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Sofia Bulgaria 16-18th September 2008


The meeting brought together representatives of 22 organisations from 16 countries across the region and the following 7 additional countries regrettably could not be represented due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances affecting their representatives the participants of the pan-regional conference of the Global March Against Child Labour meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 16 to 18 September 2008, hereby establish a Pan-European and Maghreb Regional Organisation (GM-PEMRO) of the Global March, including the 51 states of the ILO’s European Region and the three Maghreb states.

The participants welcomed the presence at the conference of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of Bulgaria and of the key Global March partners, the ITUC-PERC and Education International, their strong endorsement of the objectives of the conference and their participation in our discussions. We also welcomed the participation of organisations from the Russian Federation and other Newly Independent States (NIS), particularly in the light of their major concerns relating to child labour and education in their sub-region, and look forward to their continued involvement in and contribution to Global March meetings and activities. In addition, we would like to express our appreciation to the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and to ILO-ACTRAV and ILO-IPEC for their participation in our discussions and for reinforcing the vital partnership between our organisations and our shared aims and objectives.

Organised following an intensive 15-month period of follow-up by the PERICC to the regional consultation held in Sofia in July 2007, the conference discussed in detail the recommendations and strategic objectives emerging from that meeting – the Sofia Recommendation – which had been circulated to all members in the region for national and sub-regional discussions. The conference discussions, led through in-depth working groups and plenary debate, reviewed the main elements of the Sofia Recommendation and its subsequent plan of action linked to activities and policy objectives.

Following our discussions, the participants, have agreed forthwith to the creation of this new, revitalised and expanded pan-regional organisation and express our full endorsement of the Sofia Recommendation and the plan of action, particularly the urgent establishment of a pan-regional secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

This conference also discussed in detail the main principles of a constitution, bye-laws and structure of the new regional organisation, GM-PEMRO, and we, the members of Global March in this region, trade union and civil society organisations, hereby express our full endorsement of these principles. We acknowledge that these principles underpin the crucial work of a new GM-PEMRO Committee in ensuring the completion of a draft constitution by the end of 2008, which will be circulated to all members in the region for consultation and review. On the basis of this consultative process, the final constitution will be drawn up by the end of February 2009 to support the legal registration of the GM-PEMRO and subsequent project development. We would like to express our appreciation for the future efforts of the GM-PEMRO Committee and their organisations in bringing rapidly to fruition the constitutional draft and project documents.

Through detailed and collegial discussions in workshops and plenary debate, the conference was able to review the main elements of the GM-PEMRO’s future programme of action and policy objectives. These will include:

  • In support of full global, regional and national policy coherence, reinforcing activities and coordination at the national and regional levels to ensure that governments and relevant institutions fulfil their obligations under relevant international conventions and initiatives, such as the ILO child labour and other ILO fundamental human rights conventions and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and their time-bound obligations to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals and Education For All Goals and at least 0.7% GDP for overseas development assistance;
  • Promoting the Decent Work Agenda, including secure employment, social security for all, social dialogue and fundamental principles and rights at work as the key strategy to support efforts to eliminate child labour, family poverty, all forms of discrimination and social exclusion – taking into particular account the special situation of girls and out-of-school and hard-to-reach children – and ensure that every child will benefit from free, formal, compulsory, full-time and accessible education delivered as a quality public service and similarly good quality public social and health services;
  • Taking decisive action on the issue of child trafficking without undermining the need for continued rights-based migration within the region;
  • Exploring strategies to eliminate child labour in agriculture across the region, particularly the NIS and Maghreb regions where extreme cases of abuse have been identified;
  • Exploring strategies to improve data collection and knowledge management on issues relating to child labour;
  • Promoting the meaningful participation of children in matters relating to child labour and other relevant issues;
  • Insisting that relevant multinational and other enterprises implement their corporate social responsibilities, including full respect for fundamental rights at work, including withdrawal of and remedial action for children found working in supply chains in full recognition of the different relationships to enterprises of trade union organisations and civil society organisations;
  • Working more closely with key partners and global, regional, sub-regional and national alliances, particularly with ILO-IPEC and the GCE, to reinforce policy coherence and avoid wasteful duplication of effort and resources.

The advent of a new, reinforced and reinvigorated pan-regional organisation of the Global March is welcome and vital at a time of continued enlargement of the European Union and the need for trade unions and civil society to ensure that this growth will underpin a renewed commitment by the EU institutions and member States to take decisive action to eliminate all forms of child labour and provide free, public and good quality inclusive education to all children, not only in the GM-PEMRO region but also, through enhanced development cooperation, to children across the globe.

The participants of this historic Global March conference in Sofia, trade union and civil society organisations, commit ourselves to the fundamental principles and objectives of the Global March and to reinforcing our role within and support for the global alliance, working closely with the international secretariat. We also commit ourselves to working effectively together in solidarity to ensure that all children may enjoy their fundamental rights and a fulfilled, happy and safe childhood.

We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Bulgarian trade union movement and the Interim Regional Coordinating Committee, PERICC, for their efforts to ensure the successful preparation and conclusion of this important gathering of Global March members from the GM-PEMRO region. We would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution to the smooth running of the conference by our hosts PODKREPA CL and the Global March international secretariat.

In addition, the participants thanked all those organisations whose financial support had made the meeting possible: FES, IUF, EI, ITGLWF, ITUC-PERC and ILO-ACTRAV and NOVIB-OXFAM.

Participant List

S.No

Name

Organisation

Organisation Type

ALBANIA

  1.  

Kol Bibe Nikoliaj

Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania

TU

  1.  

Eriselda Sami Hysenj

Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania

TU

  1.  

Osla Vila

Independent Trade Union of Education of Albania

EI

  1.  

Stavri  Liko

Trade Union Federation of Education and Science of Albania, FSASH

EI

  1.  

Ms. Vasilika Laci

BKTF

NGO

ALGERIA

  1.  

 Hadid Said

UGTA

TU

  1.  

M. Mohamed Salem SADALI

SATEF

EI

BULGARIA

  1.  

13

PODKREPA

TU

  1.  

10

CITUB

TU

  1.  

Rumyan Sechkov

CEGA

NGO

  1.  

Aseen Slavachev

Roma Lom Foundation

NGO

  1.  

Toshko Tomov

The Society for Protecting Children’s Rights

NGO

  1.  

Sia Petrov

The Society For Protecting Children’s Rights

NGO

BRUSSELS

 

Donatella

 

EI

BELGIUM

 

Olga Nicolae

ITUC

TU

EGYPT

  1.  

Adel Zakaria Tawfik

CTWUC

NGO

  1.  

Christeen

BLACD – Better Life

NGO

  1.  

Raheem

BLACD- Better Life

NGO

FRANCE

  1.  

Elie Jouen

GMACL

NGO

  1.  

Jacky Jouan

CFCEE

NGO

  1.  

Rainer Kurse

GMACL

NGO

IRELAND

  1.  

Nick Grieswood

GMACL

NGO

  1.  

Caroline Maxwell

GCE

NGO

ITALY

  1.  

LEOPOLDO TARTAGLIA

CGIL

TU

INDIA

  1.  

Kailash Satyarthi

GMACL

NGO

  1.  

Abha Duggal

GMACL

NGO

KYRGYZSTAN

  1.  

SVETLANA SEMENOVA

FTUK

TU

  1.  

Mira itkeeva

CPC

NGO

  1.  

Ms Amina Kurbanova

ILO- IPEC

International Organisation

MACEDONIA

  1.  

Gordana Zmijanac

First Children Embassy

NGO

  1.  

DRAGI ZMIJANAC

First Children Embassy

NGO

MOLDOVA

  1.  

Alexi Buzu

Centre "Partnership for Development

NGO

MOROCCO

  1.  

Mr Hamouda SOUBHI

Bayti

NGO

MOSCOW

  1.  

Ms Rimma Kalinchenko

ILO IPEC

International Organisation

PORTUGAL

  1.  

Emília Monteiro

CNASTI

NGO

POLAND

  1.  

Tomaz Wójcik

International Department
KK NSZZ "Solidarnosc"

TU

ROMANIA

  1.  

Corneliu Constantinoaia

CNSLR-FRATIA

TU

  1.  

Ahmet Ozirmak

ILO – IPEC

International Organisation

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

  1.  

EVGENI SIDOROV

FNPR

TU

  1.  

Mikhail Viktorovich SHMAKOV

FNPR

TU

  1.  

Olega Shekolov

FNPR

TU

  1.  

Nadezda Pavlovna Zanko

GCTU / VKP

TU

  1.  

Aysa Zodbinova

Dept of labour

 

  1.  

Andrey Vladimirovich

Dept of Labour

 

SERBIA

  1.  

Tijana Moraca

Civic Initiative

NGO

TUNISIE

  1.  

Mohamed Trabels

UGTT

TU

USA

  1.  

Sudhanshu Joshi

ICCLE

NGO

UK

  1.  

Simon Steyene

ITUC and GMACL

TU