BSCI supports the United Nation's Universal Children's Day which is celebrated on 20 November each year in order to improve children's welfare all over the world. An estimated 215 million children work worldwide. More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour. BSCI and its participating companies consider the elimination of child labour a high priority in their supply chain.
Human rights achieved a significant accomplishment yesterday after the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, “Protect, Respect and Remedy”, was endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. This new set of global guiding principles for businesses is designed to help companies avoid human rights breaches in their operations and to rectify situations when offenses occur.
BSCI has joined UK-based NGO Anti-Slavery International in an effort to help put an end to child labour in Uzbek cotton fields. Uzbekistan is the 3rd biggest exporter of cotton in the world. During the cotton harvest season in Uzbekistan, many rural schools are closed down by government officials, and children are brought to the fields to harvest cotton by hand in order to fill the shortfall of voluntary adult labour. Uzbekistan is one of the countries benefiting from reduced trading tariffs for its cotton imports to the EU.