New Ipsos Reid poll shows child-free labour trumps cheap bargain choices for Canadian consumers

Aug 23, 2012, 07:00 ET from World Vision Canada

TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Just in time for the back-to-school shopping rush, a new Ipsos Reid Poll shows that a majority of cost-crunching Canadians are willing to sacrifice more from their pocket books to buy products that are free of child labour.

The poll, commissioned by humanitarian agency World Vision, revealed 68 per cent of Canadians would spend an average of 16 per cent more if there was a guarantee that the products they buy were free of child labour.

"We know our demand for cheap goods is fueling the horrific crime of child labour. As I'm getting my own two kids ready for school and juggling their needs, I'm keeping children in other countries in mind too," says Cheryl Hotchkiss, manager of World Vision's End Child Slavery campaign.

The poll also found that four in 10 (36 per cent) Canadians aren't aware that children worldwide are forced into 3D jobs—dirty, dangerous and degrading—to make products for Western markets. Ninety-three per cent of respondents say they would support companies that guarantee children aren't exploited in the making of their products.

"It's challenging to find out where the things we buy come from and who made them, but this poll shows Canadians want more info about where goods come from so they can support companies that make sure children aren't toiling away doing exploitive labour," says Hotchkiss. "As Canadians, if we have info about how our spending choices can protect someone else's children, we'll step up."

The End Child Slavery campaign launched this spring and is raising awareness about the estimated 126 million children worldwide who are doing dangerous work. World Vision's campaign offers ways that Canadians can "Shop for Change" to become more informed and ethical consumers.

Other key findings from the Ipsos Reid Poll:

Actions Canadians do and will take:

  • 83 per cent believe individual Canadians are responsible to take action with their purchasing power to protect children from exploitive child labour
  • Eight in ten (79 per cent) Canadians say they want to make an effort to ensure they know how and where things they purchase are made
  • 50 per cent say they've gone out of their way to buy a fair trade product or products free of child labour

What Canadians don't know:

  • 78 per cent have no idea if what they are buying is contributing to the exploitation of children in other countries

Top three reasons cited by Canadians as to why children are exploited in developing countries:

  • 94 per cent say it's because their local government doesn't do enough to protect them
  • 91 per cent say they are so poor that they have to work so their families can survive
  • 72 per cent say because Western countries demand to have the cheapest products, companies have to find cheap labour

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between July 30th and August 3rd, 2012, on behalf of World Vision. For this survey a sample of 1,047 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at

SOURCE World Vision Canada