According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are around 168 million child labourers in the world. That’s more than the combined population of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Australia, and South Korea––a mind-boggling number. Nearly half of these children work in hazardous conditions, doing work that adults find too dangerous or dirty. Many of them do not attend school, have little time to play, and do not receive proper food or care. Many types of child labour are hidden and therefore difficult to track, so the actual number of child labourers could be even higher the ILO estimate.
Some people argue that child labour is a necessary evil. “It's bad if children work”, they say “but it's even worse if children have no work and therefore nothing to eat”. Comic Sexy does not find this a persuasive argument. It's the same as saying: “It’s bad if people steal, but it’s even worse if they don’t steal and have nothing to eat”. Condoning child labour is not the solution, and is just as bad as condoning crime. Governments should do their utmost to ensure that all children have proper schooling and care, and are under no circumstances forced to work or steal.
We don’t work in countries with a high risk of child labour. In 2012, risk analyst firm Maplecroft rated 76 countries as posing an "extreme risk" of child labour, and almost all countries in South America, Africa and Asia were rated as having either an "extreme risk" or "high risk" (South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Oman were the exceptions). Comic Sexy does not wish to operate in any of these countries. Our dresses are tailored in Poland, which is a European Union member and therefore subject to strict EU labour regulations.
We don’t work with suppliers that use or are suspected of using child labour. In our contracts, we prohibit our suppliers to use child labour as defined by the ILO minimum age of 15. No person or system can, however, provide a 100% guarantee that a product is free of child labour. We do guarantee, however, that if we find breaches to our child labour requirements, we take immediate action to terminate our contract with the supplier. That may sound like a small step, but we’ve got to start somewhere.