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.
Rosalind Yarde, acting head of the ILO’s Advocacy and Campaigns unit
The launch date was set in stone. 12 June; World Day Against Child Labour; opening day of the football World Cup. With just months to go, we were looking for a big idea that would enable us to harness the power of communications to reach traditional and new audiences with a strong message about the 168 million children in child labour.
We had not planned on using that most ancient way of expression – music – but through our artists’ engagement programme, Artworks, we learnt that a US musician, Mike Einziger, was interested in the ILO’s work and wanted to contribute. He is the Grammy-nominated lead guitarist for the rock band, Incubus, who wrote the guitar riff for one of the biggest pop songs of 2013, Wake Me Up. We set up a meeting and he told us he wanted to write us a song about child labour. Download the song| Learn about the campaign Continue reading →