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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

New partnership for the elimination of child labour in agriculture

Posted to the IUF website 12-Jun-2007

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The IUF today joins a new partnership to eliminate child labour in agriculture. Launched during the 2007 International Labour Conference, the partnership brings together the ILO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the IUF.

Welcoming the ILO decision to dedicate this year's World Day to elimination of child labour in agriculture, IUF President Hans-Olof Nilsson, representing the IUF at the launch, said:

"We need to ask many questions - why is child labour so wide spread in agriculture? What is the effect of cheap food policies on farmers and on workers? The idea of "buy one get one free" is attractive to many consumers but who pays the real price for such "special offers"?
It is another shocking fact that agricultural workers � those workers who produce the world's food often have the least resources to feed themselves and their families. Children work because their parents are poor.

"We must also recognise that there is a lack of decent work in agriculture. In many countries agricultural workers are denied even the basic human right to belong to and be represented by a trade union. Improving living and working conditions for adults in agriculture is for IUF a key part of the struggle against child labour.

"This World Day has to be just the starting point � elimination of child labour in agriculture requires a long-term, sustained commitment from this partnership, from governments, from employers, from trade unions and from civil society. So the five-year commitment in the Declaration is a good start but it can only be a start."

Hans-Olof Nilsson also called on governments to ratify ILO Convention 184 on safety and health in agriculture as part of the campaign to improve living conditions for all in agriculture.

Click here for the full text of the speech.

Further information on today's activities can be found on the ILO website.