour prohibited by national and international laws is not tolerated. The only accepted form of children helping their parents is if they support their parents work not so much for income generation but to learn a craft the way it has been passed from generation to generation. And this only to a limited extend, where the workplace is the family’s home and the child can pursue its school education and has free time to play.
STEP’s first activity against child labor is prevention. STEP auditors not only systemically and constantly monitor workers minimum age but also raise parents’ awareness for the rights of children, the negative consequences of child labor and the importance of education.
If auditors still find child labor STEP has a clear remediation policy: It is made sure that the child is removed from the workplace and either sent to back to its family or, where this not possible, to another safe place and supporting and educating environment. STEP follows up on the future development of the child. The responsibles are made accountable for costs involved with the remediation. Producers involved in child labour get blacklisted for repeated cases.
Child labour as defined by the ILO and United Nations is forbidden. Stricter national legislation prevails. Working conditions resembling slavery or harmful to children’s health or jeopardising their education are forbidden.
The term “child labour” is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.