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2013 Celebration of the World Day Against Child Labour: Step up to the plate, say NO to child labour in agriculture

The 12th of June is the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL). It is an important date to raise awareness on the 98 million children worldwide working in situations of child labour in agriculture, as well as on the importance of addressing this human rights violation for achieving food security and reducing poverty. The day also provides an opportunity to share experiences on work being done from the local to the global level, renew commitment and define the way forward to achieve child labour reduction goals. On the occasion of the 2013 celebration FAO organized a series of activities both at FAO headquarters and at country level.

In the framework of the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture, FAO and ILO hosted the event “Step up to the plate, Say NO to child labour in agriculture!” (see agenda) at FAO headquarters in Rome. At the event FAO and ILO representatives raised awareness on and called for the inclusion of child labour issues in agricultural policies and programmes. A short FAO-ILO video, featuring children’s own views on child labour in agriculture, was also screened at the event, which concluded with a recital by the Children’s Quartet from the JuniOrchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

         

                                   Click to view the video, 2013

A panel of FAO and ILO managers discussed joint activities on child labour, challenges and the way forward. Engaging all relevant agriculture and labour stakeholders can help in identifying feasible approaches to tackle the root causes of child labour. A first step is scaling up FAO and ILO's work on promotion of decent work for adults and youth.

The panelists included Jomo Sundaram (FAO, Assistant Director General, Economic and Social Development Department); Árni Mathiesen (FAO, Assistant Director General, Fisheries Department); Alette van Leur (ILO, Director, Sectoral Activities Department); and Rob Vos (FAO, Coordinator, Strategic Programme on Rural Poverty Reduction - Strategic Objective 3), while the discussion was moderated by Eve Crowley (FAO, Deputy Director, Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division).

The discussion highlighted some key actions that agricultural organizations can take to end child labour in agriculture, including:

  • Increasing collaboration between ministries of agriculture and ministries of labour on child labour issues in agriculture.
  • Promoting labour-saving technologies and practices that reduce the demand for child labour.
  • Promoting sustainable small-scale fisheries management and measuring the impacts of these and other agricultural policies and programmes on child labour in agriculture.
  • Scaling-up capacity development of ministries of agriculture, producers’ organizations and FAO staff to address child labour in agriculture through their programmes – FAO is in fact developing an eLearning course that will contribute to meeting this need.
  • Work with ministries of labour, national statistics offices and the ILO to have data on child labour disaggregated by sub-sectors
  • Promoting social protection for households vulnerable to child labour and targeting them in food security programmes.
  • Supporting school curricula and vocational training relevant to the needs of rural people. Making use of approaches such as the Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools to promote decent work for youth.
  • Building the capacity of producers’, workers’ and employers’ organizations to prevent child labour in their value chains.

The theme of this year's WDACL is "No to child labour in domestic work". WDACL is celebrated worldwide with the support of the ILO. FAO marked the WDACL with events in collaboration with ILO in Tanzania, Mali and at the FAO Regional office for Africa in Ghana.

For more information:

© FAO/R. Grisolia

Linked Resources

WDACL 2013 at FAO HQs
WDACL archive