Impacts of Family-Friendly Factories program and how they’re supporting workers through the COVID-19 pandemic

Promoting worker well-being lies at the heart of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program (IETP). Supporting factories to deliver improvements that not only benefit factory workers – but also deliver positive business outcomes – is central to our mission to build better lives for workers and stronger industry through ethical production.

Our worker well-being programs have become an integral part of our operations. We have made great progress in creating Family Friendly Factories, developing and implementing tailor-made programs in direct response to the identified needs of workers and management.

Family Friendly Factories Program

The five core elements of our Family Friendly Factories include our Worker Helpline, Family-Friendly Spaces (FFS), Migrant Parent Training (MPT), After-School Centers (ASC) & Women’s Empowerment initiatives. We have already achieved so much with these projects, benefitting the lives of thousands of workers and their children. To date, over 6,000 workers have received Migrant Parent Training, over 3,000 children have attended Family-Friendly Spaces and After-School Centers.

2020 was a difficult year for everyone, everywhere and our worker well-being programs proved more vital than ever before. We continued to support workers and their children and adapted our programs to the changing circumstances. Due to COVID-19, many left-behind children could not travel to be reunited with their parents during the summertime so fewer FFS were opened in 2020 but the need to support parents maintain relationships with their children was greater than ever. We responded to this by delivering more Migrant Parent Training and making it accessible online, so that working parents are empowered with skills to provide effective support for their children and strengthen their parent-child bond at distance.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 we were delighted to have 10 FFS open in 2020, this year these mostly benefitted workers who have their children live all year round but had no or insufficient childcare available to them. 

This year, more than ever, has proven that our programs are sustainable, vital and reactive to worker’s needs.  2021 will undoubtably provide further challenges to everyone, all over the world. Already this year, it has been reported that there will be a huge decline in numbers of workers traveling home for the Chinese New Year due to ongoing contagion fears. It is therefore crucial that we continue to provide these essential programs, notably Migrant Parent Training, and continue to build Family Friendly Factories in supply chains across the globe.

The impacts we have achieved to date have been made possible by collaborating effectively and through the financial support of program sponsors, our buyer members, and of course, the participating factories. If you would like to be part of this collaborative effort, or to learn more about our plans for 2021 and beyond, please do get in touch at info@ethicaltoyprogram.org.

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