According to The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, nearly 1 in 10 children are subjected to child labour worldwide, and almost half of them are in hazardous work that is detrimental to their health and development. In the least developed countries, the situation is worse, more than one in four children are subjected to child labour.
The main reason for child labour is poverty, when the families have financial challenges because the caregiver falls ill, loses their job or the money isn´t enough for the basic needs. It compromises the physical, mental, social, or educational development of children and it can lead to bigger consequences like slavery and sexual or economic exploitation.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the percentage of children and adolescents in child labour decreased from 10.8% in 2008 to 7,3% in 2016, says the International Labour Organization, ILO, in its technical note in 2020. However, there are still around 10.5 million children and adolescents in child labour, an alarming number that could be higher after the pandemic.
As a society, we must be aware of our direct and indirect responsibility for child labour. The companies are committed to verifying the working conditions of all those who intervene in our business chain, and as consumers, we must choose the products of companies that are responsible and contribute to the community.
Buen Vato is against child labor, all illegal practices, and unfavorable conditions for workers. We vowed to only work with producers who share our values, ensuring their working conditions of the required modern humanitarian standards. We have invested over 1700 hours, over four years, helping Buen Vatos´ distillery in Mexico (Destilería La Santa Rosa) understand the code of conduct and still meet with them every week to ensure standards are being maintained.
Improvements include contracts for all workers and a labour union plan, onsite doctor visits, contractual human rights policies, and ongoing guidance on ethical business practices. “We’re very proud of the CSR projects we’re involved in within Mexico, which improve the lives of the employees and their families,” explains Mayra Zapata, Buen Vato co-founder, and CSR manager.
International Labour Organization, ILO. “Impact on the labour market and income in Latin America and the Caribbean”, 2020.
The United Nations Children´s Fund, Unicef. Child labour. [Online]. Available: https://www.unicef.org/protection/child-labour#:~:text=Roughly%20160%20million%20children%20were,their%20health%20and%20moral%20development.