International Terre des Hommes demands determined action against child exploitation

Project : TDHIF in Europe 10 May 2010 child exploitation child rights education labor

1104_tdhif_new_logo_smallOn 10th and 11th of May, the international child rights organisation “Terre des Hommes” is participating in a conference on exploitative forms of child labour in The Hague, Netherlands. There, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is calling governments, employers and workers organisations to reinforce the fight against the worst forms of child labour. In 2000 the ILO adopted Convention 182 to protect children against hazardous work, slavery, prostitution and recruitment as soldier. Although, according to the ILO there is some progress, there are still approximately 200 millions girls and boys working worldwide under exploitative conditions.

Terre des Hommes welcomes the ILO conference that highlights the scandal of child exploitation and demands determined actions against it. “Politicians, economists and civil society must get involved in the fight against child exploitation for those children who sadly suffer exploitation and enslavement day after day. Anyone who can change something in this unbearable situation must become aware of the fact that girls and boys can grow up in dignity” says Barbara Küppers, the Terre des Hommes child labour expert.

As a consequence of the economic crisis and the drastic increase of the food prices in developing and middle-income countries, more and more families cannot afford the school attendance of their children any more. About 72 million children worldwide have no access to elementary school, and they and their families must accept every kind of work in order to survive.

Terre des Hommes appeals on governments participating in the Hague Conference to ensure that education is accessible, safe and relevant. Also, child protection systems should be enhanced to prevent children from entering one of the worst forms of child labour. Legislation to criminalize those that exploit children needs to be introduced where it is not yet in existence and strongly enforced once it is.


  • Cristiano Morsolin 2010-05-14 18:09

    The Hague Global Child Labour Conference: the point of view from working children’s movements

    Cristiano Morsolin (12 may 2010)

    Awa Niang a member of the African Movement of working children and youth (AMWCY), has been invited to speak today (11 may) in The Haag to the conference against child Labor. Having been blocked in Dakar by the Finish volcano ashes, she finally taped a message in video which was shown to the conference.
    Awa explained her situation as a child worker who started with the hard work of picking sea shells for construction materials, before to meet the AMXCY and become a member together with her group.
    For her its due to this Movement, that she could learn to read and write, and speak French; but also to work lighter, and less hours, to train and get more money for herself and her family.
    “We are together with ILO, Governments, and other actors against the worst forms of child labor… Because we are also engaged against exploitation of our work. But I ask you to not confuse the worst forms of child labor, with our work which can be a benefit for us…” said Awa.
    For Awa, children are the first protectors of children thanks to their solidarity. They need adult support, but never that adults decide alone (without them). In this sense she deeply regretted the lack of invitation to other movements from the conference organizers.

    Alternative meeting of working children and supporting organizations in Europe

    “Towards a world with work in dignity for working children and adolescents: steps towards 2016”

    The Latin American Movement of Working Children and Adolescents (MOLACNATS) and the European supporting network EUROPANATS hold an alternative meeting to the ILO “Global Child Labour Conference 2010”.

    They declare the roadmap which is supposed to be adopted lacks any legitimacy because the working children as the main stakeholders have neither been consulted nor invited to this conference. This constitutes a violation of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child and its participatory provisions by the convening parties, namely the government of the Netherlands and the ILO. The same neglect of participatory rights is reflected in the Global Report, while the Best Interest of the Child, another core principle of the UN Convention, does not anyhow figure in the ILO agenda. These observations coincide with findings by renowned child work researchers, suggesting that a fundamental revision of the ILO approach to children’s work is necessary.

    Contacts in Hague: Web:

    The Latin American Observatory SELVAS collaborates with Working Children’s Movements around the world, so we support NATs mobilization in the Hague Global Child Labour Conference.

    THE HAGUE GLOBAL CHILD LABOUR CONFERENCE: WHAT ABOUT WORKING CHILDRENS PARTICIPATION? is the new paper writen by Cristiano Morsolin (4 May 2010), Italian expert from the Latin American Observatory SELVAS, which has been working since 2001 on international cooperation projects in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. This paper is publicized by Centre Tricontinental CETRI – Brussels, his director is Francois Houtart,

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