Nations from around the world and child welfare advocates from many countries are supporting international treaties and initiatives designed to increase protections for child workers.

UN Passes Resolution Against Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Agence France-Presse

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council unanimously adopted on Tuesday a resolution against recruitment of child soldiers, pressing nations to halt the abuse of children including rape and attacks on schools.

In its report on child soldiers last year, the United Nations for the first time named military forces and rebel groups that persistently used children in armed conflict.

The groups included Myanmar’s national army and two rebel militant groups in the country; three insurgent groups in the Philippines; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; armies and militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and pro-government militias in Sudan as well as the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

The signatories “call upon member states concerned to take decisive and immediate action against persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and further call upon them to bring to justice those responsible for such violations.”

The resolution highlighted actions prohibited under international law, including “recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other sexual violence, attacks on schools and/or hospitals.”

It also cited “the primary role of governments in providing protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflicts,” and said it was “the responsibility of states to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the resolution — an initiative by current Security Council president Germany — is the eighth since 1998 to condemn nations and militaries which use children to wage war and subject them to brutal violence like rape and maimings.… Read the rest

ILO implements project on elimination of child labour in Birim South (Ghana)

Source: GNA [from Ghana Web]

Akyem Swedru, July 6, GNA – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is implementing a programme dubbed: 93Cocoa Community Project” (CCP) to eliminate the worst forms of Child Labour in Cocoa growing communities across the country.

The project is titled: 93Towards Child Labour Free Cocoa Growing Communities in Cote D’lvoire and Ghana through an integrated area base approach.”

Mrs Stella Ofori, Principal Labour Officer, Child Labour Unit of the Labour Department of the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, speaking at the end of a two-day district level consultative workshop for cocoa growing communities at Akyem Swedru in the Birim South of the Eastern Region, said the project was to identify communities for interventions and control groups for impact evaluation.

The event brought together 45 participants from various heads of departments, cocoa farmers, District Assembly and unit committee members and cooperative institutions.

She said it was to establish an inventory of available social interventions and other complementary services to which interventions might be linked.

In addition, it was to document the status of child labour interventions in the district plan, budgets, monitor and evaluate frameworks and other mechanism for sustainability.

Mrs Ofori said the CCP would contribute to the National Plan of Action (NPA) through the awareness raising and development of action plan for implementation by the communities and to institutional and technical capacity building to fill the gap of NPA implementation.

“The CPP would also support child labour monitoring systems to track the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour through integrated approach,” she added.… Read the rest

India bans child labour in circuses

AFP [from April 2011]:

NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court on Monday banned travelling circuses from employing children and ordered the government to conduct raids on all performing companies to rescue minors.

The court edict followed a petition lodged by a children’s rights group that has lobbied for full implementation of Indian child labour laws, which are regularly flouted by circuses.

Children are often trained to perform high-wire acrobatic acts, juggling stunts and other attractions for audiences in India, where circus companies move from town to town throughout the year.

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USDOL’s Polaski Lauds Liberian Union for Work on Child Labor

Liberian Union Receives Child Labor Award


The Liberian countryside

I want to tell you about the remote town of Harbel, Liberia and the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL), which has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of workers and their children. The union just won the Department of Labor’s 2010 Iqbal Masih Award, an award that Congress established to recognize extraordinary efforts to end the worst forms of child labor.  This award is given in remembrance of Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani child carpet weaver who was sold into slavery at the age of four.  He escaped his servitude to become an outspoken advocate against child labor before losing his life at the age of 13.

FAWUL won the award for their efforts on behalf of children on the Firestone rubber plantation in Harbel. For years, children had labored on the plantation alongside their parents to meet the quotas for tapping rubber trees.  FAWUL was established in 2007, and by 2008 it had negotiated a landmark collective bargaining agreement that reduced the quotas by 25% and banned child labor on the plantation.  In 2010, FAWUL negotiated a second contract with Firestone that went further.  Under it, the company agreed to provide children living on the plantation with better schools. I imagine the children of Harbel no longer laboring in hot fields, but instead eagerly going to school with the same bright hopes for the future as our children have.

FAWUL’s success shows how unions can transform the lives not only of workers but of children and how dedication and perseverance can make a real difference in the fight against child labor. … Read the rest