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PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES

Putting people first

Breakfast Club of Canada
Today’s breakfast feeds the bright minds of tomorrow
One in five children across Canada is at risk of starting the school day with an empty stomach. The risk is even higher among aboriginal and immigrant populations.

We believe children are the most important people in the world and should start the day well nourished, with a mind full of curiosity to play and learn.

For each breakfast sold throughout the month of November, IKEA Canada will contribute $1 to Breakfast Club of Canada to support children’s nourishment and development.

Learn more about our partnership
Learn more about the Breakfast Club of Canada
We're supporting refugees.
The Rassoul family was one of the households to receive support through this program. The family arrived in Canada in December 2015 after fleeing their home and spending four years in a refugee camp in Lebanon. After enjoying an IKEA breakfast at IKEA Etobicoke, the Rassouls spent three hours with IKEA co-workers to select a new sofa bed, coffee and side tables, three beds and mattresses for the kids and a dresser, filing cabinet, shoe rack and living room rug to make their new house feel more like a home. Before leaving the store the family met with Store Manager Ivana Colatosti, who welcomed them to Canada and presented them with a take-home bag of small items and treats for the children to enjoy.
Helping refugees settle in Canada
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSES | SUPPLIERS | HUMAN RIGHTS
IKEA FOUNDATION
Improving opportunities for children
No matter what the circumstances, every child deserves a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education and a sustainable family income. The IKEA Foundation has a long history of supporting programmes run by well-regarded organizations – like UNICEF and the Clinton Foundation – to help children and youth living in the world’s poorest communities so they can create a better future for themselves and their families. The IKEA Foundation donates tens of millions of dollars to charity each year through funds set aside from IKEA profits. To date, our funded programs have benefitted an estimated 100 million children.
Learn more about the IKEA Foundation
Two children at a refugee camp
IWitness Global Citizens Program
IKEA's IWitness Global Citizens Program offers a life changing opportunity for two Canadian co-workers to witness first-hand the impact of UNICEF and Save the Children projects funded by the IKEA Foundation through our annual Soft Toys for Education campaign. We were proud to have Natasa Njegovan of IKEA Burlington and Viola May Mah of IKEA Edmonton represent IKEA Canada as ambassadors for the IWitness Program in 2013, visiting educational programs in Malawi.
Read Natasa's blog postRead Viola's blog post
3 ways the IKEA foundation helps children
WAYS THE IKEA FOUNDATION HELPS CHILDREN
A young girl in school
Empowering women and girls
By empowering women – through education, skills training, improved healthcare or through providing a loan to set up a small business – we can improve children’s health, education and future opportunities. IKEA Foundation is funding programmes to empower and educate women, giving them a better chance to provide for themselves and their families.

Learn more
Young children that are not in school are the most vulnerable
Preventing child labour
IKEA has worked with Save the Children and UNICEF for over a decade. We have donated €60 million since 2000 to fight the root causes of child labour in India and Pakistan. Together we will reach 16 million children by 2017.

Learn more
A young boy at a refugee camp
A better life for refugee children
Every year, millions of children lose almost everything during natural disasters and social conflicts. IKEA Foundation is supporting the UN Refugee Agency with €73 million to provide shelter, care and education to refugee families in Ethiopia, Sudan and Bangladesh.

Learn more
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSES | SUPPLIERS | HUMAN RIGHTS
GOOD CAUSE CAMPAIGNS
Join the play movement!
Play is a universal language that unites us all, no matter where you come from. When people play together they connect, learn, grow and have fun.
We know play is an essential component of children’s wellbeing and development. Play is learning for life. So it makes sense that we want to help find ways to play more!
We understand that play isn’t something you can just talk about. You have to experience it. We also know that a lack of safe places to play is a big inhibitor of play worldwide. That’s why during the IKEA Let’s Play for Change campaign, we’re turning IKEA stores worldwide into giant play zones and inviting everyone to come and play with us.
Read the IKEA Play Report 2017
Let’s Play for Change campaign graphics – cubes with childish patterns in different colours.
Play is a basic need
Many people are not aware that play is a basic need, and that every child has a right to it under the UN conventions on the Rights of the Child. The IKEA Foundation has partnered with some of the most prominent NGOs on this topic: Handicap International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and War Child. The partner programs funded by the campaign will focus on creating safe spaces for vulnerable children to play and develop.
To learn more visit IKEAfoundation.org
Kids playing cricket on a dirt ground in the sunset.
“Every child has the right to play. Stimulation through play is a critical part of a young child’s brain development and emotional wellbeing,”
“Sadly, there are too many places around the world where devastating circumstances prevent children from simply being ‘kids’. Through the Let’s Play for Change campaign, we want to alleviate challenges to play and development in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, while helping build a global movement around play.”
Per Heggenes, CEO at IKEA Foundation.
Three girls having fun skipping rope in the sunshine.
SAGOSKATT – it all goes to charity
SAGOSKATT is finally here! A limited-edition collection of cuddly soft toys drawn and designed by kids as part of the annual IKEA soft toy drawing competition. The soft toys are not only cute and adorable, they serve a much greater purpose. As part of our Let’s Play For Change campaign, IKEA is donating the entire turnover of SAGOSKATT globally to support children’s rights to play and develop. It really is a case of kids designing for kids.
Join the fourth annual IKEA Soft toy drawing competition between November 6 - 24, 2017. Your child might be the lucky winner!
Learn more about the Soft toy drawing competitionSee the cuddly SAGOSKATT soft toys
”The ten winning drawings are a lovely mixture of imaginary animals. Simply wonderful personal combinations of colours, shapes and expressions that spark my own imagination.”
Bodil Fritjofsson, Product developer at Children’s IKEA, IKEA of Sweden
10 cute cuddly SAGOSKATT soft toys in the foreground, the winners from the previous soft toy drawing competition 2016, standing on a green textile floor with a blue background.
This year’s collection includes a claw-less hippopotamus crocodile, a dachshund with a horn and rainbow-coloured wings, a happy-faced rainbow cloud, a lion named “Tiger”, and six other wildly creative cuddly toys.
Bodil Fritjofsson
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The IWitness Global Citizens programme
This programme gives IKEA co-workers a chance to see first-hand how the money raised through IKEA good cause campaigns contributes to a better life for children in the world’s poorest communities. Co-workers visit various projects run by IKEA Foundation partners, and share their experiences on IKEA Foundations’ Global Citizens blog. Read blog posts from IKEA Canada’s 2016 IWitness participants from their trip to South Africa with UNICEF:
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSES | SUPPLIERS | HUMAN RIGHTS
SUPPLIERS
Building good relationships
We want everyone to feel good about the products we sell, which is why we put a lot of work into our supplier relationships – and those relationships that reach beyond ours. There are about 600,000 people working for companies that directly supply IKEA around the world, and we want to be sure they are all treated fairly.
That’s why in 2000 we launched IWAY, our supplier code of conduct. Our suppliers are responsible for communicating IWAY to their sub-suppliers and we are supporting them to do this. All home furnishing suppliers must comply with IWAY requirements, otherwise they are phased out.
An IWAY inspector at an IKEA supplier factory
We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following IWAY, and conduct around 1,000 audits each year.
What is the IWAY Standard?
Our supplier code of conduct, the IWAY Standard, plays an important role in positive developments. It specifies our minimum requirements relating to the environment, social impact and working conditions.
We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following the IWAY Standard. Around 80 IKEA auditors, as well as independent third party auditors make both announced and unannounced checks at suppliers and their sub-suppliers.
IWAY Standards are clearly posted on a supplier factory wall
The IWAY Standard requirements include:
- No child labour.
- No forced or bonded labour.
- No discrimination.
- Freedom of association.
- At least minimum wages and overtime compensation.
- A safe and healthy work environment, preventing pollution to air, ground and water and work to reduce energy consumption.

Download the IWAY Standard PDF
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs are in the business of making everyday life better in their communities. They use business as a way to tackle social and environmental challenges such as reforestation, reducing poverty and empowering women. That’s why we are proud to create long-term partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world.
Working closely with our partners we learn from each other, share our business experiences and ideas about design. Our close cooperation allows us to do things like adapt production to the farming seasons so that rural artisans who make the collections can balance their craftwork with family and community responsibilities.
Collaborating with social entrepreneurs gives us inspiration and access to skilled artisans who work with traditional handicrafts. The products we co-create are all made by hand in limited numbers and sold in selected IKEA stores with all profits going back into the initiative.
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Artisans from the social enterprises Rangsutra, Doi Tung Development Project and Industree PT
Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator
Handmade with a social mission
The ÅTERSTÄLLA collection is the first of its kind at IKEA Canada. The handmade limited edition collection was co-created with Toronto-based social entrepreneurs, Setsuné Indigeneous Fashion Incubator, an organization that fosters the artistic creation and exhibition of new works by Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles, and crafts. The collection, made entirely from salvaged IKEA textiles upcycled into beautiful, unique pieces, was available exclusively in-store at IKEA Etobicoke location while quantities last.

In Swedish, ÅTERSTÄLLA means to restore, heal, or redecorate, speaking to the “upcycling” approach - turning something that would otherwise be waste into something of higher value. Working with salvaged IKEA textiles reflects the traditional Indigenous philosophy to “use everything” and applies it to contemporary living.
Learn more about our partnership
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSES | SUPPLIERS | HUMAN RIGHTS
HUMAN RIGHTS
Everyone deserves a better everyday life
Our vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people” includes our co-workers, customers, suppliers and the communities where they live. Respect for human rights, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is part of everything we do and is included in our supplier code of conduct, called the IWAY Standard. Download the IWAY Standard PDF
At IKEA, we believe in people
We do our best to stand for equal opportunities and support human rights. Every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age. Find out more in Working at the IKEA Group
It’s not just what goes into our products that’s important – it’s the people behind the scenes, too.
Respect for human rights is part of everything IKEA does and is included in the IKEA supplier code of conduct
Supporting the ethical recruitment of migrant workers
There are over 200 million international migrants across the world, with over 100 million of them working. Some leave home and succeed in finding better work and improving their quality of life. But for others, the promise of a better future can result in large debts from recruitment fees and – in the worst cases – bonded labour. At IKEA we set clear standards for the recruitment and employment of workers through IWAY, our code of conduct. Under no circumstances do we tolerate forced labour or human trafficking. We also expect our suppliers to treat migrant workers fairly and to offer transparent employment terms and good working and living conditions.
Supporting the ethical recruitment of migrant workers
Working together to drive change
In some countries recruitment practices are complex and involve many different organizations, so it’s important also to work with others. IKEA has joined forces with four other companies – HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever – to drive positive change in the way that migrant workers are recruited. The Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment will advocate for the ‘Employer Pays Principle’, which calls for all recruitment fees to be paid by the employer, not the worker.
To support our suppliers in dealing with the challenges of responsible recruitment, we are also partnering directly with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In South East Asia we have already worked together to successfully map the recruitment process from suppliers back to the workers’ home countries. We will use the findings to further support the ethical recruitment of migrant workers and to work towards creating lasting change.
Learn more about the International Organization for Migration
An Indian girl in school
We believe in protecting children
We do everything we can to act in the best interests of children, whether it’s how we design products or steps we have taken to eliminate child labour.
Our commitment to children runs deep
When it comes to our products and stores, we try to think from a child’s perspective. We want our products to aid their development and for our stores to become play areas, just as if they were at home. We work with experts on children’s development, to learn and understand their needs during different stages of development.
A clear ban on child labour
We believe that children have the right to be protected from exploitation, abuse and neglect. This is why child labour is unacceptable to IKEA and why we work actively to prevent and eliminate it. Our child labour code of conduct, introduced in 2000, was developed in close co-operation with Save the Children and with advice from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF.
Creating long-term solutions
Preventing and eliminating child labour is a big challenge, which can only be tackled by addressing the root causes with a holistic approach. That’s why the IKEA Foundation supports UNICEF and Save the Children child rights programs in 25,000 villages in a number of states in India and Pakistan; reaching a total of 15 million children by the end of 2017.

Learn about the IKEA Foundation
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