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.