The cost of ensuring that
child labour isn’t used in the supply chains of international companies is
equivalent to 5 per cent of the profits, claims a report into corporate ethics.
“Ignorance and indifference are no
longer options for companies faced with human rights abuses further down the
supply chain because not sticking their heads above the parapet and take action
often invites more critical attention,” said Dr Diana Winstanley, senior lecturer
in human resource management at Imperial college and co-author of the report.
The report urges companies to work
in partnership with other employers to combat child labour in the supply chain.
“Either they can disengage by
casting off their overseas supplier, or they can become actively involved in
tackling child labour in their supply chains, even if this means settling for a
pragmatic compromise rather than a ‘zero tolerance’ strategy,” she said.