UNICEF announces plans to promote protection of children from exploitation during the World Cup
PRETORIA, 11 May 2010... UNICEF today applauded the efforts of the South African Government to curtail child labour in the country, but remains concerned about the large numbers of children who may be at risk, particularly on its borders.
“We must be aware that the widespread use of child labour is undermining progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. Child labour denies children their right to proper education and is harmful to their mental and physical development,” said UNICEF Representative Aida Girma, noting that South Africa’s cities serve as poles of economic opportunity in a context of extreme inequality, sub-regional poverty, and catastrophic levels of HIV/AIDS.
‘While some child labourers such as street children working in the informal economy in border towns of Musina, are highly visible , others are hidden from view and often become vulnerable to the worst forms of child labour, such as trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.’
Ms. Girma said UNICEF is concerned about the children who may be drawn into harmful forms of work during the world cup period, attracted by the economic opportunities and the excitement of a major sporting event such as the World Cup. UNICEF is therefore working in partnership with the Government of South Africa, civil society and private sector partners to help protect the most vulnerable children, especially those who are unattended or separated from their caregivers.
Establishment of child friendly spaces
Training of front-line social workers
Ultimately, project as a whole will contribute to and help strengthen the country’s child protection system as a legacy of the World Cup,” Ms Girma said.
Giving a red card to child exploitation
Code of Conduct
FTTSA, in collaboration with key tourism industry stakeholders will also help focus attention on commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) by distributing material in the tourism sector through hotels, travel and car rental agencies throughout the country. According to Jennifer Seif, FTTSA Executive Director, leading hotel groups, car hire companies and other tourism businesses in South Africa are ready to play their part to protect children at risk of exploitation.
Community Sports Festivals
UNICEF’s child protection actions during the World Cup are conducted in partnership with the Department of Social Development, Fair Trade in Tourism, Child Welfare South Africa, Childline, the National Prosecuting Authority, the National Association of Child Care Workers, World Vision, and TOTAL SA.
Read the address by Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative, at the South African launch of the Inter-Agency Report on Child Labour
Accelerating action against child labour. Report of the Director-General, International Labour Conference, 99th session, 2010