“Human rights and social justice…let’s end child labour”
The Foundation for the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco-growing (ECLT), an international, multi-stakeholder alliance of tobacco unions, growers and companies that seeks to eliminate child labour in tobacco-growing, joins with people across the world in marking the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) on 12th June 2012. Coalescing around the theme of "Human rights and social justice…let’s end child labour," the celebrations – led by ILO-IPEC since 2002 and an official adviser to the ECLT – will this year highlight:
- Universal ratification of the ILO’s Conventions on child labour, particularly: C138 on Minimum Age for work and C182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour
- The need for the implementation of legal and regulatory obligations by national governments to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour
- The requirements for action to build the worldwide movement against child labour.
The ECLT, which last year celebrated its tenth anniversary, has supported projects in seven countries: Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mozambique, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. ECLT projects have withdrawn over 18,000 children from child labour and prevented several thousand more from entering child labour. But as the root causes of child labour are complex and long-term, ECLT has also supported children and families with interventions covering education, health, income-generating activities, awareness-raising and national and local capacity-building. Page
ECLT’s current projects are in:
- Kyrgyzstan, where the project has set up Mutual Aid Groups (MAGs) and a micro-credit fund, which allows farmers to invest more, but only on the condition that they do not employ children;
- Malawi, where the project amounts to the largest single investment to combat child labour in agriculture in that country. A coalition of four specialist NGOs led by Save the Children Malawi, not only protect children from child labour, but also refurbish and build school blocks so that children have a proper learning environment The latest irrigation techniques will mean that more crops are grown and food security enhanced. Families will also have access to clean water following the construction of new wells and boreholes. Cultural norms about child labour are challenged through awareness-raising campaigns and local and national administrative structures are strengthened;
- Tanzania, the project also represents the largest single investment to combat child labour in that country. We are undertaking similar activities to those in Malawi, with a focus on training ‘Community Activists’ to monitor the progress of children who gave been withdrawn, and need protecting from, child labour;
- Uganda, the project is addressing national stakeholders’ knowledge of child labour. This means that by the time of its completion, all stakeholders will be fully aware not only of their responsibilities as regards eliminating child labour but also of the means of achieving it.
Under the leadership and guidance of the ILO, all those involved in the fight against child labour – international agencies, governments, NGOs, companies, producers, unions and ordinary families – have set a target of 2016 for the elimination of hazardous work. We urge everyone across the world to join us in this fight.
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13 June 2012