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H&M Donation to help protect the rights of children in India

2009-12-15

TORONTO, 21 December 2009 - Children in one of the most disadvantaged cotton and cotton-seed producing communities in the world will be helped out of work and into education by UNICEF through a new fiveyear initiative funded by a USD 4.5 million donation from H&M.

The “All for Children” initiative will focus on the rights of children in the Salem and Dharmapuri districts in Tamil Nadu on the southern tip of India to help prevent exploitation of children and improve access to health and nutrition care services.

"I am really pleased that after years of planning and research, the “All for Children” initiative is now off the ground. Over the next five years H&M and UNICEF will work together to create a better and healthier future for children in this region, preventing child labour and promoting access to good education,” says Ingrid Schullström, CSR Manager at H&M.

“Together with UNICEF, H&M is taking decisive action to help build a protective environment that promotes children’s rights to health, nutrition and education and protection against abuse and exploitation, thus tackling the source of child labour,” adds Anna Ryott, Deputy Executive Director UNICEF Sweden.

The five-year project is the longest and most wide-reaching initiative that H&M has ever run with UNICEF and shows the enormity of the task ahead. To ensure wide-ranging and long-lasting benefits, “All for Children” will work through five key  strategies addressing child protection policies and structures, education,  community mobilisation, social protection and health and nutrition services. Theproject will focus on children from vulnerable families and children that are working in cotton fields and other areas of work.

“With H&M’s donation and long-term collaboration, UNICEF and our partners in Tamil Nadu will be helping to address and prevent child labour,” said Karin Hulshof, Representative of UNICEF India. “Offering children quality education, and access to other basic services, is the best way to keep them out of work and help them realize their full potential.”

Throughout the project, H&M customers will be able to donate money to “All for Children” to help support the fight for children’s rights.

About H&M
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) was established in Sweden in 1947. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. H&M is quoted on the OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm. Today there are around 1,800 H&M stores in 34 markets. H&M has around 73,000 employees and achieved sales including VAT in 2008 of SEK 104,041 million. H&M has a wide product range that is divided into a number of different concepts for women, men, teenagers, children and cosmetics. The company’s clothing collections are reated by its own designers, pattern makers and buyers. For further information, visit www.hm.com.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.