On anniversary of deadly factory collapse, eight in 10 Canadians more willing to shop at Canadian retailers who've signed Bangladesh fire & safety accord

OTTAWA, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, on the eve of the anniversary of the Bangladesh factory collapse, World Vision launched an Ipsos Reid poll detailing what Canadians want to happen to ensure that their consumer choices are ethical, including free from child labour. Canadians also see a role for Canadian retailers and the Canadian government in ensuring a tragedy like the one that killed more than 1,130 Bangladeshis never happens again.

This is part of the aid and development agency's ongoing No Child For Sale Campaign that is working to prevent and eliminate the worst forms of child labour. In the aftermath of the Bangladesh factory collapse, World Vision met with children who had been orphaned by the tragedy and saw how vulnerable they were to being pushed into dangerous working conditions themselves—an all too common feature of Bangladeshi life.

As part of today's press conference, World Vision also launched their No Child For Sale petition, calling on major Canadian retailers to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord. To date, Loblaw is the only Canadian company to sign on. For a full list of the companies being called on to sign, visit the petition site.

Poll Results:

  • 87 per cent of Canadians think that companies should be legally obligated to provide Canadians with information about the working conditions in their factories, wages and commit to not using child labour.
  • 86 per cent of Canadians want the Canadian government to play a role in making sure that Canadian companies don't directly or indirectly support poor labour practices, including using child labour.
  • 88 per cent of Canadians believe that The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety should be the standard for textile industry and safety standards.
  • 85 per cent feel that all major Canadian retailers should sign this accord.
  • 82 per cent of Canadians would feel more willing to buy products from Canadian retailers who have signed this accord.
  • 77 per cent of Canadians are frustrated at how difficult it is to determine where the products they buy are made, how they're made and by whom.

Quotes:

"Last week in Bangladesh, it seemed that everywhere I looked, there were workplace tragedies just waiting to happen.  Far too many involved children," said Dave Toycen, president, World Vision Canada."I am more convicted than ever that Canadian retailers that sell products made in Bangladesh must not delay in signing this accord."

"The Canadian government has a role to play in breaking the links of injustice scattered throughout the supply chain—trade and aid are two of the tools that can be used to create safer working conditions," said Wendy Therrien, director of policy, World Vision Canada. "As a mom with young kids, I know Canadian parents don't want to be wondering if the shoes on their kids' feet were sewn by children toiling away in dark factories instead of going to school and playing outside."

"Canadian consumers are hungry for ethical alternatives. Bangladesh brought this home. While we're increasingly seeing ethical options on our grocery store shelves, we're not seeing the same affordable, available options for clothing, textiles and household goods." said Cheryl Hotchkiss, senior advocacy manager, World Vision Canada. "Companies respond to consumer demand, we've seen this time and again with ethical chocolate and coffee now in mainstream stores. The same can happen for clothing and other items if the consumer demands it."

Resources:
Video b-roll of child labour (Link to Youtube)
Photos
Fact sheet - Child labour
Fact sheet - Cotton
Fact sheet - Coffee
Fact sheet - Cocoa
Fact sheet - Mining
Fact sheet - Ethical Consumerism

Twitter hashtag: #NoChildForSale

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre on worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information:

Contact:
Tiffany Baggetta - cell: 416-305-9612, Tiffany_Baggetta@worldvision.ca
Britt Hamilton - cell: 416-419-1321, Britt_Hamilton@worldvision.ca