The 14 organisations from Austria, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Germany, and Hong Kong have urged ICTI CARE's Co-Chair of the Governance Board, Alan Hassenfeld in a letter to improve certification procedures of Chinese toy factories.
The ICTI CARE Process, which is supposed to improve working conditions in toy factories in China, needs to be improved urgently. More transparency, more efficiency and more credibility are necessary to achieve this.
The organisations welcome ICTI's attempts to develop a code of conduct for the whole toy industry, but realise that there are still many shortcomings, which continue to threaten workers' health and deny them a life in dignity.
The problems were brought to light repeatedly by Hong Kong based coalition partner SACOM, who has investigated many Chinese toy factories. REcent research in two factries has shown that in spite of the factories’ ICTI certification, basic workers and human rights are being violated in a number of areas.
The signees of the letter demand ICTI CARE Foundation to:
1) Integrate the whole supply chain into the ICTI CARE Process. All suppliers should also register and start the ICTI CARE Process. Non-adherence must be judged as a serious violation of the rules of the ICTI CARE Process and sanctioned accordingly.
2) Involve the workforce
a) by providing comprehensive information to the workers about their legal rights and those granted by the ICTI Code. This must be done in an appropriate and accessible form for the groups concerned.
b) by installing a two-track complaint system in factories and in the framework of the ICTI CARE Process.
c) by delivering labour rights training. The training should be provided in a form appropriate to the groups concerned and should involve local non-governmental organizations in a meaningful and substantial way.
d) by providing effective remedies to affected workers in cases of substantiated violations of the code.
3) Ensure independent supervision of the ICTI CARE Process by including more individuals from outside the toy industry, namely trade union and NGO representatives, and by giving them adequate rights in the supervisory body. The mid-term goal must be to transform ICTI CARE Foundation into a multi-stakeholder initiative.
4) Increase the quality of factory audits by carrying out unannounced spot-checks in addition to Quality Check audits.
5) Increase the transparency about brand name companies participating in the ICTI CARE Process and the Date Certain program. Information about their supply chains and the implementation of their self-commitments should be systematically monitored, disclosed, and be accessible at any time. Non-adherence to display this information should be sanctioned accordingly.
6) Improve the consistency of the ICTI CARE Process with the wording of the ICTI Code and ensure that the code refers to all core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as well as to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular to the right freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
Read the letter here.
More about ICTI here.
Read the report from SACOM here.