Tripartite declaration as part of the celebration of the World Day against child labour
June 12th, 2020
Antananarivo, June 12, 2020
Dear fellow citizens,
On this 12th day of June, we celebrate together with all ILO member States "The World Day against Child Labour". The theme for this year is: “COVID-19: Protect children against child labour, now more than ever.”
World Day Against Child Labour 2020 will focus more on the impact of the current crisis on child labour.
According to ILO, the crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. An estimated 152 million children are already employed in child labour, 72 million of whom perform hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing more difficult circumstances and having longer working hours.
This year, the World Day will be conducted as a virtual campaign and organized jointly with the Global March Against Child Labour and the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA).
A joint ILO-UNICEF paper on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour will examine some of the main channels through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.
Madagascar has been a member of the ILO since 1960 and today, under the auspices of the Malagasy State, the 85th challenge of the 7th strategic focus of the IEM (Initiative Emergence Madagascar) reflects the total commitment of our country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2030), Goal 8 - target 7. This encourages "immediate and effective measures to ensure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, to eradicate forced labour and by 2025, to stop child labour in all its forms, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers.”
The current health, economic and social crisis has affected the labour market with all the ensuing social consequences. Measures to mitigate its impact on child labour will be integrated into the multisectoral action plan which is currently under development and involves ministerial departments, local and regional actors, as well as the United Nations organizations concerned.
In October 2018, Madagascar committed itself to become a Pioneer Country of concrete results for Global Alliance 8.7 – a platform for collaboration at the global and national level bringing together State actors, employers’ and workers' organizations, civil society and United Nations organizations involved in the fight against modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour – i.e. the ILO and UNICEF.
In this sense, an investigation into the current situation of child labour in large agglomerations is underway and the results of which will be issued shortly.
Likewise, checks were carried out to identify these children working in hotel and restaurant sectors, stone quarries, brick manufacturing, child prostitution, domestic work and mining. This is meant to determine the concrete actions to be undertaken with regard to these children and sectors.
It should be mentioned that in Madagascar, 32% of children aged 5-17 in labour, are in hazardous working conditions that rob children of their childhood, potential and dignity, and harm their education, health as well as physical and mental development.
Many actions have been undertaken with the support of the ILO and technical and financial partners to eradicate this scourge in the country, but much also remains to be done.
As a concrete action, we can cite the SAVABE project (Supporting Vanilla Actors for the Benefit of Children) implemented by the ILO and funded by the USDOL, and which is involved in the fight against child labour in the vanilla sector.
Moreover, in the field of mica mining in the southern part of Madagascar, the Malagasy Government is committed to carrying out actions aimed at eradicating this situation. A multisectoral action plan affecting the social and economic aspect is in fact currently being put in place, involving the ministries concerned, local and regional stakeholders, as well as the United Nations organizations concerned, in particular the ILO and UNICEF.
This World Day against Child Labour is therefore the ideal opportunity for Madagascar, not only to renew its commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 8 - target 7, but also to sensitize all actors concerned to better protection of children against COVID-19 in workplaces authorized by Malagasy legislation. Madagascar wants to become, in a few years, a Pioneering Country with concrete results.
This tripartite declaration, in the presence of the United Nations System represented by the ILO and UNICEF agencies, will therefore mark the celebration of the Day for this exceptional year for Madagascar, and will urge the involvement of all active stakeholders of the community in actions on child protection against child labour and strengthen the activities carried out to achieve the goal.
Finally, we would like to further sensitize the entire population, especially children, on the respect of barrier gestures: frequent hand washing with clean water and soap, proper wearing of masks and 1m-3m social distancing.
“Together, let's protect our children against child labour, now more than ever."
We thank you.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.