Canada's Child Labour Habit

Canadians unaware of how many products they consume daily that may contain child labour, reveals poll

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 16, 2015 /CNW/ - The average Canadian may have a child labour habit and not even know it, warns World Vision. More than half (54%) of Canadians do not believe they consume any products made by children, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll.

Yet, Canadians need to realize they may actually be eating, drinking, wearing and using dozens of products daily that are made by children, says World Vision.  As part of its No Child For Sale awareness campaign, World Vision today released research that connects rising levels of Canadian imports with countries where child labour is a harsh reality.

WARNING: May Contain Child Labour

  • Coffee - $85 million imported from Guatemala (2009-2013)
  • Sugar - $512 million annual imports from countries including El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala (2013)
  • Clothing - $10 billion worth imported, from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Vietnam (2013)
  • Footwear - 2368% spike in imports from Cambodia. (2009-2013)
  • Tomatoes - 771% increase in imports from Guatemala. (2009-2013)
  • Shrimp - Nearly 50% is imported from Thailand and Vietnam (2009-2013)
  • Electronics - Imports of mobile phones/handsets more than doubled (2009-2013)

POLL RESULTS

  • 82% admitted they simply don't know if what they are buying is contributing to the exploitation of children in other countries
  • 87% agree they could reduce child labour in other countries by changing their buying behavior
  • 60% would stop buying a product and would switch brands if they found out that it was made by children
  • 89% believe that Canadian companies could reduce child labour by investigating their supply sources

QUOTES

"Whether we're shopping for strawberries in March or for the cheapest and hottest jeans, it's tragic how few of us realize how much stuff we buy that is made by children working in horrific conditions. But it's also not surprising since we have so little information from Canadian companies about their supply chains," says Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision's No Child for Sale campaign.

"Canadians do care – the majority of us are willing to change our shopping behavior if we have the right information to make the right choices," says Hotchkiss.

HOW CANADIANS CAN HELP

  • It's time for supply chain transparency – Canadians can ask companies to provide more information about how their products are made and what efforts they are taking to monitor, address, and prevent child labour
  • Canadians can speak out about child labour on social media and sign World Vision's No Child for Sale Petition

RESOURCES

Photos from Cheryl Hotckiss' recent trip to Guatemala http://bit.ly/1wAhEh8
Child labour photos  http://bit.ly/1jUqsai
Child labour in Guatemala photos http://bit.ly/1wAhEh8

The Ipsos Reid survey was conducted between March 4 and 9, 2015 on behalf of World Vision Canada. The results are based on a sample of n=1,007 Canadian adults in the general population and are accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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 worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

Image with caption: "Due to poverty, children under the age of 13 in Guatemala are forced to work 8 to 10 hours in coffee and vegetable farming every day and are unable to attend school. Much of what they produce is exported to other countries like Canada. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150316_C5220_PHOTO_EN_13288.jpg

Image with caption: "Due to poverty, children under the age of 13 in Guatemala are forced to work 8 to 10 hours in coffee and vegetable farming every day and are unable to attend school. Much of what they produce is exported to other countries like Canada. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150316_C5220_PHOTO_EN_13289.jpg

Image with caption: "Due to poverty, children under the age of 13 in Guatemala are forced to work 8 to 10 hours in coffee and vegetable farming every day and are unable to attend school. Much of what they produce is exported to other countries like Canada. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150316_C5220_PHOTO_EN_13290.jpg

For further information: TO BOOK AN INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL HOTCHKISS PLEASE CONTACT: Britt Hamilton, cell: 416-419-1321, Britt_Hamilton@worldvision.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.worldvision.ca

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