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At a launch event held at UNICEF UK’s head office in London, leading landscaping firm Marshalls announced plans to support UNICEF’s work to prevent child labour in the stone quarries of Rajasthan in India.
Marshalls has pledged to donate £1 to UNICEF from the sale of every square metre (1m2) of its ethically sourced Fairstone paving range as part of a new three-year partnership with the organisation.
Marshalls and UNICEF UK are urging customers to stop and think about how the products they are choosing for their patio have been produced and opt for Fairstone products which will help play a part in transforming the lives of vulnerable children in India’s poorest stone quarrying communities.
Marshalls is the UK’s leading manufacturer of hard landscaping materials, and is the only company in its sector to have a partnership with UNICEF. Since 2009, Marshalls has been leading the way in eliminating child labour from its Indian supply chain and this partnership is recognition of this industry leading work.
Chris Harrop, Director of Sustainability at Marshalls, said: “I could not be more proud of our partnership with UNICEF UK.
“Child labour is a persistent, unacceptable and complex global issue, and despite many British consumers being more aware of the need to choose ethically sourced products I doubt that many people realise that an issue even exists when they are choosing Indian Sandstone for their garden makeover.
“It is appalling that children, some as young as five or six, work in dangerous and terrifying conditions in quarries. How would we feel if these were our own children? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
“We want people to be able to buy this beautiful product with a clear conscience. By choosing Marshalls Fairstone you can be sure that everything possible has been done to ensure child labour has not been used in its production.
“Our customers can feel proud that they have become part of the solution to this appalling issue.”
David Bull, UNICEF UK’s Executive Director, said: “We are delighted that Marshalls’ is supporting UNICEF through sales of the Fairstone range of products.
“Funds raised through our partnership will be used to help transform the lives of children in India's poorest stone quarrying communities. We know that child labour exists in India's quarrying sector and more widely across the country and around the world.
“With Marshalls' support we will be conducting research to understand the challenges facing children working in stone quarries and set strategies to address this.”
David concluded: “Together with Marshalls and their customers, we can create change for children in India".
UNICEF UK raises funds and awareness to support UNICEF's work to protect child rights worldwide, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). By combining our skills, resources and expertise with those of Marshalls, UNICEF can create change for children in India.