100 Million Germany youth activists join coalition to demand a supply chain act from Chancellor Angela Merkel in the global fight against child labour.

 

Image above: "Supply Chain Act Now!" A broad alliance of German youth organisations deliver their open letter to Chancellor Merkel on the occasion of International Youth Day. Photo by Giovanni Passig.

 

On International Youth Day, a coalition of youth activists from faith-based, political and trade union organisations as well as national and international student associations are calling upon the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an open letter to advocate for a supply chain legislation at both German and EU levels. This action follows the successful campaigning led by 100 Million Germany in 2019, which saw youth activists march to the Bundestag and hold a Rally for Every Child to demand this legislation as part of the fight against child labour.

In trade and production, German companies repeatedly violate fundamental human rights throughout the global value and supply chain networks. These violations include child labour, exploitation, discrimination and a lack of labour rights. As well as the direct harm being done to children forced to work in these supply chains, the lack of legislation also means harmful practices are being imposed on the environment - such as illegal logging, pesticide use, water and air pollution - all of which are already having disastrous impacts on children.

German youth organisations have joined forces to demand an end to this denial of rights. They are campaigning for supply chain legislation that aims to protect human rights and the environment throughout the global supply chain. The recently published outcomes of the monitoring survey on the implementation of Germany's National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights show that only a few companies voluntarily accept responsibility for their supply chains - making legislation critical.

To this end, the coalition of youth organisations are calling for a binding legal framework to be agreed as soon as possible, in which the duty of care of companies is legally anchored. They are also suggesting the already adopted German Supply Chain key points as a basis for a regulation to be applied across the European Union, which, if realised, could have a massive impact in ending child labour.