Corporate Approaches to Child Labour: a Northern European Perspective

The purpose of this thesis is to examine what approaches large food retailers have to child labour. The study examines companies in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Germany.In order to analyze the findings, a framework for comparing codes of conduct and a matrix for measuring effectiveness developed by Kolk and van Tulder (2002a) are used, as well as the model for comparing the companies’ approach to ethical issues by Leeson (2000). Empirical data are collected through self-completion questionnaires and e-mail interviews. Additional second-hand data comes from the corporate websites as well as from other organisations.The main findings show that the companies repeatedly referred to Business Social Compliance International (BSCI), International Labour Organization (ILO) and/or United Nations (UN). There are large differences between how much information on ethical issues companies present on their corporate websites, and how thorough the codes of conduct are. The approaches to child labour vary between companies, not between countries as much as between differently sized companies and companies with different price segments.


1 Introduction
1.1 The Purpose of the Thesis
2 Theoretical Section
2.1 Child Labour, a Business Matter?
2.2 Corporate Responsibility as a Strategy
2.2.1 The ”Three-I” Model
2.3 Codes of Conduct
2.3.1 Comparing Codes of Conduct
2.4 Consequences of Actions
2.5 The Effectiveness of Corporate Approaches to Child Labour
2.6 Developing a Model for Discussion
2.7 Summary
3 Methodology
3.1 The Respondents
3.2 The Gathering of Primary Data
3.2.1 Self-completion Questionnaires
3.2.2 Answering Open Questions
3.2.3 The Interview Questions
3.3 Secondary Data
3.4 Operationalization
3.5 The Role of Sedex
3.6 Ethical Concerns
4 Empirical Data
4.1 Minimum Ages
4.2 Alternative Measures in the Code of Conduct
4.3 Monitoring
4.4 Actions
4.5 Preventing Child Labour
4.6 Other Organisations
4.7 Summary
5 Analysis and discussion
5.1 Minimum Ages
5.2 Alternative Measures in the Code of Conduct
5.3 Monitoring
5.4 Actions
5.5 Differences within the Sampl
6 Conclusion
6.1 Suggested Further Research
7 References

Author: Fredborg, Isabelle

Source: Uppsala University Library

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Corporate Approaches to Child Labour: a Northern European Perspective