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Senator Harkin opens the Global March’s International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture

The First International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture was opened by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Pathbreaking conference to tackle the urgent problem of child labour in agriculture. Organized by the Global March Against Child Labour, a worldwide movement of NGOs, trade unions including teachers trade unions. Senator Harkin said the campaign on child labour in agriculture had started with DENIAL, moved onto AWARENESS-raising, and now was the time for more action leading to ABOLITION.

The three day conference is being attended by 160 participants from 40 countries with representatives from the governments, international labour and development organizations, trade unions, employers organizations, corporations, multi stakeholders initiatives, national and international coalitions.

Senator Tom Harkin said that the fight against exploitative child labour should be the centrepiece of all the development financing from the IMF and The World Bank. All financing commitments from the international financial institutions should be critically linked to credible commitments from the national governments to provide economic and social protection to the poor and ensuring each child is brought to schools from the farms and fields. He further added that we need less military spending and more schools with substantial increases in hiring of the teachers to meet the critical shortages of trained and well-paid teachers in every classroom.

The South African representative the “Let me be a child” campaign, with meetings held in Limpopo province expressly to highlight the problem of child labour in agriculture.

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson Global March expressed anger, anguish on the slow progress made in elimination of child labour in worst forms. He said that 2016 deadline to eliminate worst forms of child labour is fast approaching and we do not have a results based plan for each country. He also expressed the dissatisfaction on the poor support to the civil society to have the means to compel the national governments in monitoring their efforts and keeping the national attention focussed. He said the fight against child labour is weakened if there is no commensuration support to strengthen the global movement against child labour.

He also demanded from the multinational corporations not to hide behind some modest initiatives on CSR so as to escape attention from their poor institutional ability to monitor prevalence of the exploitative child labour. He also said that the Corporations cannot place the blame on supply chains being effectively out of their control and excuse, deflect attention from their responsibility. He said that the respect to the laws of land, core international labour standards, engaging civil society in monitoring of the supply chains and going deeper in to the issue of exploitative child labour should be their prime responsibility.

Geronimo Venegas, Vice President of the IUF trade group representing the workers, called for better ties with agricultural trade unions. The fight against child labour cannot be realised without closer collaboration with the farmers’ organisations.

Fred van Leeuwen, Secretary General, Education International affirmed the commitment of the 30 million strong members of the Union in the fight against child labor in agriculture and demanded time bound action plan for providing schools in rural areas and commitments from the national governments to fill up the 8 million teacher vacancies so that each rural school could be provided with teachers if the goals on child labour in worst forms has to be met by 2016. He appreciated the initiative from the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon on creating a special group to focus on coordinating various UN agencies work in the field of education and expressed hope that this group will be able to address the problem of the 67 million children who are currently missing out on primary education.

Constance Thomas said that all the participants were “engineers in the process of eliminating child labour.” She highlighted the problem of hazardous child labour, and the fact that developing countries use 25% of the world’s pesticides but have 99% of pesticide poisoning facilities. For the conference, her major question was “how can we make greater progress in eliminating child labour, especially in agriculture?” She called for broadening advocacy, enhancing visibility, and strengthening law and enforcement, and hoped that the discussions at the conference will represent a significant staging post between The Hague and Brasilia conferences.


Once again the loud slogans “Go Go Global March” “ Stop Stop child Labour , We Want Education” and “No more tools in tiny hands  we want books, we want toys” were chanted in front of the white house today.

The activists from Global March International Secretariat who arrived in Washington DC  for preparations of the upcoming International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture, 28th-30th July 2012 grabbed the opportunity to participate in demonstration of various civil society groups during the ongoing AIDS conference.

GMACL activists Priyanka, Abha, Purva, Priya and Rohit  hurriedly painted some posters and marched across the lawns of white house holding them along with Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson GMACL.  While they were marching the other participants of the other demonstrations not only supported but also joined the team.

Mr Satyarthi said that “Education is the only preventive vaccination for AIDS and can save several people”

This march was most appropriate build up for the upcoming International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in Double tree hotel , Washington DC from 28-30th July 2012.

Here some pictures of the event

March Against Child Labour

White house

 White House

Press Release
From farms and fields to the classrooms
Global March’s International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture

12 July 2012: More than 150 representatives from nearly 50 countries, representing governments, inter-governmental agencies, trade unions, teachers organisations, farmers organisations and cooperatives, child rights organisations, multi-stakeholder initiatives, corporations are participating in the first ever global conference on child labour in agriculture in Washington DC from 28-30 July 2012. The Global March Against Child Labour is organising this International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture in close collaboration with the International Labour Organization, the Global Union Federation on food and agriculture workers - IUF, the End Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation, the Solidarity Center in USA and many others.

This event and the priority focus on child labour in agriculture will be a major step forward in efforts to revitalize the worldwide movement against child labour, and catalyze meaningful and constructive action against child labour in agriculture through high level advocacy on the issue. Although 60 per cent of all child labour globally is in agriculture, it has not received the due recognition and focus as other sectors. Child labour in agriculture is often the most neglected and ‘invisible’. Nearly 130 million girls and boys under 18 years of age help in part to produce much of the food and drink we consume, the fibers and raw materials we use to make other products. While many work in product supply chains as part of the global food chain,  others help supply commodities used in other global production/supply chains.

Representatives from Togo, Niger, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Indonesia will have an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and good practices in the struggle against child labour in agriculture, and will assist the Global March alliance in developing a strategy for the sector and will act as a staging post between the Hague (2010) and the Brasilia (2013) global child labour conferences, and in mapping the goal to 2016.

Reconvening the IBSA Labour Ministers’ panel on child labour, Global March is promoting IBSA partnership to interact with other stakeholders at the event. Ms. Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant, Minister of Labour, Republic of South Africa; Representative from the Brazil Ministry of Labour, Senator Christovam Buarque from Brazil Senate and Ms. Nirupama Rao, Ambassador of India to the US are the key spokes in the IBSA panel. US Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) who has led the fight against child labour and the co-author of the Harkin-Engel Protocol will inaugurate the Conference which will also see remarks from Mr. Eric Biel, Under Secretary, US Department of Labor, Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of Education International and other notable speakers. 

Talking about the event, Kailash Satyarthi, Global March’s Chairperson said, “international commitment to end worst forms of child labour by 2016, ensuring universal education by 2015, halving global poverty and hunger and attaining gender equality cannot be met without seriously tackling child labour in agriculture. Global March calls upon all the stakeholders to commit and act with urgency and utmost political will  for saving the present and future of millions.”

Global March Against Child Labour is a worldwide movement of trade unions, teachers’ and non-governmental organisations for strengthening international efforts to protect and promote the rights of all children with a special emphasis on their freedom from economic exploitation and their right to full-time quality basic education. The origin of Global March Against Child Labour dates back to 1998, when a physical march launched in Manila, Philippines traversed the globe covering 80,000 kilometers across over 100 countries before congregating in Geneva. At that point in time, the annual conference of the International Labour Organization initiated discussions on what was to become ILO Convention No.182 on eliminating worst forms of child labour as a priority for the international community.


Communiqué de presse
Des fermes et des champs aux salles de classe
Conférence internationale sur le travail des enfants dans l'agriculture par la Marche mondiale

12 Juillet 2012: Plus de 150 participants en provenance de près de 50 pays participeront à la première conférence internationale sur le travail des enfants dans l'agriculture à Washington du 28-30 juillet 2012. Ces participants représentent les gouvernements, les agences intergouvernementales, les syndicats, les organisations d'enseignants, les organisations  des agriculteurs et les coopératives, les organisations de droits de l'enfant, les initiatives multipartites et les entreprises. La Marche mondiale contre le travail des enfants est en train d'organiser cette conférence internationale en étroite collaboration avec l'Organisation internationale du Travail, la Fédération syndicale mondiale sur l'alimentation et l'agriculture travailleurs-UITA, le End Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation, le Solidarity Center  aux Etats-Unis et de nombreux autres.

Cet événement et l'accent mis sur le travail des enfants dans l'agriculture sera une étape importante dans les efforts à revitaliser le mouvement mondial contre le travail des enfants, et de catalyser l'action utile et constructif contre le travail des enfants dans l'agriculture à travers le plaidoyer de haut niveau sur la question. Bien que globalement, 60 pour cent de tous les enfants du travail est dans l'agriculture, il n'a pas reçu la reconnaissance et l'accent que d'autres secteurs. Travail des enfants dans l'agriculture est souvent le plus négligé et invisible. Près de 130 millions de filles et de garçons de moins de 18 ans contribuent à produire une grande partie de la nourriture et les boissons que nous consommons, les fibres et les matières premières que nous utilisons pour fabriquer d'autres produits. Alors que de nombreux enfants travaillent dans les chaînes logistiques de produits dans le cadre de la chaîne alimentaire mondiale, d'autres aident à fournir des produits qui sont utilisés dans d'autres mondiaux de production / chaînes logistiques.

Les représentants du Togo, du Niger, Ouganda, République démocratique du Congo, l'Egypte, l'Algérie, le Kirghizistan, le Pérou, l'Argentine, la Colombie, le Brésil, l'Inde, le Pakistan, le Népal et l'Indonésie auront une excellente occasion d'échanger des expériences et des bonnes pratiques dans la lutte contre l'enfant travail dans l'agriculture. Ils aideront l'alliance de Global Mars à élaborer une stratégie pour le secteur qui servira de relais entre La Haye (2010) et le Brasilia (2013) conférences mondiales du travail des enfants, et de cartographier l'objectif à l'horizon 2016.

Par reconvocation panneau de l'IBSA des Ministres du Travail sur le travail des enfants, la Marche mondiale sera de promouvoir le partenariat IBSA pour interagir avec les autres parties prenantes lors de l'événement. Mme Mildred Nelisiwe Oliphant, Ministre du Travail, République d'Afrique du Sud, le sénateur Christovam Buarque du Brésil Sénat, représentant du Ministère du Travail du Brésil et Mme Nirupama Rao, Ambassadeur de l'Inde aux États-Unis sont le principal porte-parole dans le panneau de l'IBSA. Le sénateur américain Tom Harkin (D-IA) qui a mené la lutte contre le travail des enfants et le co-auteur du protocole Harkin-Engel inaugurera la Conférence. Aussi, la Conférence aura des remarques de M. Eric Biel, Sous-Secrétaire, Département du Travail des États-Unis, Fred van Leeuwen, Secrétaire général de l’Internationale de l'Education et d'autres orateurs importants.

Pour cette importante Conférence, Kailash Satyarthi, président de la Marche mondiale dit, «l'engagement international pour mettre fin pires formes de travail des enfants d'ici 2016, atteindre l'éducation universelle d'ici 2015, réduire de moitié la pauvreté mondiale et de la faim et la réalisation de l'égalité des sexes ne peut être atteint sans s'attaquer sérieusement enfant travail dans l'agriculture. La Marche mondiale demande à toutes les parties prenantes de s'engager et d'agir avec urgence et volonté politique de sauver le présent et l'avenir de millions ».

La Marche mondiale contre le travail des enfants est un mouvement mondial de syndicats, les enseignants et les organisations non gouvernementales à renforcer les efforts internationaux visant à protéger et promouvoir les droits de tous les enfants avec une attention particulière sur leur liberté contre l'exploitation économique et leur droit à plein temps l'éducation de base de qualité. L'origine de Global Mars contre le travail des enfants remonte à 1998, quand un physique mars lancé à Manille, aux Philippines parcouru le monde couvrant 80.000 kilomètres à travers plus de 100 pays devant l'assemblée à Genève. À ce moment-là, la conférence annuelle de l'Organisation Internationale du Travail a entamé des discussions sur ce qui est devenu Convention de l'OIT n ° 182 sur l'élimination des pires formes de travail des enfants.


Comunicado de Prensa
Desde las granjas y campos a las aulas
Conferencia Internacional sobre Trabajo Infantil en La Agricultura

12 de Julio de 2012: Más de 150 representantes de cerca de cincuenta países, representantes de gobiernos, organismos intergubernamentales, los sindicatos, las organizaciones de personal docente, las organizaciones de agricultores y las cooperativas, las organizaciones que están trabajando para los derechos de los niños, iniciativas interinstitucionales, empresas participan en la primera conferencia internacional sobre el trabajo infantil en la agricultura en Washington DC desde 28 hasta 30 de Julio de 2012. La Marcha Global Contra el Trabajo Infantil está organizando la Conferencia Internacional sobre Trabajo Infantil en la Agricultura en colaboración estrecha con la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, la Federación Sindical Mundial sobre los trabajadores agricultores y de la Alimentación UITA, la Fundación ECLT en el sector del tabaco, la Fundación Centro de Solidaridad en Estados Unidos y muchos otros.

Este evento y el foco de interés prioritario sobre el trabajo infantil en la agricultura será un importante paso adelante en los esfuerzos para revitalizar el movimiento mundial contra el trabajo infantil, y catalizar significativo y constructivo para acción contra el trabajo infantil en la agricultura a través de promoción de alto nivel sobre el tema. Aunque el 60% de todo el trabajo infantil a nivel mundial está en la agricultura, que no ha recibido el debido reconocimiento y atención al igual que otros sectores. Trabajo infantil en la agricultura es a menudo los más abandonados y "invisibles". Casi 130 millones de niñas y niños menores de 18 años de edad ayudan en parte a producir gran parte de los alimentos y bebidas que consumimos, las fibras y materias primas que utilizamos para fabricar otros productos. Muchos de los que trabajan en cadenas de suministro de productos como parte de la cadena alimentaria mundial, mientras que otros ayudan a suplir los productos que se utilizan en otras cadenas de suministro mundiales.

Representantes de Togo, Níger, Uganda, República Democrática del Congo, Egipto, Argelia, Kirguistán, Perú, Argentina, Colombia, Brasil, India, Pakistán, Nepal, Indonesia tendrán una oportunidad excelente para intercambiar experiencias y buenas prácticas en la lucha contra el trabajo infantil en la agricultura. Los participantes podrán asistir a la alianza Marcha Global para desarrollar una estrategia para el sector y actuarán como un punto de inflexión entre Haya (2010) y el Brasilia (2013) conferencias mundiales sobre el trabajo infantil, y en la cartografía del objetivo para el  año 2016.

Re convocar los Ministros de Trabajo de IBSA sobre el trabajo infantil, La Marcha Global está promoviendo IBSA asociación para interactuar con otras partes interesadas en el evento. La Sra. Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant, Ministro de Trabajo de la República de Sudáfrica; el representante del Brasil Ministerio de Trabajo, el Senador Cristovam Buarque Christovam Senado de Brasil y la Sra. Nirupama Rao, Embajador de la India a los Estados Unidos son los principales voceros de IBSA en el panel. El Senador Tom Harkin (D-IA) que ha llevado a la lucha contra el trabajo infantil y el coautor del Protocolo Harkin-Engel será la encargada de inaugurar la conferencia que también véanse las observaciones de Sr. Eric Biel, Subsecretario, Departamento de Trabajo Estadounidense; Fred van Leeuwen, Secretario General de Internacional de la Educación (IE) y otros oradores importantes.

Hablando del evento Kailash Satyarthi, Presidente de la Marcha Global dijo “Compromisos de la comunidad internacional para poner fin peores formas de trabajo infantil para el año 2016, garantizar la educación universal para el año 2015, reducir a la mitad la pobreza en el mundo y el hambre y lograr la igualdad de género no pueden satisfacerse sin seriamente luchar contra el trabajo infantil en la agricultura. La Marcha Mundial exhorta a todas las partes interesadas a comprometerse y actuar con urgencia y mayor voluntad política de ahorro para el presente y el futuro de los millones".

La Marcha Global Contra el Trabajo Infantil es un movimiento mundial de los sindicatos, los maestros y las organizaciones no gubernamentales para fortalecer los esfuerzos internacionales para proteger y promover los derechos de todos los niños con un especial énfasis en la libertad de la explotación económica y su derecho a de educación básica de calidad para tiempo completo. El origen de la Marcha Global contra el trabajo infantil remonta al año 1998, cuando una marcha física lanzó en Manila, Filipinas recorrió en todo el mundo que abarca 80.000 kilómetros a través de más de 100 países antes de congregar en Ginebra.  En ese momento, la conferencia anual de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo inició un debate sobre lo que se convertiría en el Convenio 182 sobre la eliminación peores formas de trabajo infantil como una prioridad para la comunidad internacional.



Contact for more information 
Abha Duggal Khanna - abha@globalmarch.org , info@globalmarch.org
Phone -             +91 11 49211111      
Cell Number = +918600900774 
Website - www.globalmarch.org