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IKEA does not accept child labour

Child labour does exist in countries where IKEA products are manufactured, but IKEA does not accept child labour at its suppliers or their sub-contractors. IKEA works actively to prevent child labour.
We base our work on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which defines the basic principle of always putting the best interests of the child first. The work IKEA does in this regard is also based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention number 138 (1973) concerning minimum working ages, and the ILO Convention number 182 (1999) concerning the worst forms of child labour.

The IKEA Way on Preventing Child Labour

IKEA has a special code of conduct called The IKEA Way on Preventing Child Labour, which is part of The IKEA Way on Purchasing Home Furnishing Products. Monitoring of compliance with The IKEA Way on Preventing Child Labour is done by IKEA trading service offices and with unannounced visits by KPMG to suppliers and sub-contractors in South Asia.

Working with child labour issues

During their daily contact with IKEA suppliers in relation to production issues, co-workers from the trading services officers are able to observe social and working conditions and highlight the prevention of child labour. IKEA holds workshops at suppliers to encourage workers and sub-contractors to discuss problems that they encounter on an everyday basis. This strengthens IKEA’s understanding of the circumstances that lead to child labour.

What happens if a child is found?

If child labour is found, IKEA requires the supplier to act in the best interests of the child. The supplier must implement a corrective and preventive action plan, including education and training. IKEA visits the school the child attends and makes unannounced visits to the supplier. If corrective action is not made within an agreed timeframe, or if further violations occur, IKEA terminates all business with the supplier.

Improving children's rights in India

The IKEA Social Initiative supports a project, run by UNICEF, promoting child rights in northern Indian, from where IKEA sources many of its carpets. The aim is to prevent and eliminate child labour in the carpet belt by addressing root causes such as debt, poverty, lack of access to education, disability and ill health.


The complexity of the child labour issue requires input and influence from many parties. By co-operating closely with international organisations such as UNICEF and Save the Children, the IKEA Social Initiative strives to create the broad-based support structure necessary to tackle the root causes of child labour and achieve a sustainable solution.