ILO’s First Multi-stakeholder meeting on Child Labour
On April 7th 2014, ILO’s Myanmar Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (My-PEC) held the first multi-stakeholder meeting on child labour at the International Labour Office in Yangon.
This four-year programme funded by the US Department of Labour aims at establishing a comprehensive, inclusive and efficient multi-stakeholder response to reducing child labour in Myanmar. It will provide technical and advisory support in implementing the ILO Convention C182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour that was ratified on December 23rd 2013 by the Government.
Not all work done by children should be classified as child labour that is to be targeted for elimination. Children’s or adolescents’ participation in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is generally regarded as being something positive. Whether or not particular forms of “work” can be called “child labour” depends on the child’s age, the type and hours of work performed, the conditions under which it is performed and the objectives pursued by individual countries. The answer varies from country to country, as well as among sectors within countries.
During the meeting the My-PEC scope of work, key concepts of child labour and future steps were discussed with key stakeholders including representatives of the Ministry of Labour Employment and Social Security (FGLLID), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Immigration, Ministry of Border Affairs, Office of the Union Attorney General, the Supreme Court of the Union, Mandalay City Development Committee, Employers’ Associations, Workers representatives, NGOs and INGOs and UNICEF.
It was emphasized that only through an inter-sectorial and multi-stakeholder response (education, health, employment, skills development, protection, etc), that child labour and its worst forms can properly be addressed. Among the first steps identified include increasing the knowledge base on child labour, awareness raising, capacity building and policy development.
The participants confirmed their coordination to achieve this common objective and from the discussion the need for a progressive approach was identified with interventions providing proper solutions for the children, inter alias, education, skill trainings and their families (livelihoods) without increasing their vulnerability or adding to their hardships.