Latin America and the Caribbean reinforce their commitment to achieve the first generation free of Child Labour
27 de October de 2023
After four days of dialogue and tripartite collaboration, 31 countries concluded the IX Annual Meeting of the Focal Points Network of the Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour with the commitment to accelerate the pace and pave the way towards a region without child labour
The Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour concluded its IX Annual Meeting of the Focal Points Network, which was attended by representatives from 31 countries in the region, as well as regional representatives designated by the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and by the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA-CSA). During the sessions, countries strengthened their commitments and consensus to continue facing this challenge in the region.
Claudia Coenjaerts, regional director a.i. of the ILO for Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighted the importance of this meeting, stating that: "This ninth Meeting has demonstrated how the Regional Initiative not only complements efforts of the countries but also drives changes in their public policies for the prevention and eradication of child labour in Latin America and the Caribbean."
One of the central points of the meeting was the need to accelerate actions by 2025, the deadline for fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 that calls for the adoption of immediate and effective measures to end child labour. In this regard, the tripartite nature of the Regional Initiative, which involves collaboration between governments, employers' organizations, and workers' organizations, plays a fundamental role.
Stephanie Fingal, Focal Point designated by the Employers' Organization, highlighted in her closing remarks the leadership role of governments in the actions for prevention and eradication of Child Labour, the need for constant social dialogue with workers and employers, as well as the active role of the employer sector and how it can contribute to the acceleration of actions for the prevention and eradication of child labour.
During the meeting, the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated crises were highlighted. This phenomenon has widened the gap of inequality and could have affected girls and boys in situations of child labour differently. Cícero Pereira, Focal Point of the Workers' Organization, emphasized the need to strengthen the gender approach, recognizing the historical invisibility of domestic work for girls, whether in the family or external sphere. He also added that "child labour is a problem with multiple causes generated by a development model that deepens inequalities. Child labour has an indigenous, Afro-descendant, or migrant face, so our approach must focus on the intersectionalities of this burden."
At the end of the meeting, the focal points from the Caribbean countries issued a joint statement in support of the Regional Initiative, highlighting its innovation and its capacity to promote public policies that promote the prevention and eradication of child labour in the region.
Finally, the government representative, Rosalía Zingales, added that "what we experienced here was a dialogue between different parties, where we managed to find and build great consensus. Consensus to move forward, consensus to spin that windmill when there is no wind and to lift it when there is good wind. But if there is no good wind, we blow it, so it moves, we are on that path..." thus reaffirming the need to accelerate the pace to achieve the first generation free of child labour in the region.
During the IX Annual Meeting:
• 50 panelists participated in the 15 sessions that took place.
• 29 good practices were shared by countries and sectors.
• 41 requests for the exchange of good practices were received.
The Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour is a space where 31 countries have been working in an articulated and tripartite manner to achieve the first generation of people free from child labour in the region.
Currently, the Regional Initiative is composed of: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela; together with the International Employers Organization (IEO) and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA-CSA).
The Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour operates with the technical assistance of the ILO and the sustained support of its partners, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the Andalusian Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AACID), the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), and the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).
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