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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

Ten steps to enhance employer action on child labour

Ten steps are suggested to improve the participation of employers and their organizations in the campaign against child labour. They provide a logical framework for action, although many of the activities described can and should be carried out simultaneously.

(1) Institutional development. Designate officials in national employers' organizations and sectoral business organizations to serve as child labour focal points.

(2) Investigation: Collect detailed and reliable country-level data about the exact magnitude, nature or effects of child labour in specific sectors or industries.

(3) Awareness-raising. Conduct awareness-raising events aimed at particular sectors and the sensitization of society at large.

(4) Policy development. Develop policy recommendations on child labour to which employers' organizations and their members can subscribe.

(5) Coalition building. Form partnerships to carry out direct action in cooperation with NGOs and, where appropriate, trade unions.

(6) Prioritizing action: Based upon the information collected, select particular industries in which comprehensive programmes on the elimination of child labour can be launched. Action should be guided by a focus on the most exploitative forms.

(7) Direct support to working children: In partnership with coalition members, develop the role of employers' organizations in broad-based efforts to provide alternatives, such as apprenticeships, education, and training.

(8) Monitoring and evaluation: Establish systematic processes to work with focal points in specific industries to measure progress in progressively eliminating child labour.

(9) Compiling information on "best practice": Compile positive initiatives undertaken by local enterprises and business organizations.

(10) Communications policy: Develop a systematic approach to publicizing positive action taken by employers (e.g. newsletters, media campaigns, public merit awards).

Employers and their organizations, can take proactive and innovative steps to respond to the challenge which child labour presents. While concern about the use of child labour on the part of importers in industrialized countries is valid in view of mounting consumer pressure, instant dismissal of children may go against the "best interests" of the child if no alternatives are in place. This has been a key problem with initiatives focusing solely on the export sector, which is only a small part of the worldwide problem. Children should be removed from the workplace in a planned and phased manner to prevent them from simply being thrown unaided into a situation far worse than that which they left. Governments, employers' and workers' organizations, and other concerned stakeholders are beginning to work together towards responsible ways of transferring children from work into education, training and other activities which promote their welfare and development.

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