The primary goal of the ICTI CARE Process is to improve working conditions for the millions of workers employed by the worldwide children’s products factories. As such, we have undertaken some wide-ranging initiatives to directly inform factory workers about their rights and responsibilities under China law and how to exercise them.
ICTI CARE Process Worker Helpline
A confidential Helpline service for factory workers was created as part of an ICTI CARE Process Worker Education Training Project (2010) co-funded via a public-private partnership with Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (an arm of Germany’s development program) and ICTI CARE Process Asia Ltd. (ICFAL). "CARE Cards", which inform workers of their rights, and provide contact numbers for labor departments and the toll-free Helpline service, in past years, "CARE Cards" were produced and distributed to nearly one million workers working in the ICP registered factories. (Click to view the CARE Card)
The purpose of the Helpline is to provide information that will help workers employed in the ICP registered factories effectively manage their work related issues and personal lives. The Helpline operates seven days a week, except the Chinese New Year Holiday, and is run by a professional China-based NGO. An average of 130 calls per month is received during the busy season (June-September).
Workers can contact the Helpline at 4008-169580 (old number was: 800-6300 321) from 11:00 - 21:00 daily to obtain:
- Information about appropriate OT wages, labor contracts, dismissal and resignation, social health insurance, pension plans or paid maternity leave, to be sure they are receiving correct pay and benefits under Chinese law
- Personal support with relationships, homesickness, hygiene and health issues, or even severe depression.
The Helpline also serves as a confidential grievance mechanism, when needed.
- Urgent cases pertaining to factory personnel or labor practices typically include withheld wages, personal safety, work stoppage or strikes. When a serious grievance, violation or compliance issue is reported, the NGO will immediately refer the case to ICFAL technical staff, who will immediately conduct an on-site visit and work with factory management to mitigate the conflict or develop a remediation plan.
Factory managers report that the Helpline’s simplified procedure provides a useful communication bridge and effective worker-management labor dispute mechanism as it allows managers to assess real-time situations and uncover potential abuses, hazards or other issues that they may have been unaware of but need to address urgently. Buyers also welcome this alternative communication channel because it allows workers to convey their personal and work related concerns in between formal factory audits.
Worker Education Train-the-trainer Program
A pilot worker education train-the-trainer program was developed and executed by ICFAL and GIZ. It is intended to improve factory workers’ access to information about health, safety and labor standards and worker-manager communications. In-factory training has been completed in the pilot-test factories and will be revised and rolled out to other factories in the future.
To watch the Worker Education and Training Program videos, please click here.