Child labor is one of the biggest problems of our time: the United Nations estimates that between 168 million children around the world are forced to work – making a care-free childhood and a school education impossible.
For the past eight years, Bayer has worked effectively to implement a comprehensive multilevel Child Care Program (CCP) an initiative that has transformed the way seed supply chain is organized -making it sustainable and complaint with its policy of saying no to child labor. CCP has been rolled out in five states - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu where the company has contract cotton seed production. It aims at getting children off the fields of contract farmers and in to the school.
Bayer's Child Care Program has been set up with robust management systems that formulated specific actions, step-by-step, for identifying and monitoring child labor at cottonseed farms. Awareness-rising is at the heart of its proposal.
A series of program-enabling elements such as a sophisticated monitoring program, an incentive & sanction scheme, Target 400, a training programs for the enhancement of farmers' productivity, safe use and handling of crop protection products, became a part of the model. A strict guideline based on the company policy of 'zero tolerance for child labor' has been implemented and Bayer started working only with those farmers who confirm by contract not to employ children on their fields.