World Vision and C&A Foundation partner to combat child labour in the Mexican fashion industry
World Vision Mexico and C&A Foundation have teamed up on an initiative for the prevention and eradication of child labour in the fashion industry in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Begun in October 2019, this two-year initiative will be implemented in six communities in the Tehuacán region.
“Tehuacán is an area with a high rate of violence, and other situations where the human rights of children, adolescents and adults are being violated have also been identified, such as human trafficking and child labour. In the case of Tehuacán, the textile industry has a significant presence there, especially in the production of jeans. We've been privy to information that child labour is prevalent among providers in the textile industries”, said Oscar Castillo, Director of World Vision Mexico’s Campos de Esperanza (Fields of Hope) project.
The project includes a comprehensive approach that consists of trainings on conducting detection sessions; on keeping boys, girls, and adolescents in school; on public awareness campaigns at the community level; and on alliances with representatives of this private initiative, as well as on how to adapt World Vision's methodologies, which are based on programs such as Empoderando Familias (Empowering Families), which seeks to expand the sources of income within family units in order to prevent minors entering the workforce.
It should be noted that some of the representatives of this private initiative belong to the National Chamber of the Clothing Industry (CANAIVE) and to the State of Puebla Chamber of Commerce, but there are also members of civil society.
“Community leaders are essential for promoting community participation in these initiatives. That’s why we always reach consensus with them to figure out what the best way of tackling this problem is, according to its context and to their experience, interests and expectations”, added Ismael Solis, World Vision Mexico’sRegional Manager in the states of Puebla, Oaxaca and Veracruz.
In this initiative, World Vision Mexico will also be working hand-in-hand with representatives from the State of Puebla Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (STPS), the National System for Integral Family Development (DIF), the Office of the State Attorney General for the Protection of Boys, Girls, and Adolescents (PRODENNA), and the National Comprehensive Child Protection System (SIPINNA; all acronyms in Spanish) to revise the regulations and protocols on researching child labour in the region and to create better strategies for protecting children’s rights in the state of Puebla and beyond. “We foresee having a direct effect on 500 children through our intervention in this project and having indirect effects for 2,000 more; but from our previous experiences, we’ve noted that you can reach more communities by entering into alliances with other schools and with the senior leadership of nearby municipalities. That's why we’ve also entered into discussions with certain representatives from the local authorities”, Mr. Solis added.
Founded in 1950, World Vision is an organization focused on working with people from vulnerable groups to pursue social justice and promote their human transformation. The organization is focused on defending children's rights. It is present in approximately 100 countries and has been operating in Mexico since 1982, with field offices in eight states.
Through their community development efforts and their close collaboration with the various decision-makers, World Vision Mexico and C&A Foundation are striving to prevent child labour in the fashion industry by setting the precedents by which everyone involved in this industry can thrive.
For more information about World Vision Mexico, please visit their website.