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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
Open this folder and view contents6. Strategies for employers and their organizations
Open this folder and view contents7. Trade unions against child labour
close this folder8. Awareness-raising
Open this folder and view contentsINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents8.1 THE MESSAGE
View the document8.2 THE AUDIENCE
View the document8.3 MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
View the document8.4 THE NEED FOR A COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
View the documentAppendix 8.1 Informing the public
View the documentAppendix 8.2 Popular theatre as an effective communications tool
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
 

Appendix 8.1 Informing the public

Excerpt from BGMEA-ILO and UNICEF Agreement: A quick reference for managers and owners, October 1996 (ILO-Dhaka)

Questions and answers about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

WHAT IS THE MOU?

It is an agreement to remove children under 14 from BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) garment factories (including their subcontractors) and place them in education programmes.

WHY DID THE MOU BECOME NECESSARY?

Under the perceived threat of proposed legislation in the United States (the Harkin Bill to ban the import into the US of items produced by children) and actions by many consumers and buyers to boycott products made by children, several factory owners - in an attempt to get rid of children in their establishments - dismissed them overnight and pushed them into less favourable conditions. In light of the resulting backlash, many concerned parties sought a way for a more humane approach which would both protect the best interests of the child and those of the garment factory owners, their workforce and the country as a whole.

At the request of BGMEA and the Government of Bangladesh, the ILO and UNICEF at that time supported BGMEA's initiative to gradually phase out child labour under controlled conditions.

WHAT WAS AGREED TO?

It was agreed in the MOU signed on 4 July 1995: (a) that no child under the age of 14 would be recruited to work in garment factories, and (b) that children - who were already working - would not be terminated by the factory owners before they were placed in a school programme.

WHO AGREED?

BGMEA, together with the ILO and UNICEF, signed the MOU with the support of the Government of Bangladesh and the US Embassy.

HOW IS THE MOU BEING IMPLEMENTED?

(a) First of all a joint survey (by BGMEA, the ILO and UNICEF) was conducted to count exactly how many children were employed in the garment factories. Over 10,000 children were identified.

(b) UNICEF, based on the actual locations of the children surveyed, began to map out where and how many schools should be established.

(c) The ILO is devising a monitoring and verification system with an expanded contribution to its IPEC programme from the US Department of Labor.

(d) BGMEA has agreed to the monitoring and to the placing of children in the school programme.

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