Launch of the Ethical Toy Program Family-Friendly Spaces 2019
Our 2019 Family-Friendly Spaces program officially launches on the 8th of July.
Ethical Toy Program first piloted Family-Friendly Spaces (FFS) at 2 toy factories in China in 2016, since then, we have continued to expand the program, and this year our program is bigger than ever!
We are opening 31 spaces which will welcome over 1,200 children for the summer. This will mean over 1,500 parent workers will get to spend time with their children during the summer months.
In China, many children live separately from their parents who have migrated domestically to work in cities away from their home towns. This separation impacts millions of domestic migrant factory workers who live apart from their children and may only see them once or twice a year.
Our FFS reunite these domestic migrant workers with their left-behind children by creating safe, secure and well-equipped spaces at factories for children to learn and play while their parents work. Staff at FFS are trained to run fun and educational activities for children during the day and allow parent workers to spend time with their children.
As well as delivering compelling business benefits to participating factories, the children and workers who participate get to spend time together which would usually be spent apart.
"We started with a pilot at 2 factories in 2016 with the hope of having a small impact on a complex problem, what we've been able to accomplish in the past 3 years has been remarkable. FFS bring profound benefits to workers and their children, strengthening child-parent bonds and transforming how factory workers positively engage with their workplace. The program stands as evidence of the link between worker well-being and business performance, with factories reporting multiple business benefits. We congratulate this year’s factories participating in the FFS program, and look forward to further scaling the program in future years” said Mark Robertson, Senior Vice President, Ethical Toy Program.
Delivery of the FFS program is led by the Ethical Toy Program team, with the support of our implementation partner the Centre for Child-Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR).
Over the course of the summer we will be sharing updates from across the 31 spaces on our blog and on Twitter, LinkedIn and WeChat, you can follow along with the hashtag #familyspaces. Updates from these programs will also be shared via CCR CSR’s family-friendly spaces tracker.
We are able to open so many spaces this year thanks to the generous support of our program sponsors which this year include Target, LEGO and TUV Rheinland, along with the support of our Ethical Toy Program’s Buyer Members.
Once the summer spaces wrap up, we will be launching our 2019 Migrant Parents Training (MPT) workshops which help workers build relationships with their left-behind children and strengthen remote parenting skills. MPT complements FFS by providing training and support to help migrant workers overcome the stress and challenges associated with being separated from their children.
The FFS and MPT programs are key parts of Ethical Toy Program’s broader focus on implementing the child rights and business principles (CRPBs).This year we launched a global partnership with Save the Children’s Centre for Child Rights and Business in Stockholm. The partnership aims to extend well-being programs to support migrant parent workers, as well as promoting other opportunities and best practices to support child rights across the toy industry.
Later this month we will share details from the program at a high-level UNICEF event in New York: “Family-Friendly Policies: A Deep Dive on Business Action.”
Contact us if you would like to learn more about how your brand of factory can participate in the FFS program.