Measures to Support the Toy Industry: Letter from ICTI Ethical Toy Program President and CEO

March 30, 2020 | The ICTI Ethical Toy Program, of which The Toy Association is a founding member, has implemented a number of measures to support the global toy community during the COVID-19 crisis. Carmel Giblin, president & CEO of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program, outlines these measures as follows in a letter to the toy industry.

I know that COVID-19 is causing many of you deep concerns, concerns I share. At this time of risk and uncertainty, I want to reassure you that I and the entire team at the ICTI Ethical Toy Program (IETP) are available to help you navigate through these unprecedented times. Our priority is to support the global toy industry and promote business continuity while ensuring our primary objective of ensuring workers’ rights are respected.

Factories in China have largely resumed operations and production capacity increases, but this positive news is negatively impacted by the global spread of COVID-19 which has resulted in more than half the world’s population facing some form of restrictions to their daily lives. These restrictions have impacted consumer demand, with some categories experiencing growth while others are in decline.

icti-president-carmen-giblinAt this most challenging time for our industry, IETP is responding to support you. We quickly implemented a number of measures to help factories and their buyers manage the impacts related to COVID-19:

Extended Factory Certification Periods

We have extended the certification valid period for factories. We will keep this policy under review as we continue to take proactive action to respond to industry needs. Any factory or buyer which has an inquiry related to IETP certification can email us at

Factory Self Declaration Process

We encourage factories to use our Self Declaration Process so we can ensure, that whilst buyers and factories respond to the impacts COVID-19 has on their business, they are not penalized but supported. We are providing guidance on how to responsibly manage areas like increased working hours or, on the other end of the spectrum, managing a downturn in orders. Further information on IETP’s self-declaration process is available here.

Responsible Recruitment Guidance

As factories seek to increase capacity both now and in the coming months, we want to help them recruit responsibly. IETP’s Recruitment Practices Briefing provides clear guidance and best practice to help factory owners, managers, and supervisors avoid recruitment pitfalls. Our Briefing is available to download in both English and Chinese.

I would encourage those of you who are out-sourcing production of your products to factories to communicate well with them at this time and be responsible in regard to your commercial agreements. When we are in recovery mode and seeking to meet consumer demand these relationships will be critical. Working together now, positively, will be rewarded in the future I am sure. Remember IETP is here to help you with advice, information, and support, and we are available to respond to related inquiries from you.

I am confident that by working together we can overcome the present difficulties and ensure that when COVID-19 is under control globally we are an enabler of you returning to normal business operations as quickly and successfully as possible. We do not know when normality will return but we know it will, and we’ll be there for you then as we are now.

We continue to review the situation daily and if we need to make further changes to our program we will do so and share these with you. Regular updates on the measures we are taking in response to COVID-19 are available via our website here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the team with your questions, comments, or suggestions for how we can support you at this time, simply email and we will get back to you as soon as we can. For now, I wish you, your families and your co-workers good health and encourage you to do everything you can to protect yourselves and your colleagues during this difficult time.

Very best wishes,

Carmel Giblin
President & CEO
ICTI Ethical Toy Program