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The Conference of the US Department of State and Department of Labour:
“Working together to combat child labour: It’s time to stop the exploitation of children”
Washington D.C., 8 June 2010

The Departments of State and Labor, in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, No Limits Foundation, and the International Labor Rights Forum, invited Global March Against Child Labour to join policymakers and practitioners from government, labour, business, and civil society to commemorate World Day Against Child Labour and highlight the difference that can be made with coordinated and effective action for elmination of child labour.

Under Secretary of State Maria Otero, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, and Deputy Under Secretary of Labor Sandra Polaski, along with Randi Weingarten, Kerry Kennedy, Constance Thomas, Barbara Shailor, Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, Laura Rozen, Lionel Johnson, and Kailash Satyarthi, chair Global March discussed on strategies and policies to combat child labour, including economic development and good jobs for parents, access to education, and responsible law enforcement.

Kailash Satyarthi Remarks

“I am delighted to be here in Washington with you all to speak at this timely conference. The United States of America has been a strong global leader for many years in the global fight against child labour and I would like to congratulate the government, the social partners, civil society and the people of America for their considerable efforts which have helped to move the international agenda forward. In particular, I would like to congratulate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Labour Hilda Solis for holding such an important event here today.

Both departments have contributed so much to the protection of children and their basic rights and on behalf of Global March I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for this support. The US Department of Labour has helped create a vital platform from which numerous comprehensive programmes on child labour elimination and prevention have been launched and will continue to do so as we understand from the video interventions of Hillary Clinton and Hilda Solis at the Global Conference on Child Labour held in The Hague, the Netherlands, last month.

We in Global March also appreciate the strong statement by President Barrack Obama on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour in 2009 when he said: “Global child labour perpetuates a cycle of poverty that prevents families and nations from reaching their full potential.”Global March has always maintained its focus on the triangular paradigm between child labour, poverty and education and we welcome the President’s call for us all to commit ourselves every day to ending child labour in all its forms.

His words gave us renewed belief and motivation in realising that yes, we can rid the world of this terrible evil. But, he also made us realise that we cannot do this through a “business as usual” approach. We know from recent the Global Report on Child Labour from the International Labour Organisation that although the number of working children is continuing to decline, that decline is slowing and especially in the more difficult sectors where child labour is most prevalent and damaging, particularly agriculture. Therefore, we all need to step up our work and, in this respect, it is vital that the US Administration reinforces its role as a global leader by being bolder, more ambitious and more determined and courageous in its political commitment and support for this vital development goal. This is even more important in the context of the global economic crisis which is already having an impact on development aid budgets and therefore capacity to maintain vital programmes against child labour. The crisis is impacting severely on developing economies and we need to ensure that the progress made does not become lessened or undone.

The reason why I described this conference as “timely” before is because it comes at a time when there are so many opportunities arising around the world within which the US could further strengthen its leadership role. The Global Monitoring Report on Education For All published earlier this year focuses on the plight of the world’s marginalised children – those who continue to be excluded from education systems and programmes in spite of the investment in EFA. Many if not all of these children will be child labourers.

In addition, there was the Global Conference in The Hague and the Roadmap 2016 that emerged as the conference document and which will, I hope, be unanimously endorsed by the International Labour Conference in Geneva this month. And, of course, the US will itself be hosting the review of the Millennium Development Goals in September this year which will offer the international community the opportunity to ensure the inclusion of the child labour issue across key goals, particularly education, poverty and HIV/AIDS.

All of these events provide us with renewed opportunities to put child labour at the forefront of the global development agenda once again and to strengthen partnerships between all key stakeholders to take urgent and accelerated action. They offer us the opportunity to make the worldwide movement a reality. However, we must be agreed that now is the time for action. Bold statements and documents are meaningless to the children who suffer the harsh and sometimes fatal realities of child labour on a daily basis. We have made promises to them and we cannot break these. They must bind us to them in a very real and tangible way and we cannot hide behind our words anymore. It is time to take strong, urgent and determined action.

So, what can be done and what might we suggest as an immediate future course of action? I have six key areas that I feel are crucial for consideration in the follow-up to this conference and I would like to briefly mention each of these:

Firstly, I would like to suggest that it is time for us to declare war on the existence of child labour. It is time for the international community, hopefully led by the US, to state quite clearly that enough is enough and a strong political commitment must emerge to combat child labour once and for all. It is in the very title of this conference, so why can’t we make that happen? As with other wars, we need to establish effective strategic partnerships, including with those countries where child labour is prevalent. The time is right to do this and if we fail now, the consequences are too devastating to contemplate.

Secondly, the war against child labour cannot be won without a strong, committed, coherent and adequately resourced worldwide movement. Fighting this battle requires the commitment and support of the social partners, of civil society and of people and children themselves – all stakeholders. There is always a reference to the importance of the worldwide movement in documents and statements on child labour – but what is this mythical movement and how can it be strengthened if no resources are directed towards it? Global March has played a key coordinating role in bringing together civil society, teachers organisations and trade unions under one roof and with one goal and we can ensure that this worldwide movement has life and meaning – but this task cannot happen without financial and technical support. The model of the Child Labour Coalition here in the US is a good and strong model and we would like to congratulate its executive board and members for their continued commitment and work on this issue.

Thirdly, we need to focus on the emergence of a new child labour diplomacy and building strategic partnerships with and between such emerging economies as India, Brazil, South Africa and others. This process has already begun with South-South partnership initiatives, but it needs to grow and quickly. These countries can play a significant role in their regions and globally, for example, through the IBSA and BRIC country groupings and Global March is already working with these countries to draw upon their experience and expertise in the field of child labour elimination and prevention. This process should also extend to sub-regional country groupings, such as MERCOSUR, CARICOM, ASEAN, AU, and so on. These countries share serious child labour problems but also have vast experience in tackling this issue successfully and sustainably.

Fourthly, there is an urgent need to strengthen cooperation between intergovernmental organisations, including the international financial institutions. The key to the sustainable elimination of child labour is coherence in terms of policies, programmes and resources. Child labour is a multi-faceted problem that needs to be tackled holistically. The Global Task Force on Child Labour and Education is a good example of how this can be done at global level – but it too needs to be revitalised and properly resourced to be able to do its work effectively. But the continued existence of child labour and strategies to tackle it must also be part of poverty reduction strategies and particularly the decent work agenda and social protection. Child labour needs to become the shared responsibility of other intergovernmental mechanisms and should be a part of all discussions across the development sphere.

Fifthly, we need enhanced financing for education for all to ensure that it achieves its goals. In this respect, it is important that the US contributes its share of the financing package. And, whatever funding contributions are provided for education, it is vital that the issue of child labour is specifically included as a condition to ensure that programmes address the continued absence of these children from school.

Sixthly and finally, we need to strengthen the corporate social responsibility not only of multinationals, but of all business entities at different supply chain levels, including in domestic markets of developing countries. This should include multi-stakeholder initiatives which ensure the integration of state accountability to reinforce sustainably, for example, through enhanced, credible and transparent state labour inspectorates. It would be useful in this context to promote the strategic involvement of US embassies around the world in terms of providing political and financial support for such initiatives.

In closing, dear friends, and more than anything, it is vital that we remember that what we are doing here today and what we are thinking and talking about for the future concerns the lives of the most vulnerable in any community – the children who are working now and who will become child labourers in the future. They have waited a long time since the international community first began to sit up and take notice of the problem of child labour and promised that it would take immediate and strong action to help them and their families. How much longer shall we ask them to wait? We cannot afford to break our promises to them and time has always been of the essence. Global March pledged in The Hague to do all it can to continue its support for the fight against all forms of child labour. We uphold that pledge here today in Washington to wipe out this evil once and for all.”

United States Departments of State and Labor

Working Together to Combat Child Labor: 
It’s Time to Stop the Exploitation of Children

Morning Session

8:30 – 9:00    Registration and Coffee*

9:00 – 9:20    Welcome and Opening Remarks
Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State

9:20 – 9:30    Constance Thomas, Director, International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor, International Labor Organization (ILO-IPEC)

9:30 – 10:40 Panel 1: Decent Work
Moderator: Laura Rozen, Politico 
Sandra Polaski, Deputy Under Secretary for International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor 
Constance Thomas, Director, ILO-IPEC
Barbara Shailor, Special Representative for International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of State

10:40 – 10:50      Transition between Panels*

10:50 – 12:00      Panel 2: Education
Moderator: Ann Lewis, President, No Limits Foundation 
Carol Bellamy, Chair, Education for All/Fast Track Initiative 
Alexandria Panehal, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth and Trade, U.S. Agency for International 
Development
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

12:00 – 1:10 Lunch* provided by Coca-Cola and the American Federation of Teachers
brief remarks by:
Cindy Sawyer, Coca-Cola
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers

Afternoon Session

1:10 – 1:30           Afternoon Opening Remarks 
Kailash Satyarthi, Global March Against Child Labor
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Video

1:30 – 2:40   Panel 3: Social and Economic Development 
Moderator: Kerry Kennedy, Founding Executive Director, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights (Invited)
Gayle Smith, Senior Director for Relief, Stabilization and Development, National Security Staff 
Lionel Johnson, Vice President, Fleishman-Hillard 
Rohan Patel, Policy Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

2:40 – 2:50   Transition between Panels

2:50 – 4:00   Panel 4: Making Rights a Reality 
Moderator: Kyle Gibson
Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State
Larry Cox, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA 
Sarah Mendelson, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance,  U.S. Agency 
for International Development

4:00 – 4:30   Next Steps and Closing Remarks 
Moderator: Ann Lewis, President of No Limits Foundation
Sandra Polaski, Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
Michael Posner,  Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State
Barbara Shailor, Special Representative for International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Bangladesh

Eliminate worst forms of child labour'

Dhaka, June 13, 2010 : Elimination of the worst forms of child labour is the most urgent task Bangladesh should undertake in line with the new national child labour elimination policy, said speakers at a seminar on June 12, 2010 (yesterday).

A social movement should be forged across the country against child labour, the speakers told the seminar styled National Child Labour Elimination Policy and Next Steps held at the BIAM auditorium in the Dhaka city.

The labour and employment ministry, International Labor Organisation and Unicef jointly organised the seminar marking the World Day Against Child Labour.

Speaking as the chief guest, Labour and Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said elimination of poverty and ensuring education for every child are essential to overcome the trend of involving children in vulnerable jobs.

"No parents want to push their children into vulnerable work. But they do it being the victims of the situation," the minister told reporters after the seminar.

Replying to a query, Mosharraf said the government has already revised the Child Labour Act, 2006 and it would be placed before parliament in next session.

He said bringing every child under the education net should be the prime target to curb the years-long poverty in the society.

On the child labour policy adopted by the government in March this year, he said, "This policy is well complemented by the recently adopted national education policy, which is extending free compulsory education till class eight."

ILO Director in Dhaka Gagan Rajbhandari, government officials and Unicef representative and Global March member Khairuzzaman Kamal were present.

The labour and employment minister also inaugurated a countrywide campaign against child labour. The Unicef, with technical support from ILO, is supporting this campaign, which will disseminate messages through national media, interactive popular theatre, posters, leaflets, social mobilisation activities and school debates.

According to the national child labour survey in 2003, the most common reason for a child not to be enrolled at school is inability to bear educational expenses. The second most common reason is the child's participation in household economic activities.

13 LAKH CHILDREN IN VULNERABLE JOBS

There are around one crore child labourers engaged in various forms of work, said speakers of a separate discussion.

Of them, nearly 13 lakh children are involved in vulnerable jobs in the country, they said.

They called upon the government to establish a strong social safety net, ensure education for all children and rehabilitate street and rootless children to eliminate the trend of using children in vulnerable jobs.

Bangladesh National Council of Textile Garments and Leather Workers arranged the discussion in the city, says a press release.

Human chain

Child workers observed the World Day Against Child Labour yesterday with a call to eliminate worst forms of child labour.

They also took part in an art competition, discussion and cultural events organised by the Voluntary Association for Family Welfare and Social Development (VAFWSD) in association with the Manusher Jonno Foundation at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) in the city.

Child workers from automobile and welding workshops and other establishments also formed a human chain near the IEB, says a press release.

Media personality M Hamid, cultural activists, owners of welding workshops attended the programmes presided over by VAFWSD chief executive Dr Abdul Qaiyum Laskar. 

Speaking on the occasion, M Hamid called on the children to study alongside their work. 

He also called upon the owner of different institutions not to involve children in hazardous jobs.

Source: The Daily Star, June 13, 2010

Send by: Khairuzzaman Kamal, Member, Global March against Child Labour
khairuzzamankamal@yahoo.com

World Day against Child Labour observed 

Dhaka, June 13, 2010, Staff Correspondent: 

Government, non-government and international organisations representatives at a seminar marking World Day against Child Labour on Saturday demanded that the legal age of children should be decided.

The speakers also said the country needed to clear the confusion over the legal age of children and to implement the National Child Labour Elimination Policy 2010 to eliminate child labour.

The national seminar on ‘National Child Labour Elimination Policy and Next Steps’ was organised by the labour and employment ministry in the BIAM auditorium.

The labour and employment minister, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, said about 13 lakh children were involved in 43 to 67 worst forms of child labour.

The minister said the government had taken steps to eliminate child labour in the country by 2016.

A discussion and a cultural programme were also organised by the Bureau of Non-Formal Education of the primary and mass education ministry in the auditorium of the bureau marking the day. A procession was also brought out.

The Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights organised a discussion in the organisation’s office on the occasion.

Source: The Daily New Age, June 13, 2010

Send by: Khairuzzaman Kamal, Member, Global March against Child Labour
khairuzzamankamal@yahoo.com

End Worst Form of Child Labor by 2016
The International theme of the year 2010 is "Go for Goal: End Child Labor". But for Bangladesh there is small change in the theme which has jointly decided by Govt. ILO and UNICEF and the civil society organizations. The theme for the country is “End Worst Form of Child Labor by 2016". There is a Bangla slogan also introduced which is "Jhukipurna Shishusram Niroshon Kori, Shishur Shikkha Nishchit Kori" that means “Stop Worst Form of Child Labor and ensure education for all Children” .

The programs for the day are:

1. The govt. of Bangladesh (Ministry of Labor and Employment (MoLE) is organising a National Seminar on 12th June), jointly with Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, MoWCA, ILO and UNICEF at 9.30am,  BSAF and its all member organizations are also invited.

2. They have printed posters on the event and given 500 postres to BSAF.

3. Bangladesh Manobadhikar Shangtha Organizing a discussion session on the day at 3.00 pm

4. BSAF will telecast a talk show of 12th June 2010 which has already been recorded.

5. There will be 2-3 television programme in different channels like; Bangla Vision, Bangladesh Television, Channel-I, etc, I will be there as the guest speaker on the theme of the day.

6. There will be rally, Human chain, Art Competition, Discussions meeting with the Child laborers, Parents and employers on the theme and Open Concert Organized by our children on the theme “Stop Worst Form of Child Labor and Ensure Education for all Children” which will be under the banner of Global March Against Child Labour.

To participate in Bangladesh Activities Write at info@globalmarch.org or <wahida@aparajeyo.org>

Chile

Enlace de cobertura en Medios de Comunicación 
09 de junio de 2010
Canal 13- Chile 
http://www.nexchannel.cl/nexchannel/noticias/noticia_video.php?nota=5114042

07 de junio de 2010
24 Horas TVN
http://www.24horas.cl/videos.aspx?id=75381&tipo=27

07 de Junio del 2010
Niños y niñas trabajadores comparten un desayuno con la Ministra del Trabajo, Camila Merino, y la Directora Ejecutiva de la Corporación Opción.
En el marco de las actividades de conmemoración del Día Mundial Contra el Trabajo Infantil. 

La Ministra del Trabajo y Previsión Social, Camila Merino, y la Directora Ejecutiva de la Corporación Opción, Consuelo Contreras, y el Director de la Oficina Subregional de la OIT para el Cono Sur de América Latina, Guillermo Miranda, y el Jugador de Universidad Católica, Milovan Mirosevic, se reunión este lunes 07 de junio con niños y niñas trabajadores para escuchar sus preocupaciones y propuestas en torno al Trabajo Infantil, y conmemorar así un nuevo aniversario de la aprobación del Convenio 182 de la OIT, por medio del cual los países firmantes se comprometieron a desarrollar acciones para eliminar las peores formas de trabajo infantil.

Este año la Conmemoración del Día Mundial Contra el Trabajo Infantil esta cruzada por la realización de la Copa Mundial Sudáfrica 2010 y el Bicentenario, por ello nos hacemos parte del llamado de la Organización internacional del Trabajo (OIT) para que  ¡metamos un gol… erradiquemos el trabajo infantil!

El Trabajo Infantil priva a los niños de su niñez, su potencial y su dignidad, esto es perjudicial para su desarrollo físico y psicológico, interfiere con la educación, obliga a abandonar la escuela de forma prematura o exige combinar el estudio con un trabajo pesado que consume mucho tiempo.

Es por esto que la Corporación Opción y el Ministerio del Trabajo hacen un llamado para que este 12 de junio se redoblen los esfuerzos como sociedad para construir grandes compromisos contra las peores formas de trabajo infantil y mejorar sustancialmente la situación de la infancia, con el objetivo de que Chile sea un país sin trabajo infantil. 

05 de junio 2010
Metamos un Gol: Erradiquemos el Trabajo Infantil 
Los ministros del Trabajo, Planificación, Justicia y Minería, junto al director del Sename, el representante de OIT en Chile, y  destacados deportistas, conmemoraron el día contra el Trabajo Infantil junto a niños y niñas. 

En el Centro Deportivo de Alto Rendimiento, ubicado en la comuna de Ñuñoa, este sábado 05 de junio se realizó un partido de baby fútbol entre autoridades y niños y niños actividad que da inicio a la conmemoración del Día Mundial Contra el Trabajo Infantil, que se celebra cada 12 de junio.

El equipo de las autoridades estuvo compuesto por los ministros de Planificación, Felipe Kast, y Minería, Laurence Golborne; el subsecretario de Previsión Social, Augusto Iglesias; el director del Sename, Francisco Estrada, el piloto Carlo de Gavardo; el presidente del Comité Olímpico, Neven Ilic, y el alcalde de Cerro Navia, Luis Plaza; todos ellos dirigidos técnicamente por el Ministro de Justicia, Felipe Bulnes. .

Por los niños, conformaron su equipo con representantes de las cuatro instituciones que antes animaron un campeonato que finalizó con la victoria del equipo de la Corporación Opción, y en el que participaron PROniño, la Vicaria de la Familia y el Centro Galvarino, de Sename. En las tribunas, decenas de niños de otras residencias apoyaban a los participantes.

Al finalizar, los participantes hicieron un sentido llamado a erradicar el trabajo de niños y niñas en Chile y mostraron una tarjeta roja a esta práctica, en una campaña que se enmarca a en la celebración de la Copa Mundial de Fútbol Sudáfrica 2010,  haciendo un llamado “Metamos un Gol: Erradiquemos El Trabajo Infantil”.

 

Child Labor Coalition

1701 K Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC  20006 
Phone:  

202.207.2820    Fax: 202.835.0747
www.stopchildlabor.org

A Special CLC Meeting:

A Conversation with Kailash Satyarthi

MEETING AGENDA

June 7, 2010

National Education Association

1201 16th Street, N.W. 
Conf. Room G
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

I. Kailash Satyarthi, Chair, Global March against Child Labor and President, Global Campaign for Education.

Mr. Satyarthi will discuss the global campaign to reduce abusive child labor, the recent conference in the Hague, the ILO meeting in Geneva and the status of the “Education for All” initiative  and other child labor matters of interest.

II. Nick Grisewood, the new executive director of the Global March Against Child Labor will introduce himself to the CLC.

 

III. Q and A—attendees will have an opportunity to dialogue with Kailash and Nick