Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean Join Efforts for a Region Free of Child Labour
14 de December de 2023
The Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor met in Geneva with the permanent diplomatic missions of the countries in the region
On December 14th, the Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor and the permanent representations to the ILO of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) gathered in Geneva to share achievements and challenges faced by the region in preventing and eradicating child labour.
During the meeting, Philippe Vanhuynegem, Head of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Department at the ILO, addressed the importance of the challenge faced by countries and the International Labour Organization at a crucial moment. He stressed the need to reaffirm that Fundamental Rights at Work are non-negotiable. Thus, it is essential to ensure that public policies lead to children attending school instead of working.
The Regional Initiative represents the commitment of 31 countries in the region, along with workers' and employers' organizations, who joined forces to accelerate the reduction of child labour in the region and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which aims to end child labour in all its forms.
"From the Regional Initiative, we firmly believe that consensus, joint effort, and mutual support among countries and employers' and workers' organizations are decisive factors in making the eradication of child labour an achievable goal in the region. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the successive crises affecting us, the region must avoid setbacks and strive to continue promoting actions that accelerate the achievement of a child labour-free generation in Latin America and the Caribbean." – Pilar Rodriguez, Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat of the Regional Initiative.
During the meeting, countries were encouraged to strengthen their commitment and highlight the achievements in the region through joint efforts. The importance of showcasing these achievements and advocating for the elimination of child labour in other forums was also emphasized. This way, partnerships can be expanded, and efforts can be combined to complement actions at the national and regional levels. With contributions from all sectors, the commitment to eradicate child labour in the region can become a reality.
Sara Luna, Representative of the Mexican Mission to the ILO and Presidency of GRULAC, expressed their conviction that the governance model of the Regional Initiative, with a high degree of ownership by countries and social actors, along with the innovative tools it provides to countries and South-South cooperation, can serve as an example for other parts of the world.
Similarly, the Ambassador of Chile to the ILO and President of Alliance 8.7, Claudia Fuentes, highlighted the value of the tripartite spaces and regional coordination provided by the Regional Initiative to advance towards the goal of eradicating child labour. She also emphasized the importance of complementing and continuing joint efforts between Alliance 8.7 and the Regional Initiative.
Javier Soria, Representative of the Permanent Mission of Spain to the ILO, recognised the added value of the Regional Initiative through the tripartite participation of countries, workers' organizations, and employers. The firm and constant support that Spain provides to the Regional Initiative was also emphasized.
The Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour is a group of 31 countries working in an articulated and tripartite manner to achieve the first generation free of child labour in the region.
Currently, the Regional Initiative is made up of: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela, together with the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA).
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 for International Development Cooperation (AACID), the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).
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