Human rights and Social justice for the sector which has the highest incidence of child labour
This year’s theme for World Day Against Child Labour “Human Rights and Social Justice......lets end child labour” throws open a larger question and reflects upon the fact whether men and women as adult individuals, parents and others stakeholders like voluntary organizations, local authorities, law enforcement agencies have been able to protect all children against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation in any form whatsoever. Have we been able to ensure that any child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age? Have we adhered to the fact that the child shall in no case be permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would come in the way of his/her health, education, or interfere with his/her physical, mental or moral development. In the absence of the lacunae created by not accomplishing the goals as set out by the member nations in the UNCRC, achieving social justice for them appears to be a distant dream.
Child labour in agriculture is a behemoth of a problem as ILO estimates that around 60 percent of child labourers around the world work in the agriculture sector – an issue which equally plagues the developing as well as the developed nations. A double whammy here is the fact that Child Labour in agriculture is an area that has not got the attention of the policy makers, law enforcement agencies, child rights’ organizations, trade unions and employers’ organizations that it duly deserves. Turning a blind eye towards an issue of such magnitude would not help realizing the objectives set out in Roadmap 2016, Millennium Development Goals or Education for All objectives in any way. In 2010, findings of a research commissioned by Tulane University under a grant by the US Government showed that a staggering 1.8 million children aged 5 to 17 years work in cocoa farms of Ivory Coast and Ghana at the cost of their physical, emotional, cognitive and moral well being. The report further establishes that about 40% children working in cocoa fields of Ivory Coast are not enrolled in schools and that only 5% of Ivorian children are paid for their work. UNICEF further estimates nearly 35,000 Ivorian children working on cocoa farms as victims of trafficking for forced labour. This is just one of the many instances and therefore could be called as the tip of the iceberg; therefore the fight against child labour in agriculture needs a systematic and global impetus by all the stakeholders involved. The condition of children in Uzbekistan during cotton harvest season when they are forced out of their class rooms to work in the cotton fields has drawn much ire from ILO and the International Fraternity is yet another example of the child right violation amongst many others.
Speaking on the eve of World Day Against Child Labour, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi said “Global March acknowledging the aforesaid and strategically targeting child labour in agriculture as an area of priority is hosting an International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture at Washington D.C. from 28-30th July 2012 with the support of IPEC, Global Union Federation on Agricultural Workers (IUF) and others. The twin objectives of this conference are (a) High level advocacy for elimination of child labour in agriculture (b) Empowerment knowledge sharing, engagement and networking of civil society organizations to accelerate actions at grassroots and national levels. For more information please log on to www.globalmarch.org”. He further said, “We see this conference and the associated follow up activities after the event to be completely in-sync with ILO’s theme for World Day Against Child Labour 2012. This year the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights. In 2010 the International Community had adopted a Roadmap for achieving the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016 (Roadmap 2016), which stressed that child labour is an impediment to children’s rights and a potential barrier to development. World Day 2012 emphasizes on the work that needs to be done to make the roadmap a living reality.
Speaking about the core discussions to be held in the forthcoming agriculture conference, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi said that “Concerted actions must be taken for mainstreaming trafficking, forced and bonded labour and slavery across actions to eliminate child labour in agriculture. From a long term benefit for the young workers who have achieved the minimum age of employment everybody’s aim should be to seamlessly transform hazardous child labour into decent youth employment opportunities. Another area that requires special attention is Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining being conferred to the farmers, so that they could collectively voice out their grievances in order to get them addressed. We have always emphasized that parents enjoying decent working conditions and fundamental rights at work are least likely to send their children to work. Dialogue should be initiated with farmers’ organizations (their national and international bodies) agricultural cooperatives, to eliminate child labour from the contract farming supply chains. Civil Society and Governments must ensure that labour laws are implemented in true spirit and substance to keep a tab on Multi National Enterprises so that their supply chains are free of child labour”.
Aligning with the theme of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour in order to address the issue of child labour in agriculture which has highest incidence, Global March is working with the governments, UN Agencies, farmer and out-growers organizations, trade unions to raise social and political awareness and will on child labour in agriculture; supporting the analysis of the knowledge base including good practices, providing technical assistance and guidance to the civil society organizations and businesses in promoting decent work in agriculture, thereby empowering families, communities and civil society organizations to become active participants in the fight against child labour particularly in agriculture and allied processes to ensure that human rights and social justice could be conferred to the child labourers working in the field of agriculture.
Global March Against Child labour Partnered with Radijojo World Children's Radio Network to put forwards children voice on the issue of child labour and importance of education . Radijojo World Children's Radio Network (in brief: Radijojo) is a global non-profit initiative empowering children to use radio and internet as tools for global learning and cultural exchange. Radijojo is a Germany based NGO cooperating with schools, community radios, education, youth and culture organisations worldwide.
Radijojo's content is produced by children for children. All programming is free of advertising and offered to schools and community radios worldwide free of charge.
Radijojo World Children's Radio Network has established educative and participative projects e.g. in Afghanistan, India, Sierra Leone, Russia, Kyrgysztan, Thailand, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, China, Chile, Ghana, Tanzania and Namibia.,Radijojo has established the first Transatlantic children's radio platform connecting kids in the US, Canada and Europe, called "Across the Ocean".
Global March Partners who participated in the Radio Programme
SPARC - SPARC is Pakistan’s leading child rights organization. It works on a broad range of child rights issues, addressing the overall system and policy framework, with added focus on specific thematic areas of special importance to children.
SPARC’s work is guided by international human rights principles and standards which are integrated at policy and program level. The main guiding documents include the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and relevant ILO Conventions.
GODH - To support & uplift marginalized communities through social mobilization & improved livelihood practices especially in the areas of education, health, income generation opportunities with the greater sense of gender equality.
CWIN - Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN-Nepal) in its 20th year of operation is a pioneer child rights organisation in Nepal. It was established in 1987 by a group of university students as a movement which brought a fresh approach to social work, defying the convention of charity and heralding a new concept of rights, empowerment and activism. It focuses its activities on the issues of child rights, girls' rights, child labour, trafficking, bonded labour, street children, child abuse and children in armed conflict.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan - Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA)symbolizes the largest grassroots movement against child labour, child trafficking and child servitude. We have a legacy of 25 years of crusading as an initiator of rescuing slave children (through direct action and raid and rescue operations) in India. Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) was the first civil society initiative to question and fight this evil. BBA is a leading advocate of abolition of child labour. It deserves the credit for not only being the first organization in India on this issue but the first Regional People’s Movement in the world. It has now emerged as an organization of thousands of individual supporters under the banner of ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ as well as network of over 780 NGOs, Trade Unions, Human Rights Organization etc. dedicated towards the total elimination of child labour and quality education for all in India also known as the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude.
CRIDOC - Mission
1. Creating access to information on child rights or related issues through Research, Documentation, and ICT models. [See Appendix I for more details on ICT]
2. Providing guidance, motivation and information to children and all those involved in research and child rights issues, in terms of facilitating for the necessary interventions, available resources, education and professional support.
3. Building awareness on child rights issues through media, public relations, seminars, conferences and other traditional and non-traditional modes of communication. Be active participants in advocacy movements at national level on issues like “speedy implementation of government laws affecting children.”
CESIP - El CESIP es una organización no gubernamental de desarrollo, fundada en 1976, comprometida con la superación de las barreras personales, institucionales y sociales que limitan el ejercicio pleno de derechos de niños, niñas, adolescentes y mujeres adultas. Para ello, interviene en el desarrollo de capacidades personales y colectivas, la institucionalización de mecanismos de promoción y protección, la articulación interinstitucional y la incidencia a nivel local, regional y nacional, promoviendo la participación de los diferentes actores sociales.
Click here to hear the radio programme
Aprajeyo Bangladesh organised children gathering and cultural programme which will be organised on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour at 3:15 PM at National Shaheed Miner premises.
Following the programme a children rally will be taken place from the in front ofNational Museum at 3:00 PM.The honorable Secretary of Ministry of Social Welfare Dr. Ranjit Kumar Biswas ndc has given a grace consented to inaugurate the rally. A cultural programme participated by the children will be held at National Shaheed Minar premises at 3:30 pm.Eminent artists, sports, singer and media personnel will present in the events.
“Human Rights and Social Justice... lets end child labour” is the theme that the International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced for World Day Against Child Labour 2012 that will be observed on 12 June. On this World Day Against Child Labour, Global March joins ILO in appealing the member states for:
- Universal ratification of the ILO’s Conventions on child labour (and of all ILO core Conventions)
- National policies and programmes to ensure effective progress in the elimination of child labour
- Action to build the worldwide movement against child labour
Too often labour rights are not given the due recognition within economic and social rights, and not considered at par with human rights. Right to be free from economic exploitation, slavery and forced labour, is a basic human right and within the ambit of right to life with freedom and dignity.
This year the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights. In 2010 the international community adopted a Roadmap for achieving the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016 (Roadmap 2016), which stressed that child labour is an impediment to children’s rights and a barrier to development. World Day 2012 will highlight the work that needs to be done to make the roadmap a reality.The Roadmap is littered with references to urgency, priority, upscaling and accelerating action and and calls for increased political leadership to achieve this crucial goal which is itself only a step along the path to eliminate all forms of child labour which is ultimately what we in Global March are striving for. Global March has been at the forefront of efforts within the Consultative Group for drafting the content of the Roadmap 2016, and the follow-up in realising the Roadmap 2016.
The ILO’s Conventions seek to protect children from exposure to child labour. Together with other international instruments relating to children’s, workers’ and human rights they provide an important framework for legislation established by national governments. However the ILO’s most recent global estimate is that 215 million children worldwide are involved in child labour, with more than half this number involved in its worst forms. The children concerned should be at school being educated and acquiring skills that prepare them for decent work as adults. By entering the labour market prematurely, they are deprived of this critical education and training that can help to lift them, their families and communities out of a cycle of poverty. In its worst forms, child labourers may also be exposed to physical, psychological or moral suffering that can cause long term damage to their lives.
The right to work, and to decent work, is essential for realizing other human rights and forms an inseparable and inherent part of human dignity. It is a keystone for addressing economic and social deprivation, exclusion and marginalization. Labour rights provide a means of ensuring social justice through distributing among men and women the gains and benefits of economic development. This is required to meet the aspirations of millions of people, in particular young people, who increasingly seek and demand decent work. Without jobs social stability is threatened, as work provides an important part of the foundation for sustainable livelihoods, communities and nations.
Everyone has the right to education and that education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Human rights and social justice is based on equality of all rights of all human beings including children that constitute about 33% of the total world’s population without any discrimination whatsoever.
Child Labour is an outright violation of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 4 of the UDHR states that “no one shall be helf in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” Highlighting the importance of universal education UDHR states in Article 26 (1) that, “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementaty and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.” Elimination of child labour and universal education go hand-in-hand; education for all cannot be achieved without ending hazardous child labour while child labour can not be abolished until all children are in schools and getting quality education.
In spite of these unalienable and universal rights, 215 million children are trapped in work, out of which nearly 115 million children are engaged in undeniably worst forms of child labour as mentioned in the ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, like:
All forms of slavery, or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, as well as forced labour, including forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
The use, procurement or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances.
The use, procurement or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in relevant international treaties.
Work which, by its nature or circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children, such harmful work to be determined by national authorities.
It’s about time member nations take cognizance of the perils that millions of children face day and night at the cost of their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development as echoed in the Universal Convention on the Rights of the Child. Building on the specific care and assistance mentioned in the UDHR, the UNCRC categorically states that primary education should be compulsory and available free to all and encourages the development of different forms of secondary education available and accessible to every child, particularly article 28 “Make primary education compulsory and available free to all”. With the deadlines for commitments for international pacts like Millennium Development Goals, Roadmap 2016 Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour, Education for All fast approaching a human rights and social justice based approach is the need of the hour for elimination of child labour. All stakeholders should coherently strive for ending child labour and assist each other in bridging the knowledge and capacity gaps that stand in the way of achieving this goal.