The Centre for Child Rights and Business has officially opened an office in Sri Lanka. The office is currently run by a team of three, all of whom have a strong background in child rights and business. A fourth team member will join the office in late March.
One of the key functions of the Sri Lanka office will be developing and implementing an initiative to promote mother and child-friendly tea plantations in collaboration with Save the Children. This initiative will build on the work Save the Children Sri Lanka has undertaken to date in the tea sector to protect children living in tea estates from harm and exploitation.
The initiative will entail working closely with businesses in the tea supply chain to identify and mitigate risks to children and mothers. With an estimated 10% of Sri Lanka’s population working in the tea sector, this initiative will create an exciting and important opportunity for businesses to strengthen conscious investment in tea communities, and through it bringing direct benefits to mothers and children. The initiative will take the shape of an activity-based certification scheme, and will entail close collaboration with key stakeholders and measuring the impact on women and children.
“As we recognise that significant change and impact in the lives of children and women can only come through sustained, coordinated efforts from all the key stakeholders, we have been working closely with Save the Children in engaging children’s clubs, Tea Planters Association, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Plantation Human Development Trust, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and other development agencies on developing the mother and child friendly activity-based initiative and are looking forward to launching it in June 2022,” said Ahila Thillainathan, Sri Lanka Country Director.
While the opening of the Sri Lanka office marks the beginning of a formal presence, The Centre is no stranger to working in Sri Lanka. In 2020, The Centre conducted a child rights risk assessment for Save the Children in Sri Lanka’s tea supply chain to identify potential entry points for influencing sustainable progress and improvement in the lives of children. This was followed by the development of a white paper with practical recommendations for addressing the risks identified in the assessment and creating systems that protect and support children. The Centre also carried out a child rights risk assessment for Save the Children for the textile and apparel sector and the assessment findings was shared back with the key stakeholders, including the Joint Apparel Association Forum, Export Development Board and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs.
Looking ahead, in addition to rolling out the mother and child-friendly plantations initiative, The Centre will also provide its signature services to businesses wishing to promote and enhance child rights in their Sri Lankan supply chains, including child labour prevention, risk assessments, training for workers and production units, and family-friendly workplaces. To learn more about The Centre’s full suite of services, please click here.
“We are very excited to have a formal presence in Sri Lanka now, as our experience in Sri Lanka has shown that many within the private sector are highly motivated and sincere about driving child rights in their respected businesses and we are excited to support and drive those efforts,” said Ines Kaempfer, CEO of The Centre for Child Rights and Business.
To learn more about our work in Sri Lanka, please visit our Sri Lanka country page.
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