Eliminating child labour in agriculture

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1 Eliminating child labour in agriculture Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division Economic and Social Development Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations May 2010

2 The following slide presentation Elimination of child labour in agriculture highlights basic facts and some recent data on child labour in agriculture. Agriculture remains the largest employer of children and most child labour occurs in family farming. The main causes constituting the vicious cycle of child labour are presented and FAO approaches and strategies to reverse such a negative dynamic are introduced. A long-term approach to the elimination of worst forms of child labour requires a wider effort aimed at promoting pro-poor growth and poverty reduction in rural areas, in a virtuous cycle. A decrease in the overall number of working children can be observed in rural economies achieving higher productivity rates. Such dynamism can be generated, by higher school enrolment rates, among other factors. FAO's comparative advantage in promoting such a virtuous cycle lies in FAO's long-term holistic approach to poverty alleviation and fighting hunger, its strong focus and expertise on small-scale, selfemployed and informal agriculture and its close contacts with ministries of agriculture, producer organizations and cooperatives. Furthermore, since the signature of a Declaration of intent on cooperation on child labour in agriculture in 2007, FAO, together with ILO and other partners, is playing a leading role to strengthen the worldwide movement on the elimination of child labour in agriculture.

3 Eliminating child labour in agriculture Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division Economic and Social Development Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations May 2010 Outline 1. Hunger and incidence of working children 2. Child labour in agriculture 3. Main causes of child labour in agriculture 4. A vicious cycle 5. Policy focus on poverty 6. International partnership 7. Principles of an approach 8. Examples of solutions Source: ILO, 2006

4 Children s economic activity by region, 2004 (5-14 age group) Economically active children in the World 2004 (5-14 age group) Source: ILO, 2006 Sub-Saharan Africa Highest incidence of working children: 26.4 % About 1 in 4 children Second in absolute terms: 49.3 million Progress lagging behind other regions Child labour in agriculture Child labour in farming Agriculture largest employer of children Mostly substance farming, family based and small scale Informal, hazardous, rural, invisible Industry 9% Services 22% Working children aged by sector, 2004 (ILO) Agriculture 69% Risk exposure to toxic pesticides and unsanitary conditions Sharp tools, heavy loads, dangerous machinery and tools Long working hours

5 Child labour in fisheries/aquaculture Long working hours Hazardous techniques e.g diving Exposure to extreme temperatures, rough sea, water pollution and waterborne diseases Hotspots of worst forms Child labour in livestock husbandry Long hours of work Exposure to extreme weather, snake and insects bites, injury and disease transmission from livestock and wild animals Long term herding contracts Main causes of child labour in agriculture Poverty and lack of livelihood alternatives Insufficient education systems Seasonal work cycles and migratory lifestyles Cultural practices Absence of appropriate national policies Inadequate or unenforced labour laws Weak capacities to inspect and enforce Few channels for recourse Low level of awareness Low productivity of agriculture and low dynamism of rural economies CAUSE Poverty and low incomes in rural areas Community reduced capacity to innovate and respond to shocks A vicious cycle Low adult wages and weak bargaining capacity Children substituting adults Low school enrolment Children/adults trapped in unskilled labour EFFECT Children enter the labour force, mostly child labour and worst forms Reduced health of children

6 Policy focus on poverty reduction Poverty reduction as the greatest means for eliminating child labour Focus on the main sectors in which child labour is concentrated (agriculture) Agriculture and rural development main entry points for poverty reduction in agriculture-based economies Prevention: a long term approach Food and nutrition security Income security Higher productivity and dynamism of rural economies Education, health and social services Higher adult wages, labour productivity, skilled work supply and bargaining capacity Pro-poor growth and poverty reduction in rural areas A virtuous cycle Higher school enrolment rates Less need for children work Less children enter the labour force, less child labour and worst forms Different challenges according to prevailing agriculture systems Small scale subsistance and commercial farming (predominant in Africa, 90%) Medium and larger scale plantations (e.g. South Africa, Kenya) Gender differences No major difference in overall magnitude Including household chores, more girls working than boys Boys more involved in child labour and hazardous work 10 % more boys in agriculture Gender differences in the specific tasks by sub-sector

7 International partnership Declaration of intent on cooperation on child labour in agriculture signed by ILO, FAO, IFAD, IFPRI (CGIAR), IFAP and IUF (June 2007) FAO-ILO workshop on child labour in fisheries and aquaculture (April 2010) Principles of an approach Focus policy on poverty reduction Target most vulnerable populations, sectors and hotspots Allocate resources proportionately to problem scale Combine community ownership and rights based action Undertake multistakeholder interventions Adopt incentive-based approaches and gender lens FAO comparative advantage Long term holistic approach to poverty alleviation and fighting hunger Strong focus and expertise on small-scale, self-employed and informal agriculture Close contacts with ministries of agriculture, producer organizations and cooperatives Wealth of experience with vocational training models for low literacy agricultural populations Examples of solutions Promote cooperation and achieve policy coherence Working towards integrated UN responses Support approaches combining community ownership with rights based action Create awareness and mainstream child labour concerns Mainstreaming in agricultural and rural development policies and programmes

8 Examples of solutions Promote operational activities to improve rural livelihoods Strengthen programmes for livelihoods diversification, labour saving technologies, and training for health and safety Promote opportunities for decent rural youth employment UN joint programmes for youth employment and entrepreneurship Examples of solutions Promote operational activities to eliminate hazardous work in agriculture Identify worst form in agriculture through informed risk assessment Identify substitutes for hazardous substances, technologies and practices Develop more relevant school curricula and promote alternative vocational and life-skills trainings Thank you

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