CHOICE's toy industry survey

Our survey that safety is only part of the complex issues we face when buying toys for our children.
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  • Updated:6 Jun 2008



In brief

  • Lead paint is toxic to our children, but it’s also toxic to the workers who make the toys in developing countries. We want all Australian consumers to be able to buy not only a safe toy but also an ethically-safe toy.
  • CHOICE surveyed the Australian toy industry to see which companies are leading the way on corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  • With CSR, companies become responsible for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees and the environment.

Due to pressures from non-government organisations, the trade unions and consumer organisations like CHOICE, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an essential part of the international business landscape. But how seriously is it taken in the toy industry?

Late in 2007, when the toy industry came under fire from consumers for allowing unsafe toys onto our shelves, CHOICE conducted a test on the safety of toys and found plenty still for sale that were dangerous. At the same time, we also made a commitment on behalf of consumers to survey the toy industry to find out how seriously it takes its commitment to looking after the human rights of toy workers.

According to the Global Reporting Initiative, which is considered the best existing voluntary reporting framework for a company’s social, environmental and economic performance, when it comes to the manufacture of toys, any person or organisation that buys toys in bulk can have a significant influence over and impact on the supplier’s operations, and is therefore at least partially responsible for them.

Our survey aimed to find out which companies are exercising that responsibility.



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