UNDP

Labour Rights

Children of workers support parents at workplace or in supply chains

 

While children may perform some work at family businesses, such work may deprive them of childhood and future potential by impeding schooling or harming physical and mental development.

 

Such work amounts to child labour. Businesses should undertake due diligence on their supply chain, including by conducting inspections of work environments to satisfy themselves that children under the legal working age are not engaged in child labour.

 

The risk of children supporting their parents in the workplace in a manner which amounts to child labour is usually caused by financial challenges facing the family – often resulting in the parents needing their children to work or allowing them to accompany them to work as a means of survival. However, it is essential that children be allowed to attend school to give them the opportunity for betterment.

Often, the involvement of children at parental workplaces is hidden, and so businesses should undertake rigorous supply chain checks, inspections and interviews to determine whether children are attending the workplace of their parents to perform work. If child labour is identified in the supply chain, businesses need to take a careful and informed response, as the termination or cancellation of the parents’ contract may exacerbate the situation.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Convention concerning Part-Time Work, 1994 (No. 175)
Convention concerning the Protection of Wages, 1949 (No. 95)
Convention concerning Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment, 1988 (No. 168)
Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, 1973 (No. 138)
Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182)


SDG 4

QUALITY EDUCATION

SDG 4.2

By examining and mitigating the risk of child labor in support of parents at workplace or in supply chains, businesses may contribute to the achievement of SDG 4.2: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.

SDG 8

DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

SDG 8.7

By examining and mitigating the risk of child labor in support of parents at workplace or in supply chains, businesses may contribute to the achievement of SDG 8.7: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

SDG 16

PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

SDG 16.2

By examining and mitigating the risk of child labor in support of parents at workplace or in supply chains, businesses may contribute to the achievement of SDG 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.