7 Ways Fair Trade Enterprises Are Ensuring the Rights of Children

Posted: Mon. Sep 21, 2020

“Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms.”- Fair Trade Federation Principle 7

Learn how seven FTF members are uniquely realizing this principle below!

Join the movement and wear the change you want to see in the world. Every time you purchase from FTF member Fazl, you are helping to provide orphaned and impoverished children in India with food, shelter, education, and clothing. They are committed to supporting orphanages in India that care for vulnerable children, and they dedicate 50% of their net profits to this cause. Fazl grew out of a deep love for these homes and the sacred work they do. What’s more, they give fair wages to artisans who hand make every Fazl item, providing dignified work opportunities for women in need. Bonus: their products are fabulous! What’s not to love?

Ganesh Himal Trading encourages all of its producer partners to keep their children in school and has worked diligently over the years to make this happen. Since the late 1980s, they have contributed to the “Girl Child Education Fund” of the Association for Craft  Producers (ACP). In 2012, Ganesh Himal Trading introduced the Power of 5 campaign to raise additional funds for this program, bringing in over $35,000 between 2012-2014. Also, in 2014, they established the Conscious Connections Foundation (CCF) to further support fundraising efforts to combat child labor through access to education. To date, CCF has raised over $125,000 for a Power of 5 endowment that will ensure access to K-10th grade for over 180 children of producer partners every year, for generations to come.  Additionally, CCF has expanded its education efforts to secondary schooling to ensure older children are not involved in child labor and have every opportunity to fulfill their dreams.  

Nica Life deeply believes in education as a tool for personal & societal improvement and reinvests their profits into educational programs where they work. They believe that to truly break the cycle of poverty, children must have access to education and that education leads to self-governing societies, cultivating leaders and problem-solvers, and allowing people to seek better opportunities. An example of this work, Nica Life is investing in the UPNicaragua Fellowship, whose mission is to support a young generation of Nicaraguan girls by providing them with professional and personal skills necessary to weave safer futures and live meaningful adult lives. The fellows are 13-18 years old and are chosen for their curiosity and leadership potential, their spark for learning, and their demonstration of the desire to help others. Nica Life is proud to partner with such an inspiring organization to advance the rights of children!

Supporting over 900 children ages 5 to 18 in underprivileged communities in northern India, Rover & Kin works with their craft partners to operate eight educational centers to give children in these communities the support they need to thrive. Programs include after school tutoring to help children with homework, distribution of school supplies (such as backpacks, notebooks, and more), educational resources (like textbooks, scholarships, and graduation courses), and sponsorship programs. These centers ensure that children in vulnerable communities receive the extra support they need.

Global Gifts believes it’s never too early to educate children about fair trade and the realities of children around the world who don’t have the same opportunities. They carry a selection of educational books geared toward children on topics like fair trade, climate change, feminism, global culture, and other social justice topics. As a fair trade store, ensuring the rights and protections of children is also an integral part of Global Gifts’ model. They source all of their products from verified fair trade vendors who make certain that no child labor is involved, and many of their artisan partners provide additional support to their employees to help with education, schooling, or childcare. 

Lucia’s World Emporium values providing safe and healthy environments for artisan partners and their families over everything else. Lucia’s owner Teresa founded the business to help small villages in Guatemala gain economic stability so that their children could have a better future. One of Lucia’s first artisan partners was Maria, who since starting her relationship with the company has gained complete economic independence for herself and her children; she even named her daughter Teresita after the owner! Lucia’s World Emporium puts their commitment to children in Guatemala into practice today more than ever, as a portion of their profits now goes to providing food to families in the area affected by COVID-19. Every Lucia’s purchase contributes to bettering a child’s life by bringing economic prosperity and safety to their towns. 

As a fair trade school fundraising social enterprise, FairTrade Caravans is passionate about the way fundraising is done and how products are purchased. They connect children and families in the U.S. to children and families abroad by teaching students, parents, and teachers about the Ensuring the Rights of Children fair trade principle among others. They have found this connection to be a powerful way to support schools in the U.S. as well as artisans and farmers globally through the sale of fair trade products. Those buying from FairTrade Caravans’ school fundraising program can know that their purchase helps to ensure children across the world are not forced to work and that they and their families are supported. 

To learn more about how fair trade enterprises ensure the rights of children, explore the 250+ FTF member enterprises.

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