Children belong in school, not in supply chains

Benjamin Smith, Senior Officer for Corporate Social Responsibility

Benjamin Smith, Senior Officer for Corporate Social Responsibility
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour

The importance of employers in the worldwide movement against child labour has never been clearer. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights, including a child’s right to be free from child labour, is now widely recognized. Today, companies that don’t have a policy against child labour are outside the mainstream.

The challenge is to ensure that policy commitments achieve results — and this requires action on the ground, in workplaces and communities. I was in Blantyre, Malawi recently to train a company’s agronomists on combating child labour in agriculture. Every day, these agronomists — who are mostly young men and women — travel huge distances over rough terrain on Honda 125 motorcycles, visiting farms to advise farmers on when to plant, what fertilizers work best and when to harvest.

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South-South Cooperation: a path to eliminating child labour in Latin America

Anita Amorim, ILO Senior External Relations Specialist: South-South and UN Affairs

Anita Amorim, ILO Senior External Relations Specialist: South-South and UN Affairs

The Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) is an annual event organized by the UN System to showcase innovative solutions that have proven effective in one country and have been successfully replicated and adapted to other countries from the Global South. In the framework of this event, the ILO organizes an annual “Solution Forum” which focuses on decent-work solutions devised by governments and workers’ and employers’ organizations from the Global South.

Since I started working on South-South Cooperation at the ILO in 2005, we have been actively promoting these kinds of exchanges between countries from the South. Brazil, for example, has been an active development partner for the ILO, supporting cooperation programmes mainly in Latin America and Africa.

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“There are no jobs on a dead planet”

Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization

Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization

To mark this year’s World Day for Decent Work, trade unions have chosen the theme of climate change, urging governments to move now to create prosperity for all on a sustainable planet. This focus comes in the wake of the UN Climate Change Summit last month, where again and again, I heard political and business leaders issuing a similar call and making the link between decent jobs and sustainability.

We inhabit a time marked by the highest levels of inequality in living memory. Growing job insecurity is a reality for many, especially the world’s 1.2 billion working poor. Climate change is destroying jobs and livelihoods in every corner of the planet.

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