President’s Letter – January 17, 2012: ICTI CARE: A
Jewel in the Toy Industry Crown
I just returned from a meeting of the Governance Board of the ICTI
CARE Foundation in Hong Kong. As TIA President, I attend
these meetings as an observer, while the Board itself consists of toy
industry statesmen and independent representatives of highly-regarded
NGOs focused on fair labor and youth-related causes.
I have had the pleasure of observing the work of the ICTI CARE Board
since I commenced my career with TIA in 2006. During that time,
the ICTI CARE program has matured into nothing less than the “gold
standard” of industry programs that aim to assure the ethical
treatment of factory workers producing products sold in the U.S. market
and elsewhere. I have accompanied the ICTI CARE Board on factory
tours and seen first-hand how worker conditions have improved in toy
production factories over the past six years.
The ICTI CARE program originated under the auspices of the
International Council of Toy Industries (hence ICTI), which is a
confederation of 20 toy industry associations throughout the
world. The ICTI CARE Foundation, however, was established as an
independent organization with participation and oversight from
non-industry interests to assure the credibility and integrity of the
The global toy industry provided nearly $5 million in capital to
establish the program, but in recent years the program has become
self-funding through factory audit fees paid by toy producers who want
to assure their customers that they are treating their workers
fairly. TIA members and members of other global toy industry
associations are required to source their products from factories that
comply with the ICTI CARE Code.
The toy industry has many things of which it may be proud, and in my
book, the implementation of this successful program to assure that
workers in toy factories enjoy good conditions and fair treatment is one
of the industry’s greatest achievements.
Warm regards to all,