Canada’s Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan says countries need to look at how they negotiate agreements with international communities to combat child labour. This as the second day of the fifth Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour is under way at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.
O’Regan says the fight against child labour should affect how all countries trade. “This problem goes beyond the scope of a single government like Canada’s it goes beyond the work of one or a slate of charities in Canada we’ve take action over the past few years to help combat this problem, but it needs to affect how we all trade. It needs to affect how we negotiate agreements in the international communities. In the North American free trading agreements, we managed to get union led provisions into trade with Mexico. Funding multiple projects to empower their labour movements and addressing child or forced labour from their economy because if it’s in their economy it’s in our economy.”
Meanwhile US Labour Secretary Marty Walsh says no country should profit from exploiting children.
“It’s our responsibility to take collective action to double down on our efforts to eliminate child labour. No company no country no individual should get rich of the labour of children or by exploiting workers in forced labour. It’s a denial of fundamental human and labour rights. The task before us is daunting but not impossible. It’s more important than ever that all governments ensure that families have access to decent work and social protection.”
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