The VI Annual Meeting of the Network of Focal Points concluded successfully

03 de November de 2020

The Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labor prepares its response to COVID-19 in the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

From October 27 to 30, the Network of Focal Points of the Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean free of Child Labor met for the sixth consecutive year, this time virtually, to agree on its response plan to the COVID crisis -19, and to prepare its impact on the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

Despite the distance and the challenges of virtuality, the Network concentrated its efforts during four days of work on agreeing on actions to not lose progress in the region in the last 20 years: a reduction of 9.5 million children, girls and adolescents in child labor.

During the meeting, this tripartite Network emphasized the Year 2021, declared by the UN the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor , as a unique opportunity to reposition the issue on the political agenda. 2021 renews the validity of a call that cannot be postponed, now more than ever, such as protection against child labor and the factors associated with its persistence.

The VI Annual Meeting of the Network of Focal Points was reaffirmed as the propitious space for social dialogue on the road to a fairer and more sustainable region without child labor, a goal more relevant and pertinent than ever in this context of crisis. Likewise, the commitment of the International Labor Organization and the development partners that contribute to the purpose of the Regional Initiative, such as the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation - AECID, the Andalusian Agency for International Development Cooperation, were appreciated. - AACID, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency - ABC and the United States Department of Labor - USDOL, for its acronym in English.

The IR is made up of 30 Latin American and Caribbean countries *, 7 employers 'organizations and 7 workers' organizations, and the Technical Secretariat is in charge of the Regional Office of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

* Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru , Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

At the closing of this meeting, Elsa Ramírez, Focal Point of the Government of Honduras, representing the governments of the Initiative, pointed out that we are four years away from fulfilling major commitments such as goal 8.7. He added that we now have the opportunity to make better decisions as countries and as a region to reduce child labor, and keep children and adolescents on a permanent surveillance and protection agenda.

For her part, Carla Caballeros, representing employers' organizations, reiterated their commitment to promoting policies for the prevention of child labor throughout the supply chains, and stated that the approach to child labor should be oriented mainly from the prevention. In addition, he mentioned that the declaration of the Year 2021 has been an achievement of the Regional Initiative, and that, although it is full of challenges, work must be done to make the most of it.

Representing the workers' organizations, Jordania Ureña, Secretary for Trade Union Policy and Education of the CSA, said that the objectives of the meeting were achieved and that it is now necessary to act in a concrete and effective way to comply with the commitments assumed that make the mission of the Regional Initiative. He also stressed that they have endorsed the proposed strategy for the Year 2021 as part of the strategic objectives of the regional trade union movement.

Finally, Claudia Coenjaerts, Deputy Director of the ILO Regional Office, stated that Latin America and the Caribbean, through the Regional Initiative, is in a position to offer key responses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on child labor. and that, along these lines, it must continue to be strengthened. He also emphasized that for the ILO, target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda must continue to be the horizon to which we can address ourselves, despite the challenges.

Learn more about the Regional Initiative here .

Learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on child labor here .

There are no comments yet.