Millions of children around the world lack access to proper education, and many are forced to work long hours under hazardous conditions. The sad fact is that, still today, children are too easily exploited and abused. In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic only worsened the situation for this vulnerable group. While some look to governments and regulators to solve these issues, businesses can have a huge impact, too. They interact with children every day, as family members of workers, employees and consumers, and as members of communities that are affected by operations and supply chains.
Beckers condemns all forms of child and forced labor. We are not aware of any incidents of child or forced labor in our operations. To monitor the social and environmental sustainability of all our suppliers we use a three-step process and ask our key suppliers to conduct EcoVadis assessments which cover labor and human rights issues. In 2020, our EcoVadis-assessed raw material suppliers covered 82% of our total raw material purchase value. Driving sustainability through our supply chain
Should any incidents arise, we will take appropriate measures to eradicate all forms of child and forced labor. At Beckers, we have run a number of charity projects to help children and their families. Beckers employeesvolunteered forprograms in which the wanted to invest time and money to support local initiatives in their countries. One such initiative is the Glassbone Center in Vietnam Another is Star for Life in South Africa, which motivates learners to invest in their schooling and overall well-being. Now we want to take a more systematic approach, because we‘ve realized that there is much more to it than just supporting charities and we realized we have more impact on children’s lives than just via our supply chain.In 2020 we started to engage in these issues on a much deeper level. We joined a project initiated by our owner Lindéngruppen and the Global Child Forum. We also took the first strategic steps to putting children’s rights on our agenda. We broadened our understanding of how our business impacts children, raised awareness for the topic among our top management, and prioritized the steps needed to engage with children as stakeholders.
How to implement a children’s rights perspective: A workbook for business
Together with the Global Child Forum and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Beckers’ parent company Lindéngruppen pledged to develop a workbook to guide businesses on how to implement a children’s rights perspective. The workbook was developed in 2019 and launched in October 2020. It is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help companies understand how their business impacts the lives of children. At Beckers Group we were among the first companies to start working with it and to give feedback on it.
About the Workbook
The workbook provides a practical step-by-step guide for companies on how to incorporate children’s rights into existing business processes using available human rights guidance.
What we did
There are numerous ways in which Beckers as a company has an impact on children well beyond our current main focus on child labor in the value chain. We have defined the most important issues and are now developing a roadmap setting out how we will move forward and prioritize our next steps.
Global Child Forum is a non-profit foundation initiated by the Swedish royal family in 2009 that fights for a sustainable world in which children‘s rights enjoy universal respect. It is an independent platform for informed dialogue on children‘s rights and brings businesses and regional and global stakeholders together to foster progress in this field. Our owner Lindéngruppen is a partner to Global Child Forum and a member of its advisory board. Beckers Group is a member of the GCF Business Sounding Board.
“This work has made us realize at a much deeper level where our impacts on children are and has contributed significantly to our journey towards addressing children´s rights. It helped us to understand our overall interactions with and impact on children in the workplace, marketplace, community and environment.”