UN / CHILD LABOUR

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11-Jun-2021 00:03:54
At the launch of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, the President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more children into labour and stressed that the world “must ensure that this generation is not lost.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / CHILD LABOUR
TRT: 3:54
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE- NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

11 JUNE 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, participants in event
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly, United Nations:
“We must ensure that this generation is not lost. We must support these children to find their way back to the classrooms where they belong. The negative impacts of child labour are felt by the whole society, not just the children themselves. They are our future. Their productivity matters to all of us. Limiting the children's potential limits society's potential.”
4. Multiple screens, participants in event
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Amina Mohammed, Deputy-Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The trajectory these trends will take depends on the policy choices and the responses that we make today. The 2030 Agenda and the Decade of Action offer an opportunity to make long-term gains for children left behind, including those in street situations who face multiple depravations. The elimination of child labour requires multi-sectoral responses that include the private sector and local governments. Market conditions in rural economies are a crucial driver of low family incomes and child labour, and to make progress in numbers, this is where we need to start.”
6. Multiple screens, participants in event
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO):
“The International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour is the perfect opportunity to share experiences amongst those countries that are struggling against child labour, and those that have developed good practices that are working. The fifth Global Conference on Child Labour, to be held in South Africa in 2022, will then be the moment to align and to redouble our efforts towards the achievement of SDG target 8.7, to eliminate all forms of child labour by 2025. We must go beyond words. We must translate commitments into concrete measures and realistic objectives. After all the suffering caused by the pandemic, making child labour history is a crucial part of building back better.”
8. Multiple screens, participants in event
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Nearly 28 per cent of children aged five to 11 and 35 per cent between the ages of 12 and 14 are in child labour and are out of school. These young children are at a much greater risk of threats to their physical and their psychosocial health compared to other children. And for those children who are both working and going to school, the picture is also bleak. They're likely to lag behind their non-working peers in school performance, and are more likely to drop out, limiting their prospects and their earnings in the future.”
10. Multiple screens, participants in event
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate:
“I think we must confess to our children, that we could not protect you dear children from the age-old discrimination, and the inequality, which is growing, and the inequality which is inexcusable and immoral.”
12. Multiple screens, participants in event
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate:
“And let me tell you dear friends, that they all had injured bodies and shattered dreams, and none of them was working for local consumption. These children were working for European and American companies in the supply chain. Child labour is not allowed in Europe. European companies cannot have children, but how they can get immunity to employ children in their supply chain like this.”
14. Multiple screens, participants in event

STORYLINE:

At the launch of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, the President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more children into labour and stressed that the world “must ensure that this generation is not lost.”

Speaking at a virtual event today (11 Jun), Bozkir said the UN declared 2021 as the international year for the elimination of child labour out of a sense of pressing urgency. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities between and within countries, while disproportionately impacting the already disadvantaged, including children.

He added, “We must ensure that this generation is not lost. We must support these children to find their way back to the classrooms where they belong. The negative impacts of child labour are felt by the whole society, not just the children themselves. They are our future. Their productivity matters to all of us. Limiting the children's potential limits society's potential.”

The President of the General Assembly said the international community has made it clear that child labour has no place in modern society. He stressed that the SDG target of ending child labour by 2025 is only four years away and there is no time to waste.

UN Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed noted that, from 2000-2016, child labour had been reduced by almost 100 million children, but new ILO-UNICEF global estimates indicate that some 160 million children are in child labour, representing the first increase since counting was started.

Mohammed said half of these children are in hazardous work and many are subject to violence, enforced labour, and trafficking. She highlighted that COVID-19 threatens to push another nine million into child labour by the end of 2022 due to the expected increases in poverty, with children from five to 11 accounting for half of the expected rise.

The Deputy-Secretary-General said, “The trajectory these trends will take depends on the policy choices and the responses that we make today. The 2030 Agenda and the Decade of Action offer an opportunity to make long-term gains for children left behind, including those in street situations who face multiple depravations. The elimination of child labour requires multi-sectoral responses that include the private sector and local governments. Market conditions in rural economies are a crucial driver of low family incomes and child labour, and to make progress in numbers, this is where we need to start.”

Mohammed underscored that COVID-19 stimulus packages must prioritize child protection, adding that responsible business conduct can help support children and families.

International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder said the progress made between 2000 and 2016 came thanks to the collective action of governments, trade unions, business, and civil society. He added that the ILO convention on the worst forms of child labour was universally ratified by all of its 187 member states in August 2020. He stressed that this was an unprecedented and historic milestone, but the world is still a long way from reaching its goal.

Ryder said the pandemic forced children out of schools and into work, with many families turning to their children to make up for lost income. He emphasized that there is no justification for child labour in the 21st century, which constitutes a violation of the rights of children to play, to go to school, health, and to have a protected childhood.

The ILO chief said the world could not remain complacent and inactive, adding that there is much that can be done. He said governments should extend their social protection systems, provide social protection for all, prioritize universal access to education, and develop cash transfer programmes, skills development, and entrepreneurial training in coordination with workers and employers. He added that companies should provide decent work to parents so that they do not need to resort to child labour to generate family income, and labour unions should develop initiatives to reach out to more workers in the informal economy, particularly in the agricultural sector where 70 per cent of child labour is occurring.

Ryder said, “The International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour is the perfect opportunity to share experiences amongst those countries that are struggling against child labour, and those that have developed good practices that are working. The fifth Global Conference on Child Labour, to be held in South Africa in 2022, will then be the moment to align and to redouble our efforts towards the achievement of SDG target 8.7, to eliminate all forms of child labour by 2025. We must go beyond words. We must translate commitments into concrete measures and realistic objectives. After all the suffering caused by the pandemic, making child labour history is a crucial part of building back better.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said the estimates released yesterday jointly by UNICEF and ILO outline some alarming trending, which, unless reversed, will make the world fall short of its target to eliminate child labour in all its forms by 2025. She said, even before COVID-19, the world was already off track. She said almost one in 10 children worldwide are in child labour today, and there is a very worrying increase in the number of younger children involved.

Fore said, “Nearly 28 per cent of children aged five to 11 and 35 per cent between the ages of 12 and 14 are in child labour and are out of school. These young children are at a much greater risk of threats to their physical and their psychosocial health compared to other children. And for those children who are both working and going to school, the picture is also bleak. They're likely to lag behind their non-working peers in school performance, and are more likely to drop out, limiting their prospects and their earnings in the future.”

The UNICEF chief said, as countries look for a lasting economic recovery, they must ensure that any recovery, reconstruction, or resilience efforts include targeted action to eliminate all forms of child labour. She called for governments to expand investment into income support measures by cash transfers and child benefits, promote decent work for adults including fair wages, and prioritize investments in education systems, and strengthen child protection systems, including with renewed investments in social workers.

She also called on the global business community to work with UNICEF to identify and eliminate child labour in every link of their local and global supply chains and urged the global community to fill the financing gap for this work with increased development assistance targeting child labour and economic recovery for families.

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said there was much encouragement when the numbers of child labourers were declining around the world, but now with the new data emerging, the situation is as worrisome as it was before. He noted that while some eight million children were pushed into labour, the world has become 10 trillion USD richer, adding that Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more child labourers than the rest of the world combined.
Satyarthi said, “I think we must confess to our children, that we could not protect you dear children from the age-old discrimination, and the inequality, which is growing, and the inequality which is inexcusable and immoral.”

The Nobel Peace Laureate said he met children working cocoa fields in Cote D'Ivoire and Ghana who have never tasted chocolate; children in Brazil who pick oranges but were not allowed to eat from them; children in Pakistan who stitch footballs but never had the opportunity to play with a real football; and children in India assembling toys that were beaten if they dare to play with those toys.

Satyarthi said all those children “had injured bodies and shattered dreams, and none of them was working for local consumption.” He added, “These children were working for European and American companies in the supply chain. Child labour is not allowed in Europe. European companies cannot have children, but how they can get immunity to employ children in their supply chain like this.”

The Nobel Peace Laureate expressed his gratitude for the EU countries giving focus to this issue, an called on the European Parliament to pass the bill before it on due diligence in the supply chains. He welcomed the discussion in and among European countries for the establishment of a global social protection fund.

Satyarthi urged countries not to leave the children of the world behind as progress is being made in all spheres of life.
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