Candriam has joined 60 of its financial-institution peers in their stance taken against child labour by endorsing the recent GES (Global Engagement Services) report: "Combatting child labour – Investor expectations and corporate good practice".
This document is aimed at companies in the cocoa sector. It is not the first time that this sector has come under fire for its use of forced child labour. More than 2 million children are currently exploited by this industry under appalling conditions, especially in West Africa.
Following numerous contacts and meetings with companies in the cocoa sector, GES has highlighted, in its report, investors’ expectations of cocoa-producing companies, irrespective of size. These companies must henceforth demonstrate greater transparency in their employment policy, progress in their anti-child-labour efforts across the whole cocoa supply and production chain and undertake to pay farmers a fair wage.
The report, in other words, aims at better regulating the sector and highlights steps that are being, and that will be, taken by stakeholders (e.g., governments, signatories to the report and cocoa-sponsoring companies) to improve current working conditions.
Lending its support to such an initiative gives Candriam yet another opportunity to project its values and demonstrate its support for the protection of human rights.