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农业政策和战略如何促进终结农业领域童工问题?

各位同事:

目前全世界童工中约有71%、即1.08亿人是在农业领域。童工总数中有三分之二以上从事的是得不到报酬的家庭劳动,这些儿童不上学或不能充分享受义务教育,他们承担的许多农业劳动存在安全风险。生活在农村地区的儿童往往很早就开始参与农活儿,这使得他们能够培养重要技巧、能力,为家庭分忧解难,同时也培育对社区的归属感。但不幸的是,对许多儿童来说,他们承担的劳动不仅限于教育性劳动,而属于童工的范畴。虽然农业领域童工问题发生的环境和劳动状况存在很大差别,但农业领域童工现象中有很大比例也发生在家庭农业方面,特别是在家庭贫困问题持续、替代生计手段匮乏、家庭收入低下或易受冲击影响以及不易享受教育的情况下。童工问题使所涉及的儿童、其家庭和社区陷入贫穷的恶性循环而不能自拔,这些儿童可能成为未来的农村贫困人群。

2019年7月,联合国大会宣布2021年为“消除童工现象国际年”。粮农组织将组织举办多种活动,响应国际年并推动到2025年实现可持续发展目标具体目标8.7的实现,本次在线磋商即是其中之一。本次在线磋商将持续三周,从4月27日至5月25日。各位的意见和建议对于梳理和记载行之有效和具有潜力的作法十分重要,可以据此开展以证据为基础的研究和复制推广工作。本次磋商的结果将在整个国际年和其他场合得到广泛宣传。

往往需要采取一种跨部门综合性方法 [1]来应对农业领域童工问题。有诸多领域的对策能够有助于解决农村童工问题,以下仅列举一部分。下列问题适用于所有农业子部门(种植业、渔业、水产养殖、畜牧业和林业)。所涉及的农业利益相关者包括但不限于农业相关部委、农技推广人员和官员、农业生产者组织和合作社、劳动者组织以及社区一级的农民。

提交意见和建议的指南:

  • 请分享关于与各个问题相关的政策和战略的有效性的案例研究、经验和信息,这些政策和战略的实施方式以及可能仍面临的挑战。.
  • 请自行选择你可以分享相关经验、意见和专业知识的一个或多个问题。没有必要回答所有问题。
  • 回答问题时请在你意见的标题中写明问题序号以及你所提意见所对应的专题领域(例如“问题1:粮食安全与营养政策”、”改善渔民生活和减少童工现象的政策实例“等等)。
  • 在提出意见时请尽可能应用性别视角: (i)政策或战略是否(也)侧重妇女的角色,(ii)政策或计划是否在童工问题上考虑到劳动、风险、女童和男童年龄等方面的不同?

 

问题:

1) 饥饿与营养不良

在某些情况下,儿童参加劳动是为了满足食物需要。农业领域童工问题是如何通过粮食安全和营养政策及计划(例如学校营养餐、学校供膳计划、当地园圃等)得到应对的以及农业利益相关者在这一过程中发挥何种作用?

2) 气候变化与环境退化

气候变化和环境恶化可能使农业劳动强度加大,而收入则更不可预测。这可能导致利用儿童满足用工需要以及帮助家庭应对困境。与气候有关的政策(森林采伐、土壤退化、水稀缺、生物多样性减少)[2]或计划在哪些情形下吸纳农业利益相关者参与,这在哪些方面帮助有效应对童工问题?

3) 家庭农业

当家庭农户深受贫困和脆弱性影响以及面对高度经济、资金、社会和环境风险的情况下,家庭农业中的童工现象尤为难以应对。哪些与家庭农业有关的农业政策和战略导致了农业领域童工现象的减少?

4) 创新

农业劳动的强度可能很高且条件艰苦,而且所需要的额外劳动力并不总是可以得到或负担得起。有哪些与节省劳动力、机械化、创新和数字化有关的政策或计划使得农业领域童工现象减少?在这一过程中农业利益相关者发挥了何种作用?

5) 公共与私人投资

农业领域的公共与私人投资在哪些方面和如何对应对童工问题具有敏感度?在这一过程中农业利益相关者发挥了何种作用?

6) 重视国内供应链

与国内和地方供应链相比,消除全球供应链中童工现象的工作得到的重视和资金支持要大得多,但普遍认为童工现象更多发生在国内和地方供应链。何种农业政策和战略能够帮助应对国内和地方农业供应链中的童工问题?有无实例说明对地方和/或国内供应链中的性别不平等问题进行评估时与其对童工问题的影响联系起来?

7) 跨部门政策和战略

  • 在很多情况下,与其他更为规范的领域相比,农业劳动者对同样劳动权利的享有较少。农业利益相关者在哪些情况下以及如何着力遵照劳动法律法规来有效改善农业劳动者的工作条件并藉此有助于降低了使用童工的家庭的脆弱性?
  • 在哪些情形下农业和教育利益相关者携手制定和实施了应对农业领域童工现象的政策或计划,从而确保农村地区的儿童能够享有负担得起的优质教育?这一进程是否获得成功?主要挑战有哪些?
  • 农村地区社会保障系统可能作为一种向脆弱家庭提供支持并应对农业领域童工现象的机制。你是否能够举出社会保障计划帮助解决流动农业劳动力面临的脆弱性的例子?因为掌握他们的流动情况是一项尤为困难的工作,而农业劳动力的流动使得儿童面临受到多种形式剥削的风险。

 

有关农业领域童工问题的更多信息请参阅:www.fao.org/childlabouragriculture/zh

感谢各位的宝贵意见。

社会政策及农村建制司代理司长

Antonio Correa Do Prado

 

[1] 请参阅农村劳动者工会和小规模生产者组织交流“组织起来反对童工现象”经验的非洲区域研讨会的声明,2017年:www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_29755/lang--en/index.htm

[2] 例如,年幼儿童从事的一项常见劳动是提水和灌溉,这可能涉及负重并妨碍他们上学。

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Santosh Kumar Mishra

Population Education Resource Centre, Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension
印度

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached my contribution to the topic.

Kind regards,

Dr. Santosh Kumar Mishra (Ph. D.)

Technical Assistant

Population Education Resource Centre (PERC),

Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension,

S. N. D. T. Women’s University,

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 

Question 4: Innovation

Agricultural work can be labour intensive, harsh and require additional workforce that is not always available or affordable. Which policies or programmes related to labour saving practices, mechanization, innovation and digitalization have led to the reduction of child labour in agriculture? What has been the role of agricultural stakeholders in this process?

Question 5: Public and private investment

Where and how has public or private investment in the agriculture sector been sensitive to addressing child labour? What is the role of agriculture stakeholders in this process?

Introduction:

Agricultural policies and strategies have always been designed to increase production and productivity over the years. They are either to increase production of food products (crop production, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry); raw materials for industrial use and growth, or for export to meet world food demands or to earn the much-needed foreign exchange especially in developing countries. The goals and targets of agricultural policies are to increase self-sufficiency in food production, provide employment especially in rural areas, effect proper land-use and maintain the ecosystem, discourage rural-urban migration, improve and increase income generation, improve and stabilise rural economies amongst others. The objectives are being widened of recent to include competitiveness, food safety, animal welfare, trade, and pricing policies.

Agricultural policies are influenced by agricultural practices and challenges in place. They are designed to build resilience to climate variabilities, landscape conservation and greatly influenced by the land use in Nigeria for land security and preservation. They are designed along with major agricultural outputs- major crops, livestock fisheries and support services which include mechanisation, storage, processing and marketing, extension, advisory services, training, research. Strategies deployed are to achieve the goals, objectives, and targets of the policies in place.

In 2011, Nigeria, in the effort to ensuring food security, took a strategic decision to transform the agricultural sector, with focus on agribusiness, commercialization of agriculture, food security and job creation.  A comprehensive Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) was developed, which focused on improving agricultural value chains in several commodities such as fish, shrimps, sorghum, cassava, cocoa, rice, and maize.

Targets set included:

  • Adding 20 Million MT to domestic food production by 2015.
  • Creating 3.5 Million jobs in the agricultural sector by 2015
  • Making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production by 2015.
  • Reducing the level of wheat importation, by substituting 20% of bread flour with high quality of cassava flour
  • Grow food, create jobs, and ensure food security.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) through the Federal Department of Fisheries, promoted increased fish production through the Aquaculture value chain, and the Artisanal value chain, under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) of ATA. The value chains were to create an enabling environment for increased and sustainable production of over one million metric tonnes of aquaculture fish in 4 years, generate employment for the teeming unemployed masses of Nigeria with a focus on the youths and women and pursue the gradual reduction of fish imports to conserve the country’s foreign exchange revenue that could be utilized to develop the local industry. This was also a deliberate import substitution policy. To achieve these, the Aquaculture value chain, under a 4-year implementation plan, planned to increase the annual production of fingerlings by 1.25 Billion, produce 400,000 metric tonnes of fish feed, additional 250,000 metric tonnes of table fish and 100,000 metric tonnes of value-added fish and fisheries products.

Agricultural policies do not seem to directly address the issue of child labour. Some policies on child education may deter the practices of child labour. Operationally, a child can be defined as one that is below the age of puberty (biological definition); below the age of majority (legal definition); and an offspring i.e. son or daughter. Labour, on the other hand, can be defined operationally, as, for example, to exert the power of body/mind; or to toil towards a goal etc. Child labour in agriculture is deployed because it is free, cheap, and easily available. These categories of children do not know or have rights. In certain traditional settings and usually within the rural populace, the man deliberately marries several wives so that he can have many hands (which are his children) to work on his farm. The child in such a setting may, in fact be in the age of majority, and is supporting the father to produce food for the family, earn income or improve the standard of living of the family.

The innovations under the ATA Aquaculture Value Chain, led to the production of fibre class tanks distributed to women and youth specifically to reduce the burden on the women in sourcing production units, or land to dig ponds. They were able to conveniently practise homestead fish farming. The policy did not dictate the ages of beneficiary but was not targeted at a child, however, it reduced the burden of using the children within the household as labour  hands to dig ponds and other associated labour in the construction of a pond or growing tanks.

 The value chains also procured modern smoking kilns designed by the NCAM to reduce the smoke emission during processing and the residue on the end products. The use of the kilns helped in improving the working conditions and the health of the women. This innovation did not eliminate the use of child labour but reduced the need for the children to source firewood, spend long hours in processing fish under unbearable conditions. Most of the processors upgraded their operations and employed hands because the kilns allowed for greater volumes of fish to be smoked at a time.

c) Child labour in agriculture consist a problem in Nigeria in several ways. It does not allow foe sound education for the children, becomes street urchins and nuisances etc

In the area of nomadic education in Nigeria, this is being addressed.

Strategies

The following strategies are suggestions that could help to end child labour in agriculture with reference to Nigeria:

  • There should be legal intervention with implementation strategies and stringent penalty measures to prohibit child labour along the entire value chain in agriculture.
  • The government should offer free and compulsory education to the Junior Secondary School Level which will take the age of the child to 15 years and ensure a level of education that can be deployed to other vocational occupations to earn a living
  • Access to funds /resources to enable better investments in labour/ better yields.
  • Introduction of high yielding species -crops, livestock, fisheries that will guarantee better productivity and higher returns on investment.
  • Deployment of simple but efficient technology for clearing, planting, harvesting, and post-harvest evacuation.
  • Cooperation between farmers to rotate work in each other’s farm especially at peak demands for labour for clearing, planting, and harvesting.
  • Encouragement of education through the provision of scholarship.
  • Education and enlightenment of the farmers on the need to end child labour, educate the child and adopt better farming techniques to improve production and productivity.

Dear participants, FSN members,

We want to thank all of you for engaging, contributing and checking in on the online discussion over the past weeks. We are extremely happy with the outcome.

We received contributions from a wide range of global stakeholders, including farmers organizations, UN agencies, government, academics, NGOs, the European Commission and more. Whether it be family farming in cocoa, mechanization or the link between migration and child labour, we have receive rich responses for all seven questions listed. This includes documented good practices, recommendations and important considerations for many of the questions.

Your contributions will be used to develop an outcome document, which will serve to help design FAO’s activities in the observance of the International Year on the Elimination of Child Labour (2021).

A warm thank you to all of you,

Jessie Rivera Fagan [Facilitator]

Thanks for providing an opportunity to share views and experiences on the complex issue of child labour. 

Child labour in family farming is particularly difficult to tackle when family farmers are the most impacted by poverty and vulnerability, and face high levels of economic, financial, social and environmental risks. Which agricultural policies and strategies related to family farming have led to a reduction of child labour in agriculture?

The concept of child labour is defined in legal terms whereby thos below the age of 18 years are regarded as children which is ok. However, in most most cultures in Uganda, the initiation into adulthoold is not dependent on age because most of the rural communities do not count years but rather look at the physical development of the child to determine the appropriate tasks that they can undertake depending on the sex. In most communities, engaging in agriculture and domestic work is the first form of vocational education that every parent will provide their child as they contribute to household food security and also enable them can fend for themselves when they grow up. This therefore creates a kind of competition with formal education system which comes at a cost to the perents and they have to forego the labour from their children with no guaranteed gainful formal employment opportunities in the future. Therefore, the concept of child labour elimination is largely perceived by rural populationa and some leaders as an attempt to deny children an opportunity to help their poor parents and also learn valuable life skills. The definition of age appropriate tasks and child labour is therefore very complex and needs to be addressed using a cultural lense for it to be embraced by cultural leaders and local leaders in a bid to develop sustainable solutions. Enforcement is very dificult especially in the informal sector where the majority of the child labourrers are due to structural challenges.

Having grown in a poor farming household in a remote rural area in Uganda, I got involved in farming activities an a very early age because most of the family members go to the garden and children are also taken to the garden or go on there own even if they are told to remain home. So in the early ages (pre-primary age < 5 years) engaging in farming activities is largely voluntary and it enjoyable because you can leave at will. However as I grew older (primary age 6-13), I was formerly enrolled to the farming activities which involved going to work in the nearby garden before going to school and sometimes staying home to help look after cattle or younger children. As I became a young adolescent, and joined secondary education (>14 years) I was gradually exempted from most farming activities and would only participate during weekends and holidays.

Therefore, the age-group that is more at risk of child labour are the primary school age going children who are supporsed to be under compulsory education primary as well as those aged 14 to 15 years who can not sign contracts even if they have attained the minimum age for admission into employment. 

Therefore, therere is need to develop comprehensive and culturally sensitive guidelines for raising awareness on child labour among communities in the informal sector, improve livelihoods, equip young people with skills for gainful employment and also address structural gaps.

Under the child labour project being implemented in Uganda, a great effort is bgin undertaken to build the capacity of the agricultural extension workers, community development officers and labour officers to support prevension and protection of children including referral.

Climate change is also exercabating the situation and most young people as well as their parents are suffering from stress due to losses and uncertaininty in yields and markets.

Thanks 

 

先生 Kirill Buketov

International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations IUF
瑞士

Elimination of child labour is one of the four fundamental principles, set in the core conventions of the International Labour Organisation. To contribute to this objective, the agricultural practices and policies should accommodate the ILO language and expertise in the field of labour relations.

In 1921, with the adoption of Convention 11, the ILO recognised the need for special attention to be given to ensuring what was then called "the right of association and combination" for agricultural workers. This need remains as pressing today as it was in 1921. Freedom of association which  guarantees agricultural workers the right to trade union representation to be freely exercised through creating and joining trade unions is desperately needed so that agricultural and rural workers can build up their bargaining power with their employers and have an effective political voice with governments to advocate for polices that will ensure decent rural employment for adults, quality education for rural children, and the elimination of child labour in agriculture.

One good example of trade union organising efforts with a direct effect on the elimination of child labour is the initiative of the Ghana Agricultural Workers’ Unions in the Lake Volta fishing communities known as the Torkor Model. This example has laid the ground for an international discussion and a set of policy recommendations on the ways to address child labour in agriculture developed in Accra at the regional workshop of the International Partnership for Elimination of Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA). IPCCLA is a platform for sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources https://childlabourinagriculture.org/ which can be replicated at national and local levels through encouraging partnerships between state authorities in charge of labour relations and agricultural development and trade unions.

The ILO Convention on No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour recognises that the elimination of child labour will only be achieved in a sustainable way, if it is embedded in a broadly based policy framework that takes into account the needs of affected children and their families. Consequently, the Convention requires ratifying States to design and implement action programmes to eliminate the worst forms of child labour as a priority and establish or designate appropriate mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of the Convention. It also stipulates that ratifying States should take time-bound measures for child labour prevention; provide support for the removal of children from the worst forms of child labour and their rehabilitation; ensure access to free basic education or vocational training for all children removed from the worst forms of child labour; identify children who face a particular risk; and take into account the special situation of girls.

A broad public campaign initiated by trade unions and expanded through the involvement of  international brands and textile companies forced Uzbekistan to ratify ILO Convention 182 in 2008. The ratification became a starting point on a journey which eventually liberated more than 2 million children from forced labour in cotton fields and is now proceeding to guide efforts towards the elimination of adult forced labour. However, forced child labour still persists in the cotton fields of several other countries that should be encouraged to follow the example of Uzbekistan.

The ILO Convention No. 182 goes beyond the scope of nation-wide measures, calling for broader international cooperation and/or assistance with the view of facilitating the implementation of its provisions, including support for social and economic development, poverty eradication, and education. It also provides for broad consultations among the governments and workers’ and employers’ organisations in the ILO tripartite structure.

A stronger effort is needed to address the roots of child labour in global value chains. For instance, child labour in tobacco sourcing farms and plantations was recognised by the International Labour Organisation as one of the decent work deficits in 2003. In 2016-2019 the ILO again included a discussion on the integrated strategy for the elimination of these decent work deficits in the tobacco sector into the agenda of several meetings of its Governing Body. In July 2019, the international tripartite meeting brought together governments, trade unions and employers’ organisations for a discussion which concluded that child labour remains wide spread in the sector. In the globalised economy, manufacturing companies increase their control over the entire supply chain and should implement proper due diligence measures to ensure full respect of human rights, including the freedom of association, and address all the risks of a potential negative impact of their business activity. This should include redistribution of profits and fair taxation throughout the supply chain. Child labour in agriculture cannot be tackled in isolation from the problem of rural poverty of adult workers, the need to cover rural population by social protection schemes. To eliminate child labour, the main priority has to be given to the improvement of living and working conditions of adult workers which, then, would eliminate the need for children to work. It is not just that workers should have the right and opportunity to achieve this through organising themselves in trade unions, but trade unions should also be recognised as an equal element of a fair labour relations system, in compliance with the ILO Conventions on the right to organise (87) and bargain collectively (98).

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to give our views on this important topic. On my side, I would like to highlight the role of FAO's work on social protection for eliminating child labour in rural areas.

We consider that social protection can contribute to the elimination of child labour in all the agricultural sub-sectors, when it is appropriately designed and implemented in coherence with the other relevant sectors. In fact, social protection interventions can address several economic and non-economic drivers of child labour among poor and vulnerable households in rural areas by: i/promoting economic inclusion, thereby reducing the need for small family farmers to send their children to work; ii/ Increasing resilience in case of shocks, including in humanitarian crisis thereby reducing the need for families to adopt negative coping strategies, including child labour; iii/ improving children’s access to education, thereby encouraging change in sociocultural norms associated with child labour and giving incentives and opportunities for building human capital in rural areas.

In order to eliminate child labour by reducing rural poverty, increasing resilience and promoting economic inclusion, FAO promotes the expansion of social protection to rural areas and a stronger coherence between agriculture, social protection and other relevant sectors. To improve the impacts of social protection on child labour in the coming months and years, FAO will focus its work on the following objectives, in partnership with Governments other UN organizations:

i/ creating and disseminating new evidence on the role of social protection for eliminating child labour in agriculture

ii/ developing a toolkit for the design and implementaton of integrated social protection policies and programmes for eliminating child labour in agriculture in developmentAL and humanitarian settings

iii/ promoting global and country-level dialogue on the negative impacts of child labour and the need to eliminate it from the world of agriculture and all of its sub-sectors

iv/ providing technical assistance to countries for the planning, design and implementation of effective strategies for the elimination of child labour in agriculture

v/ implementing innovative social protection interventions for eliminating child labour in agriculture

vi/ evaluating the impacts of those interventions in order to inform the implementation of the most effective strategies for eliminating child labour in rural areas.

Some examples from around the world show that social protection can reduce child labour:

Cash transfers and school enrolment

In Mexico, conditional cash transfers reduced child labour in agriculture by addressing income, agricultural or climate-related shocks, but only when conditions for school attendance such as the availability of school premises within a reasonable distance were met[1], which highlights the importance of having a coherent approach with the education sector to eliminate child labour.

Cash transfers and Economic inclusion

In Africa, unconditional cash transfers such as the Kenya’s Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Ethiopia’s Social Cash Transfers Pilot Programme in the Tigray region significantly reduced child labour and contributed to economic inclusion in agriculture.

School feeding

Using school feeding to complement interventions aiming to reduce child labour is a relatively novel approach. Preliminary evidence shows the positive impact of school feeding programmes in reducing child labour, as illustrated by success stories in Bangladesh (Food Education Programme), Egypt (School Feeding Programme) and Zambia (Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, combined with the Conservation Agriculture Scale-up Project).

Social and health insurance

Evidence from South Africa[2] and Brazil[3] shows that access to pensions reduces child labour, while access to health insurance has been an excellent way to reduce it in Guatemala[4] and Pakistan[5].

[1] De Janvry, A., F. Finan, E. Sadoulet, and R. Vakis. 2006. “Can Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Serve as Safety Nets in Keeping Children at School and from Working when Exposed to Shocks?” Journal of Development Economics 79 (2): 349–73.

[2] E. Edmonds: “Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa”, in Journal of Development Economics, 2006, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp. 386—414.

[3] I. E. de Carvalho Filho: “Household income as a determinant of child labor and school enrollment in Brazil: Evidence from a social security reform”, in Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2012, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 399—435

[4] L. Guarcello, F. Mealli, F. Rosati: “Household vulnerability and child labor: The effect of shocks, credit rationing, and insurance”, in Journal of Population Economics, 2010, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 169—98

[5] M. Frölich, A. Landmann, H. Midkiff, V. Breda: Micro-insurance and child labour: An impact evaluation of the National Rural Support Programme’s micro-insurance innovation, Social Finance Programme and Mannheim University, (ILO, Geneva, 2012).

South African has attached great importance to the elimination of all forms of child labour. This is made possible through its Constitution under Section 2(1) (f); the support to the ILO programmes, adoption of a programme of action towards the elimination of all forms of child labour. The department of Labour is the lead department in the process.

Challenges Agriculture in the rural areas need to be addressed in order to effectively provide for policies and strategies to help end child labour in agriculture. Rural areas are characterised by poverty, low level of education, minimal basic services and lack of alternative economic opportunities.  In some instances child labour occur out of desperation to make a living and at times parents are part of the problem. Children become a support to augment the minimal income of the family.  In this case the problem of child labour cannot be easily detected nor adequately reported upon and addressed either out of ignorance or struggle for survival.

What can then be done:

  • Concerted effort to raise awareness about child labour can enlighten families about the adverse effects of child labour and the importance of supporting an end to child labour practices. As an environmental education specialist over years, and working with communities over many issues (Gender based violence, HIV aids, conservation of biodiversity etc), I have come to realise that many good policies and strategies have missed driving the message home or addressing the problem, as they failed to acknowledge and address socio-cultural issues that inhibit or remain as barriers to the adoption of the good intentions of such policies.  A good programme should unearth these inhibitions/barriers which then inform the policies and strategies.
  • Extensive consultation with the general public and the engagement with key community stakeholders especially those affected communities will enhance the literacy levels and raise awareness about the importance of protecting children against child labour practices,
  • Social programmes are not sufficient to address the scope of child labour
  • Barriers to education should be identified and addressed to ensure access to education and increase opportunities for rural communities especially those involved in agricultural practices.
  • Integrate and ensure coordination bodies are able to carry out their intended mandated
  • Certification schemes have a great potential but often no proper assessments and monitoring are made or may be  biased
  • Labour inspectors to be well trained and sufficiently resourced
  • Supporting NGOs and training them to identify child labour and the worst forms of child labour and collate and publish data on the extent and nature of child labour to inform policies and programmes. NGOs are often well equipped, focused and effective in dealing with such challenges facing communities as they are based within communities,
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the progress of efforts to combat child labour. 

Thank you for inviting us and for facilitating this important consultation How can agriculture policies and strategies help to end child labour in agriculture.

Please find enclosed the joint contribution from the European Commission with one annex on various topics and cross-cutting issues, some of them listed on your webpage.

Kind regards,

Maria Rosa DE PAOLIS

Policy Officer on Child Labour and Forced Labour

Employment and Social Inclusion Sector

Dear FAO colleagues,

Congratulations to this substantive consultation on the role of agricultural stakeholders in preventing and eliminating child labour. The ILO looks at this issue from a child rights perspective, strongly grounded in the ILO Conventions No.138 on the establishment of a Minimum Age to Work and No.182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The ILO recognizes that poverty, discrimination, lack of access to education, to social protection, to livelihoods and to decent work for parents are key drivers for child labour.

The prevalence of child labour in agriculture is also closely linked to barriers for rural workers to organize and collectively negotiate their salaries and working conditions, resulting in the weakness or complete absence of rural workers’ organizations that could help rural workers negotiate a fair share of the wealth that they are generating through their efforts. Below are a few examples and intervention models on how the ILO is addressing these challenges. Further information on resources about child labour in agriculture – ranging from capacity building and strengthening of institutions to community, sectoral and supply chain approaches – can be found here.

Questions:

1) Hunger and Malnutrition

In some circumstances, children work to meet their food needs. How has child labour in agriculture been addressed through food security and nutrition policy and programming (such as school meals, school feeding programs, home grown gardens, etc.) and what has been the role of agriculture stakeholders in this process?

2) Climate change and environmental degradation

Climate change and environmental degradation can make agricultural work more intensive and income less predictable. This may lead to the engagement of children to meet labour demand and support vulnerabilities of their families. Where have agriculture stakeholders been involved in climate-related policy (deforestation, soil degradation, water scarcity, reduction of biodiversity)[2] or programmes and where this has been effective in addressing child labour?

The ILO Green Jobs Programme promotes the development of policies and tools for a just transition to a low-carbon economy. It has a strong focus on the energy, the transport and the agricultural sector. It also developed a couple of resources to address sustainable food production and irrigation systems, green work programmes for recovery and reconstruction and skills/enterprise tools for youth workers.

3) Family farming

Child labour in family farming is particularly difficult to tackle when family farmers are the most impacted by poverty and vulnerability, and face high levels of economic, financial, social and environmental risks. Which agricultural policies and strategies related to family farming have led to a reduction of child labour in agriculture?

The Cooperatives Branch of the ILO is running a couple of interesting projects on the organization of rural workers, including financial cooperatives. The Branch also has developed a training resource pack for agricultural cooperatives on the elimination of hazardous child labour (a little bit outdated, but still useful).

4) Innovation

Agricultural work can be labour intensive, harsh and require additional workforce that is not always available or affordable. Which policies or programmes related to labour saving practices, mechanization, innovation and digitalization have led to the reduction of child labour in agriculture? What has been the role of agricultural stakeholders in this process?

The ILO Social Finance Programme supports the extension of financial services to rural communities, thereby contributing to enterprise development, income generation and the prevention of child labour. The Impact Insurance Facility contributes to generate innovative insurance models, some of them for excluded rural populations and agricultural workers.

5) Public and private investment

Where and how has public or private investment in the agriculture sector been sensitive to addressing child labour? What is the role of agriculture stakeholders in this process?

The ILO collaborates with the German government, German Development Bank and Deutsche Bank, who set up the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF) in 2011. The “Sustainable Investments in African Agriculture” project links economic investments to social and environmental standards, amongst them the reduction of child labour. Country focus is on Burundi, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia.

6) Attention to domestic supply chains

Eliminating child labour in global agricultural supply chains receives significantly more attention and funding than eliminating child labour in domestic and local supply chains, yet there is a wide consensus that more child labour is found in latter. Which kind of agricultural policies and strategies could help to address child labour in domestic and local agricultural supply chains? Are there any cases where gender inequalities in local and /or domestic supply chains have been assessed in linking its impacts on child labour?

7) Cross-sectoral policies and strategies

  • In many contexts, agricultural workers do not benefit from the same labour rights as other more formalized sectors. Where and how have agricultural stakeholders complemented labour law compliance in order to successfully improve working conditions for agricultural workers and through this helped reduce the vulnerability of households that engage in child labour?
  • In which circumstance have agricultural and education stakeholders come together to formulate and implement policies or programmes on addressing child labour in agriculture ensuring that children have access to affordable and quality education in rural areas? Has this process been successful and what are the main challenges?
  • Social protection in rural areas can be a mechanism to provide support to vulnerable households and address child labour in agriculture. Are there any examples of social protection schemes that address the vulnerabilities experienced by migrant agriculture labour, since children can be at particular risk (including multiple forms of exploitation) in these scenarios?

Last year, ILO, UNICEF and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) organized an interesting International Conference on Child Grants. Though the focus was not explicitly on the rural economies and the agricultural sector, it provided interesting insights in good practice and lessons learned from cash transfer programmes, in relation to child social protection and child labour.

English translation below

Le term bouvier désigne, et la personne qui se tient devant les boeufs de labour pour les guider pedant cette opération en les tirat par la corde en anneau fixée a leir naseau, et celle qui imprime le rythme de marche de l'attelage en se placant derriere les animaix avec le baton. La troisieme personne est toujours consitutuée d'un adulte pour la tenue des mancherons de la charrue ou du multicultuer. C'est une pratique qui s'éxerce dans l'agriculture malienne et comme dit les enfants recoivent des encornement. Je sais la région des Ségou pour vous dire nous avons assez d'expérience de la pratique.

Aux constats de la mauvais pratique, pour atténuer les risques de blessures, des CE, des ateliers de formations des coopératives agricoles et groupe de producteirs ont été organisé sand les zones rizicole de l'Office du Niger et a Koutiale....

La recommendation consistait a amener les chefs exploitants a blen dresser les boeufs de traits. Dans ce cas l'enfant était carrément  tirer du systeme ou a défaut l'enfant se mettait a l'aile des animaux en tenant toujours les cordes pour guider les animaux.

Par rapport a l'adoption je ne saurais vous  donnez des statistiques, mais aussi avec la mécanisation de l'agriculture malienne ou constate une diminution de la pratique du bouvier.

The term herdsman refers to the person who stands in front of the plow oxen to guide them during this operation by pulling the ring rope attached to their nose, and the one who determines the walking pace by placing himself behind the animals with the stick. The third person is always an adult for the handling of the plow or the multi-cultivator. It is a practice which is exercised in Malian agriculture and as said the children take the ropes. I know the Ségou region to tell you that we have enough practical experience.

To the findings of bad practice, to mitigate the risk of injury, CE, training workshops for agricultural cooperatives and product groups were organized in the rice growing areas of the Office of Niger and in Koutiale...

The recommendation was to get the chief operating officers to train the draft oxen. In this case, the child was outright removed from the system or, failing that, the child walked beside the animals with the ropes to guide them.

Regarding the adoption I cannot give any statistics, but also with the mechanization of Malian agriculture one notes a decrease in the practice of herdsman.