Family-Friendly Spaces program expands to cover 18 factories in China

Over the past two years, the ICTI Ethical Toy Program has continued to support domestic migrant factory workers with left-behind children in China.

A core element of this work includes Family Friendly Spaces (FFS) which reunite domestic migrant workers with their left-behind children during the summer school holiday months. FFS create safe, secure and well-equipped spaces at factories for children to learn and play while their parents work. 

We are delighted to announce that this summer we are operating more FFS than ever before at 18 factories which will accommodate 691 children, allowing 788 parents to be reunited with their children for the summer.

We are particularly pleased to see that many factories who have participated in previous years are seeing the many benefits and participating again this year. Of those factories which are repeating FFS again this year, 11 out of 18 are funding the program themselves. This is a testament to the value factories see of the program and its sustainable nature. 

Thanks to the generous support of LEGO, TUV Rheinland and Target, 7 new factories are able to participate in the program this summer. 

Workers and their children benefit greatly from being able to spend the summer together and benefits are also felt by participating factories and companies who are funding the program.

Supporting our left-behind children program is an effective way to demonstrate your  company’s commitment to promoting worker well-being in the toy supply chain. By directly sponsoring the implementation of Family-Friendly Spaces or Migrant Parent Training programs at your supplier factories, your company will be playing a leading role in creating family-friendly supply chains and enhancing worker well-being. Funding these projects is also an effective way of integrating child rights into your corporate social responsibility strategy and meeting other commitments such as those related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Although Family-Friendly Spaces for summer 2018 are now fully funded, companies can participate in 2019 and in autumn we will be starting this year's migrant parents training programs. These are workshops to help workers build relationships with their left-behind children.

Migrant Parent Training (MPT) complements Family-Friendly Spaces by providing training and support to help migrant workers overcome the stress and challenges associated with being separated from their children. The half-day MPT courses strengthen remote parenting skills and improve workers awareness of the importance of personal well-being. Participating workers find the course very beneficial and as well as building better relationships with their children we see increased commitment to stay working at the factory and increased levels of trust in management. 

Opportunities are available for factories to participate in this year's MPT or for toy brands and retailers to fund the program in their supply chains, if you’re interested in getting involved please contact Mark Robertson to find out more.