By 2025, VF Corporation has committed to protecting children's rights and eliminate child labor throughout its global apparel supply chain. The company, which owns Vans, The North Face, and Timberland, is also developing a new platform to invest in new, future-focused opportunities.
The Child Rights Action Pledge comes as the United Nations (UN) has designated 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.
Despite a 38 percent decline in child labor over the previous decade, 152 million youngsters are still working, according to the International Labour Organization.
VF pledges to include UNICEF's Children's Rights and Business Principles, the United Nations Global Compact, and Save the Children into its pledge. The Principles are designed to maximize beneficial contributions while minimizing negative consequences for youngsters.
In addition, VF will continue to strengthen its child rights efforts through increased due diligence in VF's upstream supply chain; establishing a Child Rights Policy, which includes processes for preventing, mitigating, and resolving child labor. For parents and caregivers, a more thorough evaluation and assessment of supply chain buying patterns, pay, and working conditions is needed to better identify possible risks; to understand potential contributions to child labor risks, enhanced review and assessment of supply chain purchasing practices, wages and working conditions for parents and care-givers; and improved NGO collaborations aimed at assisting children, expanding education, and tackling the core causes of child labor.
VF senior director global impact and government affairs, Julie Sutton, said their new promise encapsulates all of VF's critical work to date and further underlines their desire to be a leading industry advocate for children's rights.
Meanwhile, VF has introduced Venture Platforms, the latest addition to the company's comprehensive brand portfolio strategy. The new pillar joins the company's current Core Brands (VF’s large, global brands, including Timberland, Vans, and The North Face) and Emerging Brands (the remaining 10 brands in the company’s portfolio).
VF’s chairman, president and CEO, Steve Rendle, said to ensure VF's long-term success, they must obtain better and earlier insights into disruptive business models and capabilities inside their sector, allowing them to incubate and invest in innovative, cutting-edge, consumer-driven concepts.
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