From the 8th to 10th of October 2013, representatives of governments and employers' and workers' organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and the other civil society actors as well as regional and international organisations will gather in Brasilia to take stock of the progress made since the II Global Conference (The Hague, 2010), assess remaining obstacles and agree on measures to strengthen actions to eliminate the worst forms of child labour as well as all forms of child labour.
The promotion and protection of children's rights are at the very heart of the EU human rights policy.
The EU Strategic Framework on Human rights and Democracy adopted by the EU on 25 June 2012 and complemented by an Action Plan calls specifically on the EU to participate in this important Conference. This demonstrates that the EU and its 28 Member States are fully committed to the eradication of Child Labour, in particular, its worst forms and to the implementation of the 2010 Hague Roadmap1.
A recently published ILO report "Marking progress against Child labour. Global estimates and trends 2000-2012", published on 23 September 2013 shows that the global number of child labourers has declined by one third since 2000, from 246 million to 168 million. However, this rate of decline is not enough to achieve the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour, affecting 85 million children, by 2016, agreed by the international community through the ILO. Worse still, these child labourers are involved in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development.
The EU strongly condemns the exposure of children to these inacceptable dangers and promotes the establishment of up-to-date hazardous work lists by all ILO members in line with ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour. The EU works in close cooperation with ILO and UNICEF for the promotion and protection of children's rights and supports ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
According to the recent ILO report, the significant progress that has been made demonstrates that "legislation and enforcement, education, social protection and promotion of decent work opportunities at the national and community levels appears to be a formula for success"2. The European Union attaches the utmost importance to the elimination of child labour through a holistic approach which takes into account each of these policy areas.
In many countries the progress that has been achieved is fragile and must be monitored and strengthened to ensure sustainability. The EU reaffirms its commitment to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour and looks forward to an active participation at the III Global Conference.
EU Strategic Framework on Human rights and Democracy
2010 Hague Roadmap for Achieving the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child labour by 2016
ILO report "Marking progress against Child labour. Global estimates and trends 2000-2012", published on 23 September 2013
In April, the EU published a study on "Trade and Worst Forms of Child Labour", which sets out the framework for understanding the complexity of the issue by focussing on the relationship between trade and the worst forms of child labour
The Outcome Document of the II Global Conference
ILO report, 23 September 2013, "Marking Progress against Child Labour", ix.
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