rn: Child Labour news


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

The CHILD LABOUR NEWS SERVICE sends regular updates to the RN list of news
from around the world. As you can see from their e-mail address, they are
based in India.

Perhaps some RN subscribrs would like to know about this list, so I am
forwarding their latest message below. 

all the best, Jan
From: "Child Labour News Service" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 04:06:46 +0550
Subject: Child Labour News Service Release - March 15, 2000


March 15, 2000


** First Census of Street Working Children for Mexico  

** Anti-Child Labour Preparations In Tanzania, Impresses ILO 

** Act to Benefit Only 10% of Child Workers 

** Oxfam's Protest Wins Backers for Action Plan 

-- News-in-Brief 


** First Census of Street Working Children for Mexico  

In a bustling plaza in the city's centre, Alejandro Huitzilui 
Quintana, 12 and Adrian Ixcoatl, 10, dance under a hot sun in 
colourful costumes, hoping six hours worth of effort will earn 
them the equivalent of US $5. 

Each day of their young lives, the children make a two-hour trip 
from a poverty belt surrounding the megalopolis of Mexico City 
in an effort to scratch out a living for themselves and their 
families. Their parents earn an average of US$ 200 a month sewing 
dance costumes. 

Alejandro and Adrian are two of 14,322 children who work illegally 
on the streets of this city of 20 million people, according to 
the first survey Mexico City has conducted on the trend. Mexican 
law prohibits children younger than 14 from working. According 
to Isabel Molina, director of the federal System for the Whole 
Development of the Family, officials completed the study, supported 
by UNICEF, in order to draft policies to resolve the problem. 

"It is a very large social problem," Molina said. "There were 
a lot of myths circulating about children in the streets. We 
discovered that only about 1,000 work and live in the streets; 
the rest return to their homes." 

The survey found that 17 percent of the children suffer work-related 

Alejandro says he dances to pay for school and clothing. "I also 
give the money to my mother," he said. 

Despite laws prohibiting child labour, the streets are filled 
with children washing windshields, selling candy, shining shoes, 
and performing with painted clown faces or colourful costumes 
in traffic intersections. 

Most of the children are males between the ages of 12 and 17, 
according to the study, but children who appear no older than 
5 or 6 also are also seen late at night peddling trinkets to 
cafe diners and hotel guests. 

According to the study, children working on the streets earn 
about US $8 a day, about twice the minimum daily wage. 

"This is a problem, because they earn a lot," Molina said. 

The average for children working on the streets is 7.2 years, 
according to the study. Those in the direst of straits are the 
children who both work and live in the streets, sleeping in parks, 
eating badly and occasionally using drugs. 

"Broken families are an important cause," the study said. 

# # # 

(From files of The Associated Press)


** Anti-Child Labour Preparations In Tanzania, Impresses ILO 

Dar Es Salaam- The International Labour Organisation has recommended 
Tanzania for its on-going initiatives towards combating child 
labour in the country. 

Tanzania has formed the National Steering Committee for effecting 
recommendations under the ILO's International Programme on the 
Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).  

IPEC's director of operations, Ng Gek- Boo, congratulated the 
government of Tanzania for forming a special committee to implement 
anti child labour measures. He said that last year's conference 
which adopted unanimously the new Convention on Elimination of 
the Worst Forms of Child Labour, ILO/IPEC showed the commitment 
of the organisation member countries towards ending child labour 
problem worldwide. 

"The Tanzania National Committee has the role to of setting the 
direction for implementation, through scrutiny of the programme 
actors and the subsequent tangible outputs which have always 
impressed ILO/IPEC management," he explained.  

The director said that the establishment of a National Child 
Labour Elimination Policy was a step forward towards the whole 
exercise of combating child labour as it would be a focal point 
whereby all possible areas would be set clearly. 

According to him, education is a key solution to child labour, 
noting that along with other measures which aimed at combating 
child labour, the question of social development, education policy, 
should be put into national agenda when looking into ways to 
solve child labour problem. 

In Tanzania child labour is caused by the combination of factors. 
It is the product of underdevelopment and poverty and experts 
feel that one of the challenges facing Tanzania in solving child 
labour is eliminating poverty. 

In Tanzania child labour, is becoming be one of the feasible 
alternatives in extended families. Child labour is predominant 
in tea, tobacco plantations as well as in mining areas.

# # # 



** Act to Benefit Only 10% of Child Workers 
Last week, the Parliament (of Nepal) passed the much awaited 
Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act-2056 B. S. to address 
the problem of about 2.6 million under-aged labourers working 
throughout the country.

The newly introduced law is expected to be instrumental in doing 
away with the growing trend of child labour in Nepal. But those 
working in the field of child labour and human rights feel that 
the new Act may not be sufficient to address the problem. The 
Act is based on the ILO Convention on the Elimination of the 
Worst Form of Child labour unanimously adopted last June. 

Gauri Pradhan, Executive Director of Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), 
says that the passing of the Bill related to child labour is 
a positive step but it is not complete.

Pradhan says that the new Act will be able to eliminate only 
10 per cent of the total child labour in the country as it has 
provisions just to interfere in the formal and organised sector 
leaving the unorganised sector largely untouched.

"More than 90 per cent under-aged labourers are found in the 
unorganised and informal sector. So, it will not be fully able 
to solve the problem of child labour," Pradhan says. He also 
sees the possibility of the Act being misused, unless there is 
a strong monitoring and supervision mechanism.

Some of the positive aspect of the Act is that it has clearly 
defined the age of children. Besides, it has also defined the 
area where children may risk health hazard areas and has prohibited 
the under-aged children from working in those areas.

Under the act, employing children under the age of 14 is considered 
a child labour, and it prohibits such children from going hard 
and health-hazardous jobs.

According to the recent report of the National Planning Commission 
and Population Studies, Tribhuwan University, the number of child 
labour in both the organised and unorganised sectors is about 
2.6 million with their age ranging from five to 14.

The under-aged children are found working in different fields. 
They work on brick kilns, carpet and garment factories. They 
are also found working as porters, domestics, bonded labour, 
tea gardens, as cleaners in tempos, buses and mini buses, in 
mines and agriculture sector. Besides, many under-aged children 
are working as commercial sex workers.

The report says 60 per cent or nearly 1.4 million children are 
believed to be actively involved in economic activities.

# # # 

(From files of Sunday Dispatch)  


** Oxfam's Protest Wins Backers for Action Plan 

A radical plan to tackle the education crisis in developing countries 
is expected to receive a substantial boost in funding. 

Scandinavian donor countries and the World Bank officials are 
calling on western governments to pledge additional resources 
for an ambitious strategy to be considered at the world forum 
on education for all (FEA) in Dakar, Senegal, next month. 

The gathering momentum in support of a pounds 2.3bn 'Compact 
for Africa', proposed by Oxfam, comes after the British charity 
resigned last month from the FEA's organising committee in protest 
at what it saw as its failure to mobilise international funding 
and lack of coherent education targets. 

Oxfam accused international organisations and western aid donors 
of a lack of political will. The draft agenda for the Dakar conference 
was 'woefully inadequate' and offered nothing for the world's 
poorest children, 125 million of whom are not at school, the 
charity warned. 

The conference should do for education what the earth summit 
did for the environment, rather than offering a 'teddy bears' 
picnic for international bureaucrats'. 

The Dakar forum will mark the 10th anniversary of the international 
pledge on basic education for all, which was supposed to have 
been achieved this year. But in many countries the number of 
children who do not attend school has increased since 1990, especially 
in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Supporters of a special initiative for Africa have called for 
African governments to draw up infrastructure reform plans specifying 
targets for the year 2015 before they qualify for extra aid. 
Participating officials from Finland, Norway and the Netherlands 
have also come out in support of Oxfam's programme. 

"We are still lacking the political leadership for Dakar," an 
Oxfam spokesman said. "This conference provides an opportunity 
to tackle what is the biggest single cause of global poverty 
and inequality." 

The British Prime Minister's interest in improving internet access 
around the world, Oxfam fears, will do little to tackle the fundamental 
causes of poverty in remote villages where there are no computers. 

The department for international development said that it regretted 
Oxfam's withdrawal from the conference's steering committee. 
"We do share some of Oxfam's frustrations but we would like them 
to stay in and strengthen the process," said a department spokesman. 

Improving education - particularly among girls - is increasingly 
seen as a key to stimulating economic growth, controlling population 
and increasing health awareness. 

# # #

(From files of The Guardian)

-- News-in-Brief 

** Lama Lanka' News Bulletin to Publicise Child Labour
The Sri Lankan Department of Labour has initiated a novel concept 
to publicise the current position of child labour and all forms 
of child related activities in the country, through a news bulletin 
published by the department. The International Labour Organisation 
(ILO) and the International Programme on the Elimination of Child 
Labour (IPEC) will assist the department in the releasing of 
the bulletin, "Lama Lanka", every four months. The first copy 
of this bulletin was recently launched in Colombo. The bulletin 
aims at the elimination of all forms of child labour and creating 
public awareness on this important matter. 

** Rehabilitation Package for Uttar Pradesh Child Labour 

Uttar Pradesh government has decided to implement the rehabilitation 
programme for child labour. The package would cover nearly 71,000 
child workers, predominantly in 23 districts. While the state 
government would provide a grant of Rupees 10 million, another 
Rupees 3,700,000, recovered as penalty from the employers of 
child labour, would also be used for the purpose. The main components 
of the programme are recovery of Rupees 20,000 from the employer 
of child labour, removal of child labour to schools and an assistance 
of Rupees 5,000 to help find their dependent a suitable self-employment, 
to be implemented under the guidance of the District Magistrates.
 # # # 

CHILD LABOUR NEWS SERVICE (CLNS), managed by the Global March 
Against Child Labour (http://www.globalmarch.org/), is produced 
as a non-commercial public service and any part of it may be 
reproduced without charge. 

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For comments or any further information please contact:

Upasana Choudhry
Editor, Child Labour News Service
C/o Global March Against Child Labour
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Tel     : (91 11) 622 4899, 647 5481
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"A child in danger is a child that cannot wait" - Kofi Annan