Newsletter (July - September 2013)

From The Chair

Dear Colleagues,

In Focus


The Government of Brazil announced that, in cooperation with the ILO, Brazil would host the III Global Child Labour Conference in 2013 (III GCCL) to measure progress in implementing the The Hague Roadmap and towards the goal of 2016. III GCCL by the Brazilian Government, is an opportunity for reflection and joint dialogue between government, social partners, civil society, regional and international organisations on the progress made in the process towards the elimination of child labour, especially its worst forms, as well as a space for presenting proposals of mechanisms to accelerate the elimination of this phenomenon.

Many Global March’s national and regional partners along with Chair will be participating in the III GCGL, to be held in Brasilia, 8-10, October, 2013. The subject of the conference will be “Strategies for accelerating the pace of eradication of the worst forms of child labour by 2016 and all forms of child labour by 2020.

Also, the Child Labour Dialogues are the arena for public contributions to the II GCCL. The goal of the Dialogues is to engage the public in discussions about the challenges related to eradicating child labour and to enable the exchange of practices and lessons learned. Global March members and the Secretariat have regularly contributed to the discussions.

www.childlabourdialogues.org

I congratulate all Global March regional coordinators, members and partners who have once again demonstrated their leadership on child domestic labour, corporate social responsibility, policy & legal action and education advocacy. Our ongoing campaign on child domestic labour in Indonesia, Panama and Togo has been able to draw social and political attention on this largely neglected area of child exploitation and one of the hazardous forms of child labour. The multistakeholder dialogue initiated by Global March in this area has to certain point helped in enhancing broader engagement, partnership, capacity and transparency, but there is a lot more to be done in demonstrating action. Our Indian partner have secured landmark judgement on missing children and were successful in enactment of important piece of legislation on trafficking and slavery.

This is all exciting but not enough. Much more serious efforts are required with a deeper sense of urgency to end child labour. Greater amount of political will is needed to not only enact and implement good laws but to invest adequately on ending of child labour. Stronger mechanisms and institutions are required to ensure corporate accountability to manage and control the supply chains. Above all, a worldwide movement with genuine strategic and active engagements must be revitalised. The upcoming III GCCL Brazil Conference next month gives us a historical opportunity to renew and strengthen our collective commitment and efforts to put an end to child labour.


Kailash Satyarthi
Chairperson

News

Knowledge Management on Child Labour

Progress against child labour must begin with a call for abolition of child labour. Child labour is often seen as a phenomenon very difficult to measure and monitor. More efforts need to be made to find illegal factories and monitor workplaces to ensure that no children are working. Global March offers an online platform for compilation, management and dissemination on experiences and lessons learnt on child labour.
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The year began with Global March Chair along with regional coordinator of Francophone Africa, undertaking a mission to Cote d’ Ivoire to gain an in depth knowledge about child labour in cocoa growing sector; existing interventions of various stakeholders for fighting child labour; identifying the gaps in sustainable withdrawal; protection and prevention of child labour in the cocoa farming sector. The report “Child Labour in Cocoa Farming in Cote d’ Ivoire was presented to Senator Tom Harkin, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown and others to raise awareness and action .
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Children work long hours in tobacco fields but they get very low wages and are often paid low. ILO is urging the Indonesian government to set a minimum wage for every child who works as a domestic helper, in line with ILO Convention No. 189 on domestic workers. The activities of children in tobacco farming violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, putting the children at a high risk of health threats and commercial exploitation.
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Global March with civil societypartner, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and trade union partner, Garment Workers Union has been working at grassroots and policy level to eliminate child labour in an endeavour to ensure decent work for adults workers in the ready-made garment-manufacturing sector in India under the DFID RAGS project Not Made by Children. As part of a holistic strategy, Global March has conducted capacity enhancement workshops of the labour inspectorate aimed at enhancing the capacity of the officials to monitor child labour and other labour rights violations in the garment manufacturing sector.
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Working with partners

Ghana: There is a wide spread use of child labourers in cocoa farms of Ghana. Children are victims not only of child labour but also of slavery and trafficking. Global March brings together a range of stakeholders to build and strengthen a coherent worldwide movement for the elimination and empowering child labourers with its regional coordinator in Anglophone Africa, General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU).
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The GAWU has developed strategies to promote and to organise cocoa farmers around farm and non-farm economic activities to eliminate child labour.
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Panama, is one of the focus countries of Global March in its fight against child labour and with IDEMI, Global March's national coordinator in Panama, a focus campaign on Child Domestic Labour is under way. Event of June 12 was held in Panama city and it was organised by IDEMI. Ms. Bertha Vargas, Director IDEMI called upon government of Panama to ratify Convention 189, on decent work for domestic workers. Children also work as child domestic labourers. IDEMI, is working for abolishing child labour in all its form including child domestic labour and giving children right to education. Virtual platform was used to bring together many countries of the region to raise concern for child domestic labourers
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Togo: Domestic workers union in Togo urges the government to ratify ILO Convention 189.On the occasion of International Day of Domestic Workers, domestic workers union in collaboration with Welcome Agency and WAO-Afrique urged the Togolese government to ratify ILO Convention 189 in Lomé on 22 July. While Welcome Agency is an employment placement agency for domestic workers, WAO-Afrique is a child rights NGO, and Global March’s partner for activities in Togo under the global campaign against child domestic labour, FREE: Freedom From Exploitation For Education.

WAO Afrique, along with Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity, Ministry of Labour organised world day against child labour activities in Lome, Togo on June 12. Two events were organized on this occasion. Religious institutions were involved in both the events. In one event, Mosque was used as a platform to denounce child labour and the Imam, prayed for child rights. On another occasion, prayers were offered in church for children. Pastor, raised the problem of child domestic labour and denounced it. Both the activities highlight the important role of, religious institutions in raising awareness against child labour, child domestic labour and rights of children.
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Awareness building, outreach and campaigns

The Supreme Court of India in its much awaited decision has ruled in for compulsory registration of all cases by police of missing children with the presumption that they are victims of kidnapping and trafficking; preparation of standard operation procedures in all Indian states to deal with such cases; appointment and training of Special Child Welfare Officers at every police station to deal with cases related to missing children; records related to all missing and traced children to be maintained by Ministry of Home Affairs and Police; and provisions for paralegal workers to be present at every Police station to assist the parents whose child maybe the victim of a crime. A communiqué  from Chair after the Supreme Court’s verdict on missing children.
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The worst in Uttarakhand, India is far from over. What is visible is perhaps known to all but the invisible underbelly that is bloating under the aftermath of the Himalayan tsunami that devastated Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts has placed the children in these areas at an unprecedented risk of exploitation and vulnerabilities. They are reeling under the constant danger of being kidnapped, trafficked and exploited. The rescue, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation operations lack the much needed child-friendly approach, an outlook that places the overall well-being of children at the fulcrum.
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FREE: Free From Exploitation For Education is a worldwide campaign of Global March Against Child Labour to accelerate action against child domestic labour and to protect young domestic workers. Shanti, a former child labourer launched Global March’s New Campaign Site, FREE. She was rescued by Global March’s partner BBA in India.
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Child domestic servants work in the homes of a third party employer – neither as a respected employee nor as an accepted member of the family. Such a status leaves them vulnerable to abuse – not just in working or pay conditions, but physically, psychologically and sexually. It is a status which many laws fail to protect against. Global March participates in the discussions and advocacy on policies and programmes on child labour at national and global level on a regular basis- namely, with decision makers. International Labour Organization revealed that as many as 10.5 million children around the globe work as domestic servants, all too frequently in hazardous conditions and without any pay. The practice is a particular scourge in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Child domestic labour has been invisible exploitation of children from a decade. Girls by far outnumber boys in domestic work. Global March's present Global campaign on child domestic labour "FREE" is pushing for an increased ratification of ILO convention 189 (Decent Work for Domestic Workers). Compiling a repertoire of policy and advocacy tools on child labour has been one the objective of Global March.
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The World Day Against Child Labour(WDACL), aims to raise awareness to prevent child labour. It was spurred by ratifications of ILO Convention No. 138, on the minimum age for employment and ILO Convention No. 182 ,on the worst forms of child labour. The theme for this year was “No child labour in domestic work”. Global March’s campaign on child domestic labour FREE: Freedom from Exploitation for Education supported the WDACL activities in countries. A series of campaign materials were developed to support partners and members activities for this event and beyond. Global March also brought a special issue of the newsletter covering partner activities and celebrations for June 12.
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Programme and Advocacy

India is one of the last remaining countries that has not ratified the ILO child labour conventions. As part of core objectives for universal ratification and implementation of the ILO’s child labour conventions, Global March has undertaken focused advocacy in India. Recently, along with its trade union, teachers’ organisations and civil society partners, Global March undertook various state level and national consultations for bringing consensus and to move forward on the ratifications. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012, is an outcome of many years of strategic discussions, and to build urgency on this, Global March organised the National Consultation on Child Trafficking and Child Labour on 8-9 May 2013 bringing together all stakeholders involved in the fight against child labour.
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More than 300 children in New Delhi, India supported by adults marched to the Parliament on 29 August demanding the passage of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, which would prohibit hazardous work for all children below 18 years. Global March, Walk Free and Avaaz joined BBA to deliver 1 million petition signatures on behalf of the global community outraged over Indian laws and practices that push around 55 million (according to civil society estimates) Indian children to labour in deplorable working conditions.
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The Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued a general comment on State’s obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights. Global March undertakes researches and studies on different emerging aspects of child labour, namely business and child labour, child labour and hard-to-reach and out-of-school children, trafficking of children for forced labour. The organisation also compiles and manages the experiences and lessons learnt on child labour; to enable their exchange with child labour advocates and the grassroots organisations.
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Global March Chair participated in the meetings organised by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education on the side of the World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington DC in April 2013. A special session, “From Exploitation to Education” focused on the 215 million child labourers and 57 million out-of-school children and the need to mainstream them into education. Global March Chair Kailash Satyarthi, a panellist in the session demanded for a special UN Resolution to end child slavery. The meetings were participated by over 200 representatives of governments, UN agencies and global civil society. In pursuance to that, UN Envoy for Global Education has agreed to include a major demand of Global March to end child slavery in his agenda for the next UN General Assembly.
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The Day of the African Child is observed every year on 16 June by Member States of the African Union (AU), and its partners to commemorate the 1976 uprisings in Soweto, South Africa. The 1976 protest by black school children was against apartheid-inspired education and it resulted in the public killing of these unarmed young protesters by police officials. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of education provided to African children. As a part of advocacy campaign, globally, regionally and nationally all events advocating elimination of child labour is celebrated, to make world child labour free.
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Reports uploaded during this period

  • Globally, about ten and a half million children are engaged in child domestic labour as per a latest report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) - Ending child labour in domestic work, released on June 12to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour. According to the report, this figure constitutes 3.3 per cent of the children in employment in the age group of 5-17 years.
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  • The UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda submitted the report “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development” on 30 May 2013.
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  • A new book edited by UNCTAD and the International Labour Organization (ILO) stresses that agricultural trade can be an opportunity for creating jobs and alleviating poverty around the world. The book, which resulted from research coordinated by UNCTAD and the ILO and financed by the European Union, urges that higher policy priority be given to farming.
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For more news please log on www.globalmarch.org

Global March Against Child Labour
International Secretariat
E-mail: info@globalmarch.org
Telephone Number: +91 11 4132 9025
Fax Number: +91 11 4053 2072

Address: Global March Against Child Labour, L-6, Kalkaji, New Delhi-110 019, India