LONDON, England, June 26 -- Momentous actions affecting the safety and well-being of children -- and industry workers alike -- were taken during the 27th Annual Membership Meeting of the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI). The meeting took place in Pasadena, California on June 10-12.
Among the actions taken made was the election of David Hawtin, director general of the British Toy and Hobby Association, to the position of ICTI president. During his remarks to the ICTI membership he said, "Increasingly, the challenges facing the toy industry are global and the world's toy companies look to ICTI to lead industry opinion and to coordinate their responses to those challenges."
Substantially impacting the safe working conditions of employees worldwide, the Board unanimously agreed to approve a revised ICTI Code of Business Practices, which improves upon and expands its original Code. Among the provisions incorporated into the revised Code are the International Labor Organization's C138 Minimum Age Convention and C182 Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention. In addition, Appendix II includes a checklist for verifying acceptable environmental, health and safety conditions.
Recognizing the importance of this revised Code, Mr. Hawtin said, "The approval of this new Code represents the worldwide toy industry's commitment to ensure further the protection of workers throughout the world."
In addition, the Board appointed a committee to draft a voluntary code for advertising to children, generally consistent with the guidelines of the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Better Business Bureau. These guidelines have been accepted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as a model that it found satisfactory for the protection of children, specifically providing a "safe harbor" against action by the FTC.
The Board also named three vice presidents, who in addition to the president make up the Council's Executive Board. Newly appointed vice presidents include Salvador Mirů, representing Europe, David Miller for the Americas, and T.S. Wong for Asia-Oceania.
Finally, the Board completed plans to meet for its 28th annual meeting in Beijing on June 5-7, 2002, and tentatively approved plans to hold the fifth World Toy Conference in Budapest, Hungary in early June 2003.
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Founded in 1974, the International Council of Toy Industries consists of toy trade associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, The United Kingdom and the United States. The ICTI President and Secretariat are currently held by the British Toy and Hobby Association, the London-based trade association. For more information about the organization, please refer to the ICTI website at: www.toy-icti.org.