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Making Toys without Joy

SACOM's latest report says that the hardship of the toy factory workers is a consequence of squeezing the unit prices in the global supply chain.

URGENT ACTION: Mattel needs to act!

It is time for Mattel to assume responsibility.
The family of the deceased Mattel worker Nianzhen Hu are still waiting for a fair compensation and Mattel must change its purchasing practices to safeguard the workers' physic and mental conditions.

Urgent Appeal: Suicide at Mattel supplier

Due to work related stress and repeated humiliation, a 45 year old female worker jumped out of a window on the sixth floor at Tai Qiang Factory, a Mattel supplier in China.

Petition hand-over to ICTI

ICTI receives almost 13.000 signatures demanding better conditions for workers in toy factories

ICTI needs to act!

The International Council of Toy Industries ICTI has been approached by a coalition of NGOs campaigning for fair working conditions in toy production, including the partners of "Stop Toying Around!".

New report on two Chinese toy factories:

The recent report called "Exploitations of Toy Factory Workers at the Bottom of the Global Supply Chain" reveals that violations of human and workers rights remain even in certified toy factories in China.

Codes of Conduct of the Toy Industry

Under pressure from consumers, campaigns and media big toy companies have developed codes of conduct during the last 10 years, which are supposed to include their suppliers.

ICTI, the International Council of Toy Industries has developed a common code of conduct for the toy industry with the ultimate aim to replace other existing codes. Such a common code would be very helpful for the supplying factories which produce for different toy brands and thus should respect many different codes. But ICTI’s Code is weak: It disregards Chinese labour law regarding the max. working hours per week, and brand-name firms arrange to get exceptions from the Chinese government to this law.

 The ICTI CARE Process strives to ensure “safe and humane workplace environments for toy factory workers worldwide” ( Toy factories that follow the required minimum standards receive the ICTI certificate.

The process works on two different levels: First on the level of brand-name companies, and secondly on the level of supplying factories. 

The aim of the “Date Certain Process” is that from a specific date on, brand-name toy companies will only contract factories which participate in the ICTI CARE Process. These factories must either already hold the seal of compliance from ICTI or be in the process of certification. Currently, 674 brand-name companies are registered in the Date Certain Process. However, there is no official monitoring whether registered companies really contract accredited firms only. In the meantime, toy companies can enhance their good reputation by showing the “Seal of Commitment”.

The other part of ICTI’s CARE Process work is focused on the suppliers. Extensive programmes are underway to audit factories which produce toys for transnational toy companies. More than 800 factories have the seal of compliance and 2100 are registered in the ICTI CARE Process. However, as a 2009 report shows, 135 so-called Quality Check Audits, which implemented unannounced re-checks of certified and registered factories due to suspicious facts, revealed that ALL but 3 former audited factories had deceived auditors (Aktion fair spielt: A long run up, yet only a short leap forward). This shows that an ICTI certificate does not mean much. Many factory owners and managers train and pay their workers to reply “correctly” to auditors, have two book-keeping systems, and falsify pay stubs and work contracts.

Other problems within the ICTI process:

1)      Lack of transparency: The audits and monitoring are conducted by external audit-companies that are selected by ICTI, but results are not publicly available.

2)      Way of awarding contracts: How can Chinese factories live up to the certification criteria when the big companies continue to impose unrealistic timelines and unsustainable prices for their orders?