Global March Against Child Labour: From Exploitation to Education
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Stop Child Labour in Agriculture: World Day Against Child Labour
12 June 2007

The Child Labor Coalition Invites You To:
Children in the Fields: An American Problem
A Capitol Hill  Briefing
In Recognition of World Day Against child labour

Read More>>

Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco (ECLT) Foundation
Governments urged to act on child labour
World Day Against child labour
Read More>>

HOJA INFORMATIVA Nº 1
Agricultura libre de trabajo infantil. La cosecha futura
12 DE JUNIO D E 2007: DIA MUNDIAL CONTRA EL TRABAJO INFANTIL
Read More>>

12 June: Education International
Child Labour in Agriculture Targeted
Read More>>

13 June: BMSF, Dhaka
44 lakh children work in agriculture sector, 9 lakh exposed to risks
Read More>>
Partners Activities Around the World
Background Note
Stats & Facts
Industrial Revolution and child labour
Global March Call For Action!!
Open letter from Chairperson
Write to Us
 
 
 

Press Release

New Delhi, 11June 2007: Global March Against Child labour, a world wide movement of child rights group, teacher organisations and trade unions active in 140 countries calls for urgent action to stop child labour in agriculture sector. An estimated 150 million children are engaged in agriculture sector, which form 70% of the total child labour force in the world.

 Agriculture is considered as a traditional medium of livelihood but the hazards in this sector remain unnoticed. The uncontrolled use of harmful chemicals like pesticides, insecticides and working with agricultural machinery damage the tender organs of working children and cause accidents. This also directly affects full time education, school retention and quality learning of these children. Children being the cheapest or free labour results in adult unemployment and low wages, which further fuels poverty. This situation is worsened by absence of legal enforcement or inadequate laws, inefficient schooling and health facilities.

Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson Global March Against Child Labour said “it is unethical to eat delicious food and wear expensive clothes which are produced by half fed, half naked and even enslaved children trapped in agriculture world-wide” . “For how long so called civilized human beings will continue consuming the earnings of their young children, which is not even practiced by animals and birds?” he asked.

Global March Against Child Labour with its partners demands a total eradication and rehabilitation of child labour in agriculture as it restricts education, health, freedom and development of children. ILO convention on Worst Form of Child Labour (182) and Minimum Age of Employment (138) must be ratified and genuinely enforced by following the recommendations. The civil society should be involved in planning, execution and monitoring of the National Action Plan substantiated with implementation mechanism and resources.

Governments must ensure free, compulsory and good quality of education with special focus on children working in agriculture.  Minimum 6% of GDP must be earmarked for education including hiring and training teachers with decent wages. A comprehensive policy has to be worked out by the government to integrate elimination of child labour in the education for all agenda as well as in poverty reduction strategy paper.

Many industries like chocolate, jute, sugar, silk, coffee, tea, food involve children in the production and distribution. The corporate sector and national government must ascertain the non employment of children in their production.

Global March will be observing this year World Day Against Child Labour (June 12th 2007” as “Stop Child Labour In Agriculture Day”. Through its members and partner organistions Global March Against Child Labour will be conducting rallies, demonstrations, public meetings, in many countries.

 
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Open letter from Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Global March Against Child Labour International Secretariat

We are approaching World Day Against Child Labour on 12th June 2007. I hope that your organisation must be observing this day with lot of enthusiasm and action. All of us being members of Global March Against Child Labour are proud that the unprecedented mobilization of children and the adults across the world during 1998 has brought child labour in the global agenda. This has directly resulted in the unanimous adoption of the ILO convention against Worst Form of Child Labour in the following year on June 12th which is being celebrated as this day.

This year Global March has decided to support the ILO campaign theme of “Child Labour in Agriculture”. Child Labour in agriculture is a serious but largely ignored problem. It has been estimated that 70% of world’s 218 million child labourers are involved in agricultural sector. In most cases agriculture is considered as a traditional medium of livelihood but the hazards in this sector remain unnoticed. The uncontrolled use of harmful chemicals like pesticides, insecticides and working with agricultural machinery damage the tender organs of working children and cause accidents. This also directly affects full time education, school retention and quality learning of these children. Children being the cheapest or free labour results in adult unemployment and low wages, which further fuels poverty. This situation is worsened by absence of legal enforcement or inadequate laws, inefficient schooling and health facilities.

In this context Global March should raise this issue at local, national and international level. We must demand a total eradication and rehabilitation of child labour in agriculture as it restricts education, health, freedom and development of children. ILO convention on Worst Form of Child Labour (182) and Minimum Age of Employment (138) must be ratified and genuinely enforced by following the ILO recommendations. The civil societies should be involved in planning, execution and monitoring of the National Action Plan substantiated with implementation mechanism and resources.

Governments must ensure free, compulsory and good quality of education with special focus on children working in agriculture. Minimum 6% of GDP must be earmarked for education including hiring and training teachers with decent wages. A comprehensive policy has to be worked out by the government to integrate elimination of child labour in the education for all agenda as well as in poverty reduction strategy paper.

Many corporations like chocolate, jute, sugar, silk, coffee, tea, food industry involve children in the production and distribution. The corporate sector and national government must ascertain the non employment of children in their production. In this regard I would call upon you to observe the World Day Against Child Labour on 12th June 2007 with full strength. You may plan your activities such as public hearing, media event, issuing press release, human chains, symposium or in-house discussion among the children, community and staff you work with.

In this regard I would call upon you to observe the World Day Against Child Labour on 12th June 2007 with full
strength. You may plan your activities such as public hearing, media event, issuing press release, human chains, symposium or in-house discussion among the children, community and staff you work with.

We would be very happy to highlight the action taken by you on our Global March website and e-newsletter. We request you to send us the reports of your organization and country specific detail on info@globalmarch.org and abha@globalmarch.org

With all best wishes,

Kailash Satyarthi

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Background Note
These myths have to be broken
  •  
       
     
       
     
    That children working in the field are learning a skill
  • That children using pesticides is just a task
  • That child labour in agriculture only exists in developing countries…..

These myths that have perpetuated for long , have to be broken for the sake of the children who are wasting there days and nights, proving that its not just a hobby or just helping their father or just a learning skill but its actually snatching their child hood.

Child Labour in agriculture has become a global phenomenon. It is found in all regions of the world. Of an estimated 218 million child labourers 70% of them are working in agriculture. Nine out of ten children in rural areas are working in agriculture or are involved in the similar activities. Many of the world’s child labourers in agriculture perform hazardous labour – work that can threaten their lives, limbs, health and general well-being. Agriculture is one of the three most dangerous sectors in which to work at any age, along with construction and mining in terms of work-related deaths and injuries, and this is especially true for children, whose lack of experience or training and still-developing bodies make them particularly vulnerable. It is found in both developed and developing countries and the trend to employ children in these fields has also become very common.

It is also a sector where many children are effectively denied education through factors which include lack of schools and teachers, lack of free education and so on.

Children become farm labourers around the world at an early age. Most statistical surveys only cover child workers aged 10 and above. Many children begin work at an earlier age, however. Rural children, in particular girls, tend to begin work young, at 5, 6 or 7 years of age.

In some countries, children under 10 are estimated to account for 20 per cent of child labour in rural areas.  According to ILO report 73.3% boys and 78.8% girls are involved in agriculture and animal husbandry. The work that children perform in agriculture is often invisible and unacknowledged because they assist their parents or relatives on the family farm or they undertake piecework or work under a quota system on larger farms or plantations, often as part of migrant worker families. Agriculture is historically and traditionally an under-regulated sector in many countries. This means that child labour laws – if they exist – are often less stringent in agricultural industries than in other industries. In some countries, adult and child workers in agriculture are not covered by or are exempt from safety and health laws covering other categories of adult workers.

Children are generally allowed to operate machinery and drive tractors at a younger age in agriculture than in other sectors. It degrades often harms and even kills children.

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Some Glaring Facts

Portugal

According to the study, agriculture accounts for largest proportion of child labour in Portugal (49.2%), followed by: commerce (12.6%); and manufacturing (12.6%, of which 3.8% in the textiles industry and 2.5% in the food industry).

In regional terms, Northern Portugal has most child labour, accounting for 51% of child labour, followed by the Centre of the country (25%) and Lisbon (10.5%).

In Portugal, minors mainly work in the summer, with August being the peak month, followed by July and September.

Child Labour and Cocoa Farming

In November 2001 the signatories, issued “the urgent need to identify and eliminate child labour in violation of International Labour Organisation (“ILO”) Convention 182 with respect to the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products”. They also recognized “the need to identify and eliminate practices in violation of ILO Convention 29 with equal urgency”. The 2001 protocol included a commitment to establish a joint international foundation “to oversee and sustain efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products”.

The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) established under Swiss law in Geneva in 2002. In 2003, it began consulting a wide range of interested parties, from farmers to consumers, and, in 2004, a strategy was adopted and a program for action launched.

Despite cocoa companies’ repeated assurance that they would meet the target date, industry largely failed to meet its commitments and the deadline passed with the child labour situation virtually unchanged. Although lawmakers voiced their displeasure , cocoa companies faced no sanctions; instead, the industry negotiated an extended deadline giving it until July 2008 to implement a solution covering half of the cocoa-producing areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

While industry has specifically addressed the worst forms of child labour under ILO Convention No. 182 and forced labor under ILO Convention 29, it has not addressed other core labor rights in the agreement or in its activities, such as minimum age of employment under ILO Convention No. 138. Further, the industry-led initiative fails to call for concrete steps to ensure that farmers are getting a fair price for their product, which significantly impacts the use of child labour, as farmers are forced to reduce production costs and rely on the cheap labor of children.

Egypt
Cotton is the major cash crop, where over one million children work each year to manually remove pests from cotton plants. Children sometimes operate motorized pumps that saturate cotton plants with pesticides. Half a dozen children may help carry the pump's long hose, becoming heavily contaminated with pesticides in the process

Ecuador
Nearly 600,000 children work in the rural sector. Children are working in banana fields and packing plants. 90 % of child banana workers interviewed by HRW stated that they continued working while fungicides were sprayed from airplanes flying overhead. They described trying to protect themselves by hiding under banana leaves, covering their faces with their shirts, or placing banana cartons on their heads. One boy said, "I went under the packing plant roof until the (fumigation) plane left-less than an hour. I became intoxicated. My eyes were red. I was nauseous. I was dizzy. I had a headache. I vomited."

United States
Estimated 300,000 children work as hired labourers in large-scale commercial agriculture, planting, weeding, and picking apples, cotton, cantaloupe, lettuce, asparagus, watermelons, chilies, and other crops.

India
There are 15 million child labourers working in agriculture. More than half, and possibly as many as 87 percent of these bonded child labourers work in agriculture, tending crops, herding cattle, and performing other tasks for their "masters."

Bangladesh
According to, Khairuzzaman Kamal  Executive Director, Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) estimates that nearly about 4 million children are involved with agriculture sector.  It has been observed that the whole family work as bonded labour in which younger children are also involved.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Is the region with the highest incidence of child labour and is the only region that experienced an increase to 49.3 million.

The number of children and youth aged 5-17 in the number of child labourers between 2000 and 2004, from 48 million trapped in hazardous work decreased by 26 percent.

West Africa
Around 284,000 children work in hazardous conditions in West Africa's cocoa industry, and some 2,500 may have been trafficked, The report, released on 26 July, is the first comprehensive report to examine child labour on cocoa farms in West Africa. It examined child labour on 1,500 cocoa farms in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, which collectively produce 70 per cent of the world's cocoa.

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Industrial Revolution and child labour

Since 1788 when industrial revolution started, the burden to make profits was on children. To get more and more profit, children were used as cheap labour not only in factories but also in the production of the raw material, in agriculture. Starting from chocolate industry to textiles and food industry all are dependent on agriculture for raw materials.  The major reason for hiring children has nothing to do with economic efficiency. Children are easier to manage than adults - although less skilled, they are less aware of their rights, less troublesome, less complaining and more flexible - and ultimately expendable.
For some employers they constitute a reserve of casual labour to be hired and fired at will. When their labour is illegal, they and their parents are less likely to complain to the authorities for fear of losing whatever meager income they bring to their families.
Moreover, some employers genuinely consider that they are doing a favour to the children whom they employ by offering them work and income. Thus, declaring child labour to be illegal may in some cases have the perverse effect of depriving child workers of much of the protection provided by labour legislation to adults. This only serves to highlight the point that prohibition alone will not suffice. Simple bans on child labour are not successful if they are not supplemented by a range of other measures.
It has to be understood that it is not the responsibility of children to develop a country but it’s the responsibility of the country to develop a child. We need to put all the national and international legislation effectively.

Today there are many boycott calls by the NGO’s, civil societies and other organisations have raised concerned about the products assembled or otherwise manufactured in with child labour. Many ethical trading initiatives and consumer awareness programmes like Rugmark, International Cocoa Initiatives, have been successful in combating child labour but still a lot more has to be done.

The countries and cooperates should think of this issue seriously and abide by the agreements that they have made nationally and internationally. There should be proper monitoring system to check that there is no child labour used in the production of raw material as well as in any segment of supply chain.

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Global March Call For Action!!

Global March Calls on all Governments to:

  • Ratify and implement ILO Convention 138 and 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour
  • Establish and vigorously enforce legislation to protect the rights of children
  • Budget allocation for the withdrawal rehabilitation and education of the children.
  • Prompt and stringent action should be taken against the industries that are encouraging the use of child labour.
  • Proper inspectoral system for monitoring the laws.
  • There is no significant data available. A proper research should be done to know the kind of work in which children are involved and the geographical area where child labour is rampant.

Global March Calls on all Regional, Sub-Regional, Multilateral and Bilateral Organisations to:

  • Set up significant funds for advocacy, prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration projects to combat child labour in agriculture.
  • Work in collaboration and partnership with governmental organization and other NGO’s

Global March Calls all the Trade Unions to:

  • Ensure there is no illegal child labour and the adults are getting their “minimum wages”
  • Report, withdraw and educate children engaged in mines and quarries
  • Lobby for the ratification and implementation of international conventions and government laws on child labour and minimum age of employment.


Global March Calls all the businesses to:

  • Ensure that there is no child labour involved in any segment of supply chain.
  • Give minimum wages to the adult workers and ensure that labour laws are upheld in their businesses.

Global March Calls on All People to:

  • Educate themselves on the issue of child labour in agriculture and report any incidents of such crimes to appropriate authorities and to concerned NGOs.
  • Boycott products and commodities that are likely to be tainted by the sweat of child labourers

Proposed Activities Around the Globe

  • Public hearings on the state of child labour in the region.
  • Press conference
  • Projecting profiles of child labourers in agriculture,
  • Campaigning with Government to stop child labour in agriculture
  • National Scale Discussion program on the issue
  • Preparation of national (children’s) declaration on the issue
  • Direct Programs in the real affected areas with the children

Sources:

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What's Happening
 

The child labour Coalition Invites You To:
Children in the Fields: An American Problem
A Capitol Hill  Briefing
In Recognition of ILO World Day Against child labour

June 12, 2007

Did you know more children work in agriculture worldwide than any other industry?  This year, the International Labor Organization’s World Day Against child labour focuses on children working in agriculture.

As many as 500,000 children work as seasonal and migrant farmworkers in the United States.  These children are currently denied the same protections under federal law that other working youth receive.  They work longer hours, earlier and later hours, and at younger ages than the law allows for other working youth.  They work as young as age 16 with hazardous equipment and chemicals.  Many farmworker children become discouraged trying to keep up with schoolwork, and drop out of school. 

Join us on June 12th – ILO World Day Against child labour -- to bring attention to the hidden problem of child farmworkers in America.

What :        Congressional Briefing.  Breakfast provided

When :       June 12, 2007, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
         
Where:      Longworth House Office Building, Room 1334
                   Washington, DC

Who:          Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, sponsor of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act), which raises protection for children working in agriculture to same level as children working in other industries; Norma Flores, a former child farmworker; and Armand Pereira, Director, ILO, Washington.  

Screening of a seven-minute segment of the documentary, Stolen Childhoods.  Introduction of new educational materials:

  • In Our Own Backyard: The Hidden Problem of Child Farmworkers in America: New classroom resources from the American Federation of Teachers
  • Children in the Fields: An American Problem:  New report from the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs

For more information please contact:

Darlene Adkins Kerr
Regional Coordinator, Global March Against Child Labour
child labor Coalition
1701 K Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC  20006
Phone 202.835.3323   
Fax 202.835.0747
Email: childlabor@nclnet.org          
www.stopchildlabor.org

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Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco (ECLT) Foundation
Governments urged to act on child labour
 
Partners’ activities for World Day Against Child Labour 2007
 

SODECO, ECLT’s partner in Uganda, is organising public debates on child labour between different stakeholders (children, teachers and public leaders) throughout June. This will include debates in schools and will culminate in the most eloquent speakers going forward to debate on radio. Their main event to mark the day will take place at the SODECO headquarters in Msinde. It is jointly organised with ILO-IPEC and will be attended by the Minister for Labour. 

The ECLT project run by ILO in Tanzania is using dance, drama and poetry as a way of communicating about child labour. They are working with schools, parents and guardians to support children to develop and communicate their messages. Children’s arts groups will facilitate the communication of those messages to wider audiences.

In Malawi, ECLT partner TECS are inviting government officials and Ministers to the official opening of a clinic as a way of getting over their message about the importance of mainstreaming child labour.

The ECLT programme run by local government in the Philippines is organising children’s poster competitions depicting child labour. The winning entry will be used in awareness raising activities.  The poster competition will encourage children to ‘reflect on what child labour is’, thus helping them to form their own views and communicate them through art.

ECLT Kyrgyzstan is organising an essay competition amongst school children. The topic is the ‘Worst forms of Child Labour’ and the authors of the best essays stand to win valuable prizes. The prizes will be announced at a day-long event marking World Day Against Child Labour. ECLT Kyrgyzstan is joining ILO-IPEC to support national awareness raising activities for the day.

For more information about ECLT’s activities or to request interviews please contact Julia Powell on + 44 (0) 1273 676111.

For more information contact:
ECLT Foundation - 14 Rue Jacques – Dalphin – 1227 Carouge/Geneva - Switzerland - www.eclt.org
Telephone +41 22 306 1444 - Fax +41 22 306 1449 - e-mail: eclt@eclt.org

 
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HOJA INFORMATIVA Nº 1
Agricultura libre de trabajo infantil. La cosecha futura
12 DE JUNIO D E 2007: DIA MUNDIAL CONTRA EL TRABAJO INFANTIL
 

El próximo 12 de junio de 2007, Día mundial contra el trabajo infantil, estará dedicado a la erradicación del trabajo infantil en la agricultura, especialmente bajo sus peores formas. A nivel mundial y con mucha diferencia, la agricultura es el sector en que se da el mayor índice de trabajo infantil – aproximadamente un 70 por ciento. Más de 132 millones de niños y niñas, de 5 a 14 años de edad, trabajan en la producción agropecuaria, ayudando a suplir parte de la alimentación y bebidas que consumimos, y de las fibras y materias primas que usamos para fabricar otros productos.1 En el contexto de los Convenios de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), el trabajo infantil es aquel que daña la salud de los niños y menoscaba su educación, desarrollo y futura calidad de vida. Cuando se obliga a los niños y niñas a trabajar largas horas en el campo, se están limitando sus posibilidades de asistir a la escuela o de recibir una formación profesional, lo que les impide adquirir una educación que los sacaría de la pobreza en el futuro. Las niñas se hallan doblemente en desventaja, ya que suelen además efectuar las tareas domésticas antes o después de realizar el trabajo en el campo.

Conviene subrayar que no todas las tareas que los niños y las niñas efectúan en la agricultura son nocivas para ellos, o que se podrían considerar como trabajo infantil por abolir, según los Convenios núm. 138 sobre la edad mínima y núm. 182 sobre las peores formas de trabajo infantil de la OIT. Las tareas adaptadas a la edad del niño, que no interfieren con su escolaridad ni con su tiempo libre, pueden ser consideradas como parte de su entorno rural. De hecho, hay diferentes tipos de experiencia laboral que pueden resultar positivos para los niños y niñas, al proporcionarles calificaciones prácticas y sociales para su ulterior trabajo como adultos. Una mayor confianza y estima en sí mismos, al igual que una mayor competencia laboral, son atributos que suelen adquirir los jóvenes que se dedican a ciertas formas de actividades agrícolas.

Se ha puesto en marcha un sólido y sostenido empeño, a nivel mundial, para erradicar el trabajo infantil en la agricultura, y sobre todo lo que se denomina trabajo infantil peligroso2. Se está desarrollando una colaboración activa para eliminar el trabajo infantil peligroso en la agricultura entre la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) y las organizaciones internacionales de agricultura, específicamente la
Organización para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO), el Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA), el Instituto Internacional de Investigación sobre Políticas Alimentarias (IFPRI) del Grupo Consultivo para la Investigación Agrícola Internacional (CGIAR), la Federación Internacional de Productores Agropecuarios (FIPA) que representa a agricultores y empleadores agrícolas y a sus organizaciones, y la Unión Internacional de los Trabajadores de la alimentación, Agrícolas, Hoteles, Restaurantes, Tabaco y Afines (UITA) que representa a trabajadores y a sus organizaciones. El 12 de junio de 2007, Día mundial contra el trabajo infantil, representa un hito significativo de este
esfuerzo global.

Las diferentes organizaciones sociales y las agencias internacionales, pueden tener un papel importante en la eliminación del trabajo infantil en la agricultura, especialmente del trabajo peligroso y pueden impulsar acciones orientadas a:
 
1. Aplicar las leyes en materia de trabajo infantil.
En este campo las intervenciones deberían incluir, entre otras cosas:
- La aplicación efectiva de la edad mínima legal de admisión al empleo en la agricultura.
- La prohibición del trabajo peligroso en la agricultura para los niños y niñas menores de 18 años, y una prevención eficaz para que los niños no entren a ejercer ese trabajo.
- La protección de los niños que han alcanzado la edad mínima legal de admisión al empleo, mejorando las normas de salud y seguridad en el sector agrícola.

2. Intervenir para garantizar que los niños y niñas no efectúen trabajos peligrosos en la agricultura.
Junto con la minería y la construcción, la agricultura es uno de los tres sectores laborales más peligrosos, en términos de muertes, lesiones y enfermedades relacionadas con el trabajo. Esto es particularmente cierto para los niños, cuya falta de experiencia, formación profesional y desarrollo físico los hacen particularmente vulnerables.

Ciertas actividades agrícolas – la mezcla y aplicación de pesticidas, el uso de ciertos tipos de maquinaria – son tan peligrosas que debería estar estrictamente prohibido que los niños y niñas las realicen. En muchos países en desarrollo, los agricultores y campesinos se cuentan entre los grupos más pobres de la sociedad que, con frecuencia, carecen de conocimientos suficientes sobre los riesgos y peligros de la agricultura, con los consecuentes efectos en los niños y niñas trabajadores.

3. Promover estrategias y programas destinados a mejorar las condiciones de vida en las zonas rurales, y a integrar los aspectos relativos al trabajo infantil en el centro de las políticas agrícolas.
La pobreza es el factor que más contribuye al trabajo infantil. Los padres de las familias pobres en los países en desarrollo afrontan una difícil elección: deben escoger entre las necesidades inmediatas en alimentos, vivienda y vestido de sus familias, y la inversión en el futuro de sus hijos, que puede tomar años antes de rendir sus frutos.

Puesto que el trabajo infantil en la agricultura tiene sus raíces en los sistemas de subsistencia y en la vulnerabilidad económica de las familias de las zonas rurales, las estrategias y programas de desarrollo destinados a mejorar los niveles de vida en las zonas rurales, a proponer actividades alternativas para la generación de ingresos y a velar por la salud y la seguridad en la agricultura, tienen un papel crítico que desempeñar en la asistencia para la reducción del trabajo infantil y del nivel de riesgos y peligros con él asociado.
Toda solución sostenible al problema del trabajo infantil en la agricultura exige que los gobiernos nacionales, las organizaciones internacionales, los organismos donantes y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil atribuyan prioridad al desarrollo agrícola y rural, de modo que los agricultores puedan obtener precios justos por sus productos.

4. Colmar la brecha educativa existente entre las zonas urbanas y rurales y entre los niños y las niñas.
El trabajo infantil es parte de la estrategia de supervivencia en muchas zonas rurales. En la mayoría de los casos los padres preferirían enviar a sus hijos e hijas a la escuela, pero las dos terceras partes de los pobres del mundo viven en las zonas rurales, y muchos de estos padres de familia son demasiado pobres para cubrir los gastos escolares. Incluso cuando la escolarización es gratuita, los costes en libros y otros materiales didácticos, vestido, calzado y transporte pueden representar una carga económica insuperable.

En muchas culturas, las niñas están incluso en mayor desventaja, ya que cuando los medios económicos son limitados se prefiere invertir en la educación de los niños más que en la de las niñas.

Los padres valoran la educación. La consideran una vía para el avance social. Desean que sus hijos aprendan a leer y a escribir. Cuando se les dispensa de los gastos de inscripción escolar, se observa un extraordinario incremento en la demanda de educación.

5. Promover oportunidades de empleo para los jóvenes en la agricultura y en las zonas rurales.
La participación de los niños y niñas en las actividades agrícolas de la familia los ayuda a adquirir competencias valiosas, a elevar su autoestima y a contribuir a la generación de ingresos de la familia, lo que tiene un impacto positivo en su propia calidad de vida. Ahora bien, habría que impedir que los niños participen en formas de trabajo que resulten nocivas para su salud, seguridad, desarrollo y bienestar.

Se debería alentar a los jóvenes que han alcanzado la edad mínima legal de admisión al empleo a que ingresen al trabajo agrícola como medio para promover el empleo juvenil. Empero, es esencial asegurar que reciban la capacitación adecuada y que trabajen en condiciones seguras y dignas.
Agenda de Actividades - PERÚ
Día Mundial contra el Trabajo Infantil 12 de Junio de 2007
ACTIVIDADES CENTRALES DEL COMITÉ DIRECTIVO NACIONAL PARA LA PREVENCIÓN Y ELIMINACIÓN DEL TRABAJO INFANTIL – CPETI

Fecha

Actividad

Descripción

10 DE JUNIO
HORA: 3:00 p.m.
LUGAR: Estadio Monumental de
Universitario de Deportes “U”

Tarjeta Roja al Trabajo Infantil

Iniciativa del CPETI, en alianza con el IPEC/OIT, la Asociación Deportiva de Fútbol Profesional –ADFP, la Agremiación de Futbolistas del Perú y el Club Universitario de Deportes, con la que se pretende sensibilizar al público en general. Las miles de personas que asistan al estadio recibirán una tarjeta roja al ingresar, que será levantada antes de iniciar el partido, durante el paseo que realizarán en el centro de la cancha más de 100 niños, niñas y adolescentes trabajadores y ex trabajadores “sacándole tarjeta roja al trabajo infantil” y haciendo un llamado para que se garanticen las condiciones del trabajo adolescente en el Perú.

12 DE JUNIO
HORA: 8:30 a.m.
LUGAR: Auditorio del MINTRA

FORO: Erradicación del trabajo infantil en el Perú, avances y retos

Presentación de las acciones del CPETI, testimonios de niños, niñas y adolescentes ex trabajadores y experiencias de instituciones de la sociedad civil en proyectos para la prevención y eliminación progresiva del trabajo infantil.

 
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12 June: World Day Against Child Labour
Child Labour in Agriculture Targeted
 
Every day more than 200 million children around the world spend time working at difficult and often dangerous tasks so that they and their family members can survive.

The most extreme forms of child labour involve children being enslaved, taken from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses, sexually exploited or left to fend for themselves on the streets of the world's largest cities.

On 12 June, the World Day Against Child Labour, Education International is calling attention to this massive violation of the rights of hundreds of millions children around the globe. EI is working with the Global Task Force on Child Labour, which brings together UN agencies, the World Bank and the Global March Against Child Labour, in a unique coalition rooted in shared commitment to prevent and eliminate child labour.

EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen noted that when children are forced to work and thus denied their right to an education, they are often doomed to unemployment and poverty in adulthood because they lack the skills needed for jobs that could support the next generation.

"Teachers' unions around the world are determined to do our bit to stop the theft of childhood from so many youngsters," said van Leeuwen. "We are working with our member organizations to help develop programmes to keep children in school, because we know that free, quality education is the best preventive strategy."

Kaylash Satyarthi, president of the Global March Against Child Labour, agreed: "Education is vital to all rights. It is vital to health, to reducing HIV and AIDS. It is vital to escaping poverty and contributing to the benefit of the society. We can't achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals without education."

World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June, is a crucial day in the calendar for child labourers, teachers and their unions, and the international community. This year's theme is dedicated to eliminating child labour in fields and farms.

Harvest for the future: Agriculture without child labour is the title of a new publication brought out by EI and the ILO, through the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). It provides current facts and ideas teachers can use to support the growing movement to tackle child labour. The booklet contains exercises in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Teachers and other concerned citizens will find this a useful tool to increase knowledge about child labour, provide practical exercises for classroom use or facilitate discussion within unions or civil society groups.

Harvest for the future is available at: www.ei-ie.org/childlabour
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13 June: BMSF, Dhaka
44 lakh children work in agriculture sector, 9 lakh exposed to risks
 

About 44 lakh children in Bangladesh are engaged in agricultural work and about 9 lakh of them are exposed to health hazards as they need to work for more than 57 hours a week, with earning not exceeding Tk 900 a month.

Of them, 61 per cent drop out before completing primary schooling and 40 per cent remain illiterate.

Most of the 7.4 million ‘economically active’ children live in rural areas, according to the National Child Labour Survey.

Referring to the data, stakeholders in the government, non-government and international organisations at a seminar on Tuesday said children working in agriculture sector were exposed to the risks of fatal or non-fatal accidents and health problems.

Labour and employment and agriculture ministries, International Labour Organisation, and Food and Agriculture Programme organised the seminar on child labour in agriculture at the Purbani Hotel in Dhaka marking World Day against Child Labour 2007.

This year’s focus theme of the day was ‘Harvest for the future agriculture without child labour.’

The largest employment sector in Bangladesh, agriculture remains the largest employer of child labourers, said Gopal Bhattacharya, ILO director in Bangaldesh.

Lack of hard data on working children and inadequate knowledge and low awareness of the problem in general stand in the way of addressing the issue of child labour, he said.

To eliminate the worst forms of child labour in a time-bound manner, a national plan of action has been formulated involving the government and international organisations such as UNICEF and the Asian Development Bank, Bhattacharya said.

Bangladesh is yet to have a national child labour policy and the issue of working children has not been included in other related policies such as the Agricultural Policy 2007 and the Labour Law 2006.

The labour secretary, Ashfaque Hamid, however, said the national child labour policy was expected to be finalised soon.

The ILO studies show that 70 per cent of the child labourers worldwide were in the agriculture sector and more than 132 million girls and boys aged between 5 and 14 years work with farms and plantations, harvesting, spraying pesticides and tending livestock.

Bangaldesh ratified the UN Convention on the Children’s Right in 1990 and the ILO Convention 182 in 2001, which talk of prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour by taking immediate action.

Bangaldesh is, however, yet to ratify the Convention 138, which said the minimum age for entry into work should be not less than 15 years, and the Convention 184, which said children under 18 years of age should not be involved in hazardous agricultural works.

FAO representative in Bangaldesh Ad Spijkers, Abdul Kader Howlader, representative, national coordinator committee on workers’ education, Sayed Naquib Muslim, additional agriculture secretary, and ABM Abdus Sattar, joint secretary of the labour ministry also spoke.

 
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Copyright © 1998-2012 Global March International Secretariat

All photographs courtsey of U. Roberto Romano © ROMANO unless otherwise mentioned

The Global March Against Child Labour is a movement to mobilise worldwide efforts to protect and promote the rights of all children, especially the right to receive a free, meaningful education and to be free from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be harmful to the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.