EU announces R168 million donation to eradicate child labour in agriculture sector

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The European Union (EU) has announced a R168 million donation towards the eradication of child labour in the agriculture sector.

Delegates at the 5th Global Conference on the elimination of child labour say ending child labour will require increased social protection and monitoring of supply chain through a multi-stakeholder approach.

Research by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicates that child labour increased by 16.6 million in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last four years.

According to a declaration of the 4th Global Conference on Child Labour held in 2017, 71 percent of child labour is performed in the agriculture sector.

Stat’s SA says child labour account for less than 5% in South Africa:

European Union Commissioner for International Partnership Jutta Urpilainen announced the EU’s latest support towards the elimination of child labour in the sector.

Urpilainen says, “And we have the responsibility as policymakers, as companies and consumers. So right now we work to boost food security, production in partner countries, in parallel and we must pay particular attention to child labour. This is why I can announce today that the European Union will invest R168 million in a new action targeting child labour in agriculture value chains.”

Latest developments at the Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour:

Social protection of children

A global activist against child labour and Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi says rich countries must develop a sense of compassion and urgency to support children in poor countries.

Satyarthi says, “Spending or investment on 40% of children is less than two percent, and that is unacceptable. So fair share for children, that is one, and that also includes social protection, but social protection should be demystified, people should not get into this big phrase, very simple, education for children, health for children, food for children, this requires $53 billion.”

ILO Director General, Guy Ryder says tackling child labour will require political will at a global, national and local level.

Ryder says, “President [Cyril] Ramaphosa put on the table in the clearest possible way how this country, how South Africa post apartheid made children rights a central part of its constitution and made the advancement of children’s rights a very conscious and central aim of public policy. My impression is that over the last 20 years, we have become complacent.”

The 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour will enter its third day on Tuesday.