Letter to Dutch Parliament about ‘Decent Work Worldwide’

In March Dutch Parliament will have a debate with the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Ploumen on furthering Decent Work Wordwide. In a letter to Parliament Stop Child Labour makes recommendations to combat child labour and promote decent work. The debate was initiated by two Members of Parliament (MPS) of the Labour Party, member of the present coalition government.

In their note to Parliament and the Minister the MPs start with the case of around 200.000 girls who are producing garments in the South Indian spinning mills under a form of forced (child) labour. This is an issue which Stop Child Labour partner SAVE is working on, including by supporting (potential) victims, together with SCL members ICN and FNV who are putting pressure on companies to take action on the issue. Companies are however reacting slowly or not at all. Stop Child Labour request Parliament to discuss the matter with the Minister and ask her to raise this issue with the Indian government together with the European Union and the OECD and to jointly work on solutions.

As the Netherlands has MoUs with several countries on CSR, including with India and Colombia, Stop Child Labour also recommends to include a concrete agreement on combating child labour and promoting decent work in every MoU. in addition a thorough analyses of child labour in the supply chains of Dutch companies is asked for. This would help in informing public, companies and policy makers and give direction to more targeted interventions.

One important example of such a policy measure is the creation of so-called CSR Covenants, which are sector agreements between trade associations, unions, NGOs and the government itself to create sustainable supply chains with decent work and without child labour.