IKEA Foundation helps thousands of children in Pakistan find a route out of child labour

©Save the Children Pakistan (CNW Group/IKEA Canada)

IKEA Foundation helps fight the root causes of child labour in Pakistan

LEIDEN, The Netherlands, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The IKEA Foundation is proud to announce that its partnership with Save the Children and UNICEF has given over 176,000 children direct access to projects aimed at preventing child labour. By focusing on Pakistan's cotton-growing areas, the partnership helps fight the root causes of child labour in Pakistan's cotton industry. By the end of 2017, these projects should help over 4 million children.

Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has donated nearly €8 million and has committed a further €9 million to support innovative projects run by Save the Children and UNICEF in Pakistan. This is part of the IKEA Foundation's wider commitment of €60 million to fight the root causes of child labour and promote children's rights in India and Pakistan, where many of IKEA's textile products are sourced from.

The IKEA Foundation funds projects that:

  • provide access to education for children
  • reach out to families, farmers and local communities to change attitudes towards child labour
  • help families find other ways to support themselves economically, providing a better future for themselves and their children.

Changing children's lives for the better

Because of this partnership, children like Palwasha now have a chance to get the education they deserve.

Palwasha is a thirteen-year-old girl whose life has been changed by one of the programmes the IKEA Foundation funds. The oldest of five siblings, Palwasha and her family used to be wandering beggars living in extreme squalor in Pakistan. Save the Children used funding from the IKEA Foundation to develop community organizations and child clubs in Palwasha's village, which helped convince Palwasha's parents to send her to school.

According to Palwasha's mother, "I was under the misconception that education would spoil my child, filling her head with negative ideas. The sessions, however, cleared that false impression and I now fully encourage her to get an education. I am grateful to the team for saving my daughter's future."

Elisabeth Dahlin, Save the Children's Secretary General Sweden, said: "The strategic, long-term programs funded by the IKEA Foundation are a unique example of how different sectors can work together to obtain lasting and sustainable positive change for children, their families and whole communities."

Leila Pakkala, Director, Private Fundraising and Partnerships, UNICEF said: "Child labour is too often seen as an economic necessity by parents living below the poverty line. In Pakistan, IKEA Foundation has joined UNICEF to prevent child labour through a program in eight of the largest cotton producing districts that gets children into school and holistically improves their healthy development and well-being."

Notes to editors

A long-term collaboration for children's rights

IKEA has worked with UNICEF and Save the Children for over a decade. The two organisations were instrumental in the development of the IKEA policy against child labour in its supply chain, 'The IKEA Way on Preventing Child Labour Code of Conduct', launched in 2000.

Building on this work, the IKEA Foundation has been funding UNICEF projects to improve children's education, keep children out of work and provide a healthy start in life since 2001, and has funded similar Save the Children projects since 2006.

Since 2000, the IKEA Foundation has committed €60 million to help fight child labour in India and Pakistan, aiming to prevent children from working in the cotton, metalware and carpet industries. By 2017 over 16 million children in 25,500 villages across India and Pakistan will have been reached by IKEA Foundation-funded projects aimed at preventing child labour in the three industries.

Find out more about our partnership with Save the Children

Read about our partnership with UNICEF

About IKEA
IKEA is a home furnishings company with Swedish origins founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. The IKEA vision is to 'create a better everyday life for the many people.' The business idea is to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishings at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. IKEA has a total of 335 stores in 38 countries/territories. Please visit www.ikea.com.

About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in developing countries by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. The Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child's life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income. Currently-funded programs benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org.

Image with caption: "©Save the Children Pakistan (CNW Group/IKEA Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130213_C5449_PHOTO_EN_23722.jpg

SOURCE: IKEA Canada

For further information:

IKEA FOUNDATION                                      
Jonathan Spampinato
Head of Communications
& Strategic Planning                                
Tel: +31 611 756 336
Jonathan.spampinato@ikeafoundation.org

IKEA
Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick
Public Relations Manager
IKEA Canada
T: 905-637-9440 x6378
madeleine.lowenborg-frick@ikea.com