The IUF has welcomed the strong commitments to eliminate child labour in agriculture in the Call to Action (CTA) adopted at the 5th Global Conference on the elimination of child labour. The CTA, finalized after tough negotiations in which the IUF participated, commits governments, employers and trade unions to scale up action to end child labour in agriculture, an unprecedented commitment by the participants.
The Call to Action includes:
- Reassessment of piece-rate wage systems in agriculture and recognition of the need to guarantee adequate minimum wages for agricultural workers
- Adoption of safe agricultural practices to eliminate or minimize work-related hazards and risks; increased availability of safer machinery, equipment and tools; and use of sustainable technologies in order to improve OHS and eliminate the need for child labour
- Collaboration among relevant United Nations agencies including ILO, UNICEF and FAO, to ensure joint progress toward the elimination of child labour in agriculture, including in fisheries and aquaculture and to support the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture
- Recognition that the CTA was adopted at a time when forecasts indicate that global progress to eliminate child labour is being reversed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
ILO Director-General elect Gilbert F. Houngbo, focused on child labour in rural areas pointing out that the rate of child labour in rural areas was three times that of urban areas. He called for urgent action against poverty-driven child labour, adding that adults must be able to organize themselves and collectively defend their interests.
IUF Africa Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Mopholosi Morokong stated, “Freedom of association is central to the elimination of child labour. It gives workers the opportunity to change their incomes and working conditions themselves. We will work to organize agricultural workers into effective, independent trade unions so that they are able to address rural poverty and food insecurity by improving wages and ensuring a fairer distribution of the benefits of value in local and global food supply chains.”
Conference documents and video records are available in English, French and Spanish at the www.5thchildlabourconf.org