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The Brasilia Declaration on Child Labour

Posted 10 de October de 2013 by admin

We, representatives of governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations who participated at the III Global Conference on Child Labour, gathered in Brasilia, Brazil, from October 8 to 10, 2013, together with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), other civil society actors as well as regional and international organizations to take stock of the progress made since The Hague Global Child Labour Conference 2010, to assess remaining obstacles and to agree on measures to strengthen our actions to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016, as well as to eradicate all forms of child labour;

Recalling that child labour is work done by a child who is under the minimum age specified for that kind of work, as defined by national legislation, guided by the ILO Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) and ILO Convention Nos. 138 and 182;

Convinced that the goal of eradicating child labour unites all countries since child labour impairs the realisation of children’s rights and its eradication constitutes an important issue for development and human rights;

Recognizing the efforts and progress made and being made, notwithstanding the global economic and financial crisis, by governments at all levels, employers’ and workers’ organizations, regional and international organizations, NGOs and other civil society actors for the eradication of child labour, yet recognising the need to accelerate the efforts at all levels to eradicate child labour, in particular its worst forms by 2016;

Keeping in mind the dimension and complexity of the challenges faced by countries in fighting child labour, such as the impact of natural disasters, conflict and post-conflict situations;

Aware that eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016 as well as eradicating child labour can be best realised through enhanced cooperation among countries and enhanced coordination among governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, NGOs, civil society, and regional and international organizations;

Bearing in mind that children facing any form of discrimination deserve particular attention in our efforts to prevent and eliminate child labour;

Considering that the respect, promotion and realization of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which include the effective abolition of child labour, is one of the pillars of the ILO Decent Work Agenda;

Welcoming the progress made by States in the ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions No. 138, on Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, and No. 182, on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, and reiterating the importance of promoting their universal ratification and effective implementation, as well as of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, and inviting countries to consider ratifying other relevant instruments, such as Convention No. 189, on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, as well as Convention No. 129, on Labour Inspection in Agriculture, and Convention No. 184, on Safety and Health in Agriculture;

Acknowledging the relevance of internationally recognised principles and guidelines on business and human rights, such as the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights and the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy;

Recognizing the continued efforts made by the ILO, and in particular its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), to provide technical assistance and cooperation to governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations to eradicate child labour;

Welcoming the ILO report “Marking progress against child Labour”;

1. We reaffirm our resolve to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016, while reiterating the overarching goal of the eradication of all child labour, by immediately stepping up our efforts at national and international levels. We reiterate our commitment to fully implement the Roadmap for Achieving the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016, adopted at The Hague Global Child Labour Conference in 2010.

2. We acknowledge the need for reinforced national and international action in the follow-up of this Conference in relation to age and gender specific responses on child labour, with a focus on the formalization of the informal economy and strengthened national action, as appropriate, on monitoring and evaluation, as well as a continued focus on where it is most needed. We stress the importance of technical assistance and international cooperation in this field.

3. We acknowledge that governments have the leading role and the primary responsibility, in cooperation with employers’ and workers’ organizations, as well as NGOs and other civil society actors, in implementing measures to prevent and eliminate child labour, in particular its worst forms, and rescue children from it.

4. We also acknowledge that measures to promote decent work and full and productive employment for adults are essential, so that families are enabled to eliminate their dependence on the income generated by child labour. In addition, measures are needed to extend and improve access to free, compulsory and quality education for all children, as well as for the progressive universalization of social protection, in line with inter alia the ILO Convention 102, concerning minimum standards of social security, and ILO Recommendation 202, concerning national social protection floors.

5. We advocate for an integrated, coherent and effective use of public services and policies in the fields of labour, education, agriculture, health, vocational training and social protection as a means for building capacity and empowerment, so that all children, including those in rural areas, complete compulsory education as well as training without engaging in child labour.

6. We stress that education, health and social workers should be entitled to decent working conditions and relevant initial and continuous training, and that related policies should be developed with workers’ organizations through social dialogue.

7. We recognize that strengthening these public services and policies is key for the sustained eradication of child labour, in particular its worst forms by 2016, as well as for sustainable development.

8. We urge governments to ensure access to justice to children affected by child labour, guarantee their right to education and provide rehabilitation programs, as a means to promote and protect their wellbeing and dignity and fulfil their rights, with focus on children who are particularly exposed to the worst forms of child labour due to discrimination in any form.

9. We encourage states to establish and further improve, as appropriate, the legal and institutional frameworks to prevent and eliminate child labour. We also encourage national law enforcement agencies to advance accountability of perpetrators in child labour cases, including the enforcement of appropriate sanctions against them.

10. We recognise the importance of labour administration and in particular labour inspection in the eradication of child labour, and we will seek to develop and strengthen, as appropriate, our labour inspection systems.

11. We encourage, where appropriate, the competent authorities that have the responsibility to enforce the law and regulations regarding child labour, including labour inspection services, to cooperate with each other, in the context of the application of penal sanctions or, as appropriate, other sanctions in cases of child labour, especially its worst forms.

12. We will promote effective multi-stakeholder action to combat child labour, including in supply chains, by addressing both the formal and informal economy.

13. We will seek to develop and strengthen the collection and dissemination, as appropriate, of more and better national statistics and information on children in employment, both in the formal and informal economies, with data disaggregated preferably by occupation and industry, gender, age, origin and income so as to enhance their visibility and help better design and implement public policies to eradicate child labour.

14. We will continue to promote the engagement of all sectors of society in creating an enabling environment to prevent and eliminate child labour. The engagement of ministries and state agencies, parliaments, justice systems, employers’ and workers’ organizations, as well as regional and international organizations and civil society actors plays a key role in this regard. We will promote social dialogue as well as concerted action between the public and private sectors around the eradication of child labour.

15. We resolve to take appropriate steps to assist one another in respecting, promoting and realising international labour standards and human rights, particularly through enhanced international cooperation, including South-South and Triangular cooperation.

16. We stress the need to provide support to and build capacities in conflict and post conflict countries, particularly among Least Developed Countries, to combat child labour, including through rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, where appropriate.

17. We note that the violation of fundamental principles and rights at work cannot be invoked or otherwise used as a legitimate comparative advantage and that labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes.

18. We will actively seek to engage national and international media and social networks, academia and research bodies, as partners in raising awareness for the sustained eradication of child labour, including through campaigns on the damage to the dignity, wellbeing, health and future of children caused by their engagement in child labour, in particular its worst forms.

19. We resolve to promote efforts to encourage social change by addressing attitudes and practices that play a significant part in condoning or tolerating child labour, including violence and abuse.

20. We resolve to support the continuous development of the worldwide movement against child labour, through partnerships, cooperation, advocacy and action, based on international labour standards and human rights.

21. We invite IPEC to hold meetings, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, in the context of its Steering Committee meetings to take stock of the progress made by countries in eliminating the worst forms of child labour.

22. We underscore that the fight against child labour and the decent work agenda should be given due consideration in the U.N. post-2015 development agenda.

23. We express our gratitude to the Government of Brazil for hosting this Conference, and we welcome the Government of Brazil’s intention to bring this Declaration to the attention of the ILO Governing Body for further consideration and follow-up.

24. We accept the kind offer by the government of Argentina to host a Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour in 2017.

Source: Website of the International Labour Organization-ILO; http://www.ilo.org

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