The Centre is working with a supplier of a large international brand in the Philippines to transform it into a leading family-friendly factory. This initiative began in 2021 when The Centre was commissioned to carry out a child rights risk and impact assessment at the factory to identify key child rights gaps and risks. The assessment focused on areas including access to education, healthcare, family-friendly policies and initiatives related to children e.g. maternity protection, breastfeeding support, and employer-supported childcare.
The Centre identified maternity protection as a key priority, particularly the need to build knowledge of maternity-friendly positions for pregnant workers, maternity leave, and maternity benefit claims. Breastfeeding support was another key area that was lacking, with lactating mothers forced to dump their breastmilk down the toilet due to a lack of storage facilities.
Similar to China, many of the workers had to leave their children behind with grandparents or other caregivers because they had no way of looking after them during work. Added to this, parents also struggled to give their children access to education, particularly during Covid-related remote learning when parents were required to play a greater role in overseeing their children’s learning.
Following the risk assessment, The Centre developed a comprehensive family-friendly policy for the factory, which is currently under review, and has begun training factory management and its suppliers on addressing child rights gaps. The Centre is also supporting the supplier to make direct changes based on the assessment results, such as setting up a breastfeeding facility.
Rather than treating the supplier as a singular entity, this family-friendly workplace initiative acknowledges the reality of an interlinked, complex supply chain involving a network of subcontractors.
The Centre is therefore also conducting awareness raising training for the direct supplier’s subcontractors – four subcontractors have taken part in awareness-raising activities so far this year and the next step will be to conduct an awareness raising workshop for the direct supplier’s service providers.
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