LETTER : Toy industry's code of practice

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From Mr David Hawtin

Sir: In response to the letter (30 January) from Bill Jordan of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, your readers should be aware that the British Toy and Hobby Association, whose members account for 90 per cent of toy sales in Britain, has recently published an industry code of practice on working conditions in toy factories in Asia. It is intended to confirm the toy industry's commitment to operational standards that exclude forced labour and ensure that working conditions in toy factories throughout the world are consistent with Western practice and in the best interests of the workers themselves.

Among other things, the code covers health and safety requirements in vendors' and sub-contractors' factories, ensures that proper fire safety precautions are established and adhered to, and deals with the issue of reasonable working hours and overtime. We have been working with members of the toy industry worldwide to ensure that all aspects of the published Code of Practice can be put into effect.

Yours sincerely,

David Hawtin

Director General

British Toy and Hobby Association

London, SE5