Alarming figures on the worldwide development of child labor

On the occasion of the Day against Child Labor on June 12, 2021, the ILO and UNICEF publish the first joint study on child labor. Accordingly, between 2016 and 2020, worldwide child labor increased by 8.4 million to 160 million child laborers. These numbers are so alarming because the trend in the decline in child labor of the previous years has reversed. This means that the great goal of the United Nations – the elimination of all child labor by 2025 – has moved a long way off!

This is sobering and sad news!

In view of the ongoing global corona pandemic, which is particularly afflicting the countries of the global south, it is even to be expected that child labor will continue to increase. ILO / UNICEF estimate that the pandemic could force a further 9 million children into child labor. One simulation model even speaks of 46 million possible new child workers if insufficient measures are taken to counteract them.

These are sober numbers we are juggling with here. But: Every single child worker has a terrible fate of poverty, coercion and need that makes these children, who, like all children, would have deserved a carefree childhood, into child laborers. And every additional child laborer ensures that global poverty persists, if not increases again.

XertifiX has already achieved a lot in the fight against child labor in the Indian natural stone sector in recent years. But the expected setbacks due to the ongoing corona pandemic will probably also be felt in the natural stone sector. XertifiX auditors will therefore pay more attention to what it looks like in the area around the quarries and processors, and whether the workers’ children can also attend school. One can only hope that the gloomy forecasts will not come true – and that we can all build on earlier successes in the fight against child labor!

See at ILO.org: Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward

Report “Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward”

See at ILO.de: Weltweite Kinderarbeit steigt auf 160 Millionen

2021-06-12T09:25:22+02:00June 12th, 2021|

ILO / UNICEF conference On the day against child labor

On the occasion of the Day against Child Labor (June 12th), the International Labor Organization (ILO / ILO) is organizing a virtual conference together with UNICEF on June 10th, 2021 at 2.30 p.m. (CET). Everyone is invited to take part; no registration is necessary!

The first part of the event will focus on a discussion of ILO-UNICEF’s newly published global estimates and trends on child labor. Participants in the panel include Guy Ryder (General Director, ILO), Henrietta Fore (Executive Director, UNICEF), and Qu Dongyu (General Director, FAO).

This is followed by an interactive discussion between high-level speakers and youth representatives on the path to 2025, highlighting efforts to implement the International Year’s “Promises of Action 2021”.

The event ends with the announcement of the winners of the music against child labor competition by the prominent jury.

 

Link to follow the event online on June 10th, 2021 at 2.30 p.m. (CET): To the live event
The arrangement will be translated into English, French and Spanish.

2021-06-10T17:16:28+02:00June 10th, 2021|

Oxfam study: Covid exacerbates poverty and inequality worldwide

In a study, Oxfam described the catastrophic effects of the corona pandemic with the consequences of growing inequality and poverty, or in the words of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres:

The COVID-19 pandemic has played an important  role in highlighting growing inequalities. It exposed the myth that everyone is in the same boat. While we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts, while others are clinging to the drifting  debris.“

This can already be seen in the first few months in the growing gap between rich and poor. However – according to Oxfam – this would not have to be accepted, but the governments could respond appropriately with the right measures, among other things…

  • … governments must recognize the value of care and welfare systems and invest in free quality public services and social protection to support everyone, from cradle to grave
  • … governments … must protect and empower all workers by mandating dignified working conditions and fair wages for all, and living wages for all workers, along with ensuring the right to collective organization and unionization of workers, so that employers and large shareholders can be held accountable
  • … closing down tax havens, ending wasteful tax competition and ensuring fair levels of taxation on the most profitable multinational corporations and the wealthiest individuals offers an obvious solution, as recently recommended by the IMF

Please refer:

2021-02-15T08:49:21+01:00January 28th, 2021|

BaWü: Parliament decides to ban child labor tombstones

Today, Wednesday, January 27th, 2021, the state parliament in Baden-Württemberg decided that the municipalities may ban tombstones from child labor. It is now stipulated in the amendment law that this is to be proven by “proven certificates”. This includes XertifiX and other certificates that is “awarded authenticity on generally accessible and recognized platforms after evaluation of the certification process and publication of the results obtained”. The plus seal from XertifiX receives the top grade on such a platform from the federal government (best seal of all natural stone seals).

Please refer: 2021-01-27 BaWü Änderung_Bestattgesetz_Entwurf (German)

 

2021-02-15T08:50:01+01:00January 27th, 2021|

Supply chain law: This has to be there!

While little is made public, the federal ministries are currently wrestling violently over the content of a supply chain law. Economics Minister Altmaier and other opponents of strong regulation are doing everything they can to water down the supply chain law. This concerns the question of the size of companies from which the law should affect, whether civil liability should be abolished and the law should be made toothless, or whether environmental issues should be excluded from the law. For a supply chain law to work, it would have to meet certain minimum requirements.

This is presented by the Supply Chain Act initiative: That must be included in the supply chain law!

2020-08-27T10:05:40+02:00August 27th, 2020|

Write a protest mail to Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier now!

No more blocking human rights and environmental protection: in the last few weeks we have come much closer to a supply chain law. Federal Ministers Heil and Müller have announced that they will present a law. The Chancellor has meanwhile also spoken out in favor of a supply chain law – as has more and more German companies. Only one continues to try to block: Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier.

Numerous examples show that people and the environment all over the world suffer from the unscrupulous dealings of German companies. And after years of research, one thing is clear: only a few German companies make voluntary efforts to protect human rights and environmental protection. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Economic Affairs warns against a “quick shot” – one thing is clear: It is high time to act!

Participate now and write a protest mail to Altmaier!

The coalition agreement – and incidentally also a CDU party congress resolution! – says clearly: If companies do not voluntarily adhere to human rights, a supply chain law must come. We therefore demand from Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier: finally take human rights and the protection of the environment seriously! No more delaying and watering down!
The Corona crisis has shown: Companies that know their supply chains and rely on reliable partnerships are more crisis-proof. A supply chain law that enshrines human rights and environmental due diligence obligations in law would be a boost to sustainability for the German economy. Now is the time to ensure respect for human rights and the protection of the environment in global supply chains. This opportunity must not be wasted on the stubbornness of the Minister of Economics!

Please join in now and urge the minister: Don’t stand in the way of a supply chain law any longer!

2020-08-27T09:56:18+02:00August 6th, 2020|

Letter to Federal Minister Müller on the Supply Chain Act

In view of the resistance from the economy to the planned supply chain law, the XertifiX chairman Ingrid Sehrbrock and the treasurer Peter Weiß wrote a letter to Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller wrote, in which they support the minister against all opposition to pass the supply chain law agreed in the coalition agreement during this legislative period.

We keep hearing legitimate doubts from our licensees as to how companies that comply with their due diligence and, for example, have their supply chains checked by XertifiX, should compete against other companies that do nothing of the kind. There is an imbalance in the market economy that needs to be remedied. A supply chain law is a very suitable instrument for this! It is not for nothing that large companies such as the Rewe Group, Tchibo or Nestlé stand behind such a law. We expect that given the importance of the new law for the entire German economy, the German Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmeier will also give up his resistance and proactively support the law.

2020-09-01T14:29:15+02:00July 16th, 2020|

German economy is opposed to the Supply Chain Act

Today, Tuesday (July 14th, 2020), Federal Minister Müller has published the percentage of German companies that fulfill their duty of care with regard to supply chains. The minister had already indicated that this would probably be less than 50% of the companies required. The survey of companies has shown, however, that only 22% of the companies based in Germany meet the relatively low requirements of the survey (NAP monitoring). In this case, a statutory regulation is provided for in the coalition agreement.

Unfortunately, the economy is struggling to meet its obligations and is trying to prevent such a law. Four associations (BDI, BDA, DIHK, and HDE) have published a statement saying: “We are rejecting the … idea of introducing a national German due diligence law”.

That’s a scandal!

Johannes Heeg, spokesman for the Supply Chain Act, comments on this:

„This result is stunning twice: First, the business lobby does everything to ensure that the requirements for the survey are as low as possible – and then the companies obviously fail because of it. This is the only way to protect human rights and the environment. The federal government must now keep its promise from the coalition agreement and without further delay put in place a supply chain law!“

Please refer (Finanzen.net, German): Deutsche Wirtschaft stemmt sich gegen Lieferkettengesetz 

Please refer (German): Massive Einflussnahme von Wirtschaftslobby auf Menschenrechts-Test der Bundesregierung – Unternehmen offenbar dennoch durchgefallen

Please refer to the paper: VERWÄSSERN – VERZÖGERN – VERHINDERN: WIRTSCHAFTSLOBBY GEGEN MENSCHENRECHTE UND UMWELTSTANDARDS

2020-09-01T14:52:21+02:00July 14th, 2020|

Bishops demand that companies comply with human rights

In a unique appeal, more than 110 bishops from all over the world accuse: irresponsible companies “… avoid taxes that could serve to build up and maintain public services of general interest as hospitals or schools; they pollute the soil, water and air or make themselves guilty of serious human rights violations around the world, such as forced labor and child labor. Some transnational corporations are threatening governments with lawsuits with extrajudicial dispute settlement mechanisms if environmental or social laws jeopardize their profits. This profit-driven system and the associated disposable mentality must be questioned more than ever today. ” A voluntary commitment does not seem to be enough to respect environmental protection and human rights. We have experienced this to an increasing extent in recent decades.

For this reason – according to the bishops – it is time for legal regulations. A French law on due diligence is a positive example. Such a law is also being debated in Germany and other countries. The bishops are therefore calling on governments to finally take action and enact specific laws to protect the environment and human rights.

We are convinced that such laws can bring tangible improvements for people if they do
provide access to effective remedies for those concerned!”

Call of the bishops (German): Sorgfaltspflichten für globale Lieferketten – Gegen Menschenrechtsverstöße durch Unternehmen und für weltweite Solidarität!

2020-07-15T10:55:41+02:00July 9th, 2020|

Gravestones in NRW: Circular decree for the implementation of the funeral law

The state government has issued a new circular, which stipulates, among other things, that all tombstones imported from India, China, Vietnam or the Philippines after January 1, 2020 require a certificate from XertifiX or another accredited certification body. All tombstones that were introduced into the federal territory before January 1, 2020 are not certified and can be erected without a seal. In this case, however, proof of the time of import must be available.

Siehe: Runderlass

2020-07-15T08:50:48+02:00March 24th, 2020|

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