TORONTO, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, in the heart of Toronto's shopping district, World Vision brought scenes of child labour to Canadian consumers and released the findings of a new Ipsos Reid poll. The research confirmed that a majority of Canadians feel responsible for protecting children from exploitative child labour—one of the "hidden costs" in the products we buy. The poll, commissioned by the development agency, also revealed:
- 80% of Canadians say children are exploited due to Western demand for the cheapest products which pushes companies to hire cheap labour.
- 77% of Canadians want to make an effort to ensure they know how and where things they purchase are made.
- 75% feel individual Canadians, through their buying and consumer habits, are responsible for taking action to protect children from exploitative labour.
- 83% feel that Canadian companies and corporations are responsible for taking action to protect children from exploitative child labour.
- The average Canadian is willing to pay about 23% more for products free of child labour
At the corner of Bloor and Yonge Streets, World Vision set up giant 3D canvas paintings – one of a mine site, the other of a cocoa plantation. Passersby were invited to step into these child labour scenes and experience the dirty, dangerous and degrading work that millions of children worldwide do to make products that are sold in Canadian stores.
"Canadians know it is wrong when children are forced to do work that is detrimental to their health and well-being. Unfortunately there is still too much mystery behind product labels. We need to know more about the products we buy, not just where they're made, but who makes them. Consumers will only get answers if we start asking questions," says Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision's No Child For Sale campaign.
"There is a critical role for Canadian companies to play—and in the wake of the Bangladesh factory collapse last year, they are becoming attuned to their role and consumer concerns," says Reena Vohra, policy advisor for World Vision's No Child For Sale campaign.
As part of its No Child for Sale awareness campaign, World Vision is urging consumers to ask companies:
1) Who makes your products?
2) How does your company know your products are not the result of child labour?
3) Does your company follow a code of conduct (or policy) to stop exploitative practices?
4) If so, how do you ensure the code/policy is implemented by your offices, employees and suppliers?
5) How do you deal with violations against the code/policy?
World Vision Canada 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.
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SOURCE: World Vision Canada