Illovo Sugar Africa - Guidelines for the Prevention of Child Labour and Forced Labour

Guidelines for the Prevention of Child Labour and Forced Labour

    1. As a significant employer of labour in the countries in which it operates, Illovo Sugar Proprietary Limited (“Illovo”) and its subsidiaries (“Illovo Group”) is committed to the effective abolition of all forms of Forced Labour, Child Labour and human trafficking, in accordance with the principles of the International Labour Organisation (“ILO”) conventions, the United Nations Global Compact and the UK Modern Day Slavery Act of 2015. This commitment is enshrined in the Illovo Group Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, by which all Illovo group companies are bound.
    2. Illovo recognises that Child Labour and Forced Labour remain significant problems in many parts of the world and that government capacity to address these may be limited, especially in less developed countries. However, despite the difficult nature of the problem, Illovo is committed to playing a positive role in helping to eliminate exploitative labour practices, by working cooperatively with others, including suppliers, industry organisations, non-governmental organisations and governmental bodies, to address abuses that may exist in our global supply chains.
    3. To give effect to this commitment, these guidelines must be implemented by all companies in the Illovo Group. In addition, in terms of the Illovo Group Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, all its suppliers, contractors, service providers, representatives and other persons contracting with it (“Suppliers”), are required to comply with these guidelines. Accordingly all Suppliers must be contractually bound to adhere to the Illovo Group Code of Conduct and Business Ethics as a requirement for an on-going business relationship with the Illovo Group, and must be encouraged to require their own suppliers to adhere to these principles as well.
    4. These Guidelines may be amended from time to time as circumstances require, in order to ensure that they remain effective and relevant in each of the countries in which the Illovo Group operates.
    1. For the purposes of these guidelines:
    2. “Child” – means a person younger than 15 years of age, unless local law stipulates an older age for work or mandatory schooling, in which case the older age will apply;
    3. “Child Labour” - means any work involving a child that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; or prevents him or her from attending school, or concentrating at school; or negatively impacts on the health, social, cultural, psychological, moral, religious and related dimensions of the child’s upbringing;
    4. “Forced Labour” – means forced labour as defined in the ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No 29) and Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No 105) as well as in Principle 4 of the United Nations Global Compact, and includes work or service exacted from a person under threat or penalty, or where the person has not offered him or herself voluntarily, slavery and abduction, misuse of public and prison works, forced recruitment, debt bondage, workers under forced labour situations, internal or international human trafficking, slavery, or practices defined as slavery and human trafficking in section 54 of the UK Modern Day Slavery Act of 2015.
    1. The use of Forced Labour and Child Labour in any of the Illovo Group operations is strictly prohibited. Illovo also will not tolerate the use of Forced Labour or Child Labour by any of its Suppliers.
    2. No Illovo Group business may engage, or contract the services of:-
      1. any person in circumstances which would constitute Forced Labour, as defined in these guidelines; or
      2. any person under the age of eighteen (18) years in its factories or agricultural operations; or
      3. any person under the age of 16 years, for secretarial, clerical or office work.
    3. No Illovo Group business may contract with, or use the services of, any supplier, contractor, service provider or representative who employs or engages, or otherwise directly or indirectly utilises the services of:-
      1. any person in circumstances which would constitute Forced Labour, as defined in these guidelines; or
      2. any person under the age of 18 years, in any work which is likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of young persons, including:-
        1. handling or applying agricultural chemicals, veterinary drugs, pesticides or insecticides in any agricultural undertaking, or handling plants or soil immediately after the application of agricultural chemicals or during or after any period specified on chemicals’ container labels; or
        2. curing or processing agricultural products where there is exposure to temperatures or working at heights hazardous to safety, health and well-being of persons; or
        3. any activity involving dangerous machinery, equipment or tools; or
        4. disposal, processing, or any work in connection with hazardous waste or garbage; and
    4. in respect of any other work, any person who falls within the definition of a “Child” in terms of these guidelines.
    1. Illovo recognises the distinction drawn by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) between “child labour” and “child work” and is aware that the social and economic circumstances in some countries are such that the economic unit is the family as a whole and that circumstances dictate that everyone in the household makes some contribution to the economic activity.
    2. Accordingly, not all work done by children is classified as Child Labour. Children may carry out work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, and which may have a positive impact on their development is acceptable. Activities such as helping their parents around the home, assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays contribute to a child’s development and to the welfare of their families, provide them with skills and experience, and help to prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult life.
    3. Therefore, in relation to family and smallholder farms which supply sugar cane to the Illovo Group operations, it is acknowledged that a Child may carry out light work (ie, work that does not threaten their health and safety, or hinder education or vocational orientation and training ) on those farms provided that there is compliance with the ILO conditions relating to Child Work, ie, that the Child does not handle hazardous tools, chemicals, or perform physically dangerous tasks, and that such work does not interfere with their education or physical, emotional or psychological well-being.
    4. In these circumstances, the management of the Illovo business should implement measures to educate the farmers (eg, through presentations at grower associations) on the requirements of the ILO, including that work performed by a Child must not:-
      1. deprive him/or of the ability to acquire a formal education and to enjoy other recognised rights as a child, and in any event must not exceed four (4) hours per day; or
      2. be detrimental to the Child’s health or physical development.
    1. The Regional Director/ Managing Director/ General Manager in charge of each Illovo Group business must appoint members of the management of each business who will be responsible for, and will report to the Illovo Executive on, the monitoring and training of Suppliers in relation to the abolition of Forced Labour and Child Labour, including the following:-
    2. Training
      • Provide training and/or training materials to Suppliers (including grower organisations and associations, for the education of growers supplying sugar cane to the Illovo factories) on the provisions of Illovo’s Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, as well as the relevant provisions of the United Nations Global Compact and ILO Conventions and Guidelines which deal with the abolition of Forced Labour and Child Labour;
    3. Identification and Controls
      1. Use birth certificates, national identity documents, or other reasonably acceptable documents such as hospital or clinic cards, religious and baptismal certificates, or school documents, to verify the age of a prospective employee or Supplier. Alternatively, in the absence of any such documents, a sworn affidavit may be relied upon wherever necessary and applicable. However, the lack of a birth certificate or national identification document may not be used as an excuse for employing or engaging under-aged persons (including seasonal workers);
      2. Ensure that its human resources administration systems are sufficiently robust to ensure compliance with the provisions of clause 5.2.1;
      3. Require all Suppliers to maintain documentation to verify the age of their employees;
      4. Implement procedures to assess the risk of Forced Labour and Child Labour in the supply chain and formulate a strategy to address its root causes, focusing specifically on vulnerable groups such as the children of migrant workers, girls, orphans and child trafficking;
    4. Liaison / Engagement
      1. Formalise a working relationship with government and local authority officials in the area in which the Illovo Group business operates who are responsible for the monitoring of Forced Labour and Child Labour, in order to understand the nature of the problem in the area and to find collaborative ways to monitor and abolish Forced Labour and Child Labour in the Illovo supply chain (including growers supplying sugar cane to the Illovo factories);
      2. Engage with non-governmental organisations and other community organisations in the areas in which the Illovo Group operates to assess levels of need for community/stakeholder awareness programs on Forced Labour and Child Labour, and work in collaboration with those organisations to introduce programs as may be required for this purpose;
    5. Monitoring
      1. Arrange for regular impromptu self-audits and Supplier-audits to monitor compliance with these guidelines;
      2. Implement a mechanism to receive reports and/or complaints regarding the use of Forced Labour or Child Labour within the Illovo Group and/or its supply chain;
      3. Report on actions undertaken and progress made with the implementation of these guidelines;
      4. Maintain an audit procedure to check compliance with these guidelines.
    1. Illovo’s Enterprise Risk Management process includes monitoring and identifying risks affecting our people including potential Child Labour and Forced Labour issues. Risk improvement plans form part of the process to mitigate this potential risk and progress is tracked by the Illovo Group risk management committees.
    2. All contracts with Suppliers must contain:-
      1. an undertaking by the Supplier that its business operations are, and will continue to be, conducted in accordance with the principles set out in the Illovo Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, a copy of which is available on the Illovo website at; and
      2. provision for corrective action and/or termination of the contract for a breach of the Illovo Code of Conduct and Business Ethic (including for use of Forced Labour or Child Labour), depending on the gravity of the breach.
    3. If employees of the Illovo Group who are responsible for contracting with Suppliers and/or for monitoring the supply chain for compliance with the Illovo Group Code of Conduct and Business Ethics (including monitoring of Forced Labour and Child Labour) fail to fulfil their duties, they may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
    4. In order to monitor compliance by its Suppliers with these guidelines, Illovo reserves the right to audit a Supplier’s operations, or otherwise to verify such compliance. Where a review or audit demonstrates shortcomings, or if Illovo becomes aware of any act or omission in breach of these guidelines, Illovo reserves the right either to request that corrective actions be taken, or to terminate its agreement with the Supplier concerned.
    1. Illovo supports governmental and local authority efforts in education, health, and rural development, through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
    2. The CSR initiatives of each Illovo Group business should therefore include the following:-
      1. targeting the drivers of Forced Labour and Child Labour in the communities in which they operate;
      2. supporting education and other initiatives for the livelihoods and development of women; and
      3. promoting the development of children by encouraging skill formation.
    3. Where cases of Child Labour are encountered in the Illovo supply chain, Illovo management should seek to resolve the problem in the best interests of the child or children involved, including initiating or participating in a program to enrol them into education and assisting the child’s family to access any available alternative means of income generation.
    1. Non-compliance with these guidelines may be reported through local grower forums, other Illovo stakeholder engagement structures in place from time to time, alternatively directly to the Illovo Group Managing Director or Company Secretary, or via the group’s independent tip-off reporting processes managed by Deloitte Tip-Offs Anonymous at 0800 455 686: email- or Freepost KZN 138, Umhlanga Rocks 4320.