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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO; 2000; 356 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contents1. National policies and programmes
Open this folder and view contents2. Towards improved legislation
Open this folder and view contents3. Improving the knowledge base on child labour
Open this folder and view contents4. Alternatives to child labour
Open this folder and view contents5. Strategies to address child slavery
close this folder6. Strategies for employers and their organizations
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the documentPlanning for action at the national level
View the documentBuilding alliances
View the documentKey issues in project design
View the documentTen steps to enhance employer action on child labour
Open this folder and view contents6.2 EMPLOYER "BEST PRACTICES" ON CHILD LABOUR
Open this folder and view contents6.3 CORPORATE INITIATIVES ON CHILD LABOUR
View the documentAppendix 6.1 IOE General Council Resolution on Child Labour
Open this folder and view contents7. Trade unions against child labour
Open this folder and view contents8. Awareness-raising
Open this folder and view contents9. Action by community groups and NGOs
Open this folder and view contents10. Resources on child labour
View the documentOther ILO publications
View the documentBack Cover

Building alliances

There are no "quick fixes" to the complex problem of child labour, which is closely related to the level of economic and social development in a country. Economic disparities between countries make it unrealistic to expect developing countries to afford the same facilities for their children as industrialized ones. Similarly, employers' organizations in developing countries are constrained in terms of available resources and institutional capacity. Nevertheless, employers' organizations have unique strengths on which they can capitalize, particularly in the areas of advocacy, awareness-raising, and policy development, and by forging alliances with other concerned stakeholders who have a proven track record in combating child labour and who share the same objectives (see Chapter 9). Many NGOs, for example, have been innovative and dynamic in the struggle against child labour and more employers are working closely with NGOs and trade unions as part of the civil society response to child labour.

The key initial goal should be to raise the problem of child labour - its characteristics, causes and consequences - before the board or management of the national and sectoral employers' organizations in each country, making it clear that this is an issue with wide ramifications on national economic, social and human resource development.

In countries which are starting to address their child labour problems, employers' organizations can take several steps. An employers' organization interested in joining national efforts to combat child labour can identify a member of its staff to serve as a "child labour focal point". This person can play an active role on the National Steering Committee on child labour and in national networks for the elimination of child labour. Initial activities may be modest and aimed primarily at information gathering and at increasing the awareness of the problem among its own members, other sectoral business groups, and society at large. Initially, employers' organizations can work alongside and support other groups active in the area of child labour, rather than embarking on a major programme alone. In this respect, linkages with IPEC national programmes are important in ensuring coordination.

Box 6.1. Building national alliances

Who are potential local or regional partners for employers' organizations in combating child labour?

National and local governments
Chambers of commerce
Individual companies
NGOs advocating for children's welfare and rights
Schools and other educational institutions
Trade unions
Consumer associations

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