Dear Mr. Kamprad,
Subject: Use of child labor force in our supplier factories
I am writing this note to bring to your kind attention that we have been alerted recently by a German TV documentary maker that one of our suppliers named RANGAN Exports in India is using child labor in the manufacture of rugs sold by IKEA. The producer has invited IKEA to send someone to represent IKEA1 to take part in a live discussion during the broadcast of the show. At this point I am not sure how and what the report contains and how damaging will it be to IKEA’s reputation.
I have studied the situation and my recommendation is as under:
We have to send a knowledgeable representative to participate and defend IKEA’s ethics policy and the steps IKEA has taken in the past and is doing continually to be a socially responsible company. The supplier in question has actually contractually committed to comply with IKEA’s policy of not using child labor.
As you are aware, IKEA has initiated serious steps to prevent child labor in its supplier factories and just last year, I and my managers traveled to India, Nepal and Pakistan to find out the facts and educate our suppliers. In addition IKEA has contacted ILO, Swedish Save the Children, and UNICEF to seek guidance about the issue of child labor in South Asia. 1
By participating in the show, IKEA will have an opportunity to show that IKEA cares for social ethics and that IKEA will take all steps necessary to eliminate child labor in the manufacture of its products.
IKEA can inform the actions that it already has taken in the child labor issues and the actions it will take against RANGAN Exports who has violated the contractual commitment it had made to IKEA that it will not be using child labor. IKEA should immediately stop buying the rugs from the supplier until he starts complying with IKEA’s policy of not using child labor and follow IKEA’s code of ethics
The proactive approach will help IKEA to minimize the impact to...