Building and Wood
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"On the World Day Against Child Labour, we reaffirm our support and continued efforts for the cause of millions of children worldwide who toil for living. Child labour is a trade union issue as the presence of child labour in the workforce not only reduces the bargaining power of adult workers but also suppresses their wages," says Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the BWI. The BWI strongly supports the ILO’s efforts to put a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights under an apt theme for year 2012 “Human Rights and Social Justice: Let’s end child labour.”
In the BWI sectors - building construction, brick kilns, stone quarries and forestry - child labour is found in high numbers especially in developing and least developed countries. In many countries, in particular the South Asia region that is home to the largest number of child labourers in the world, the BWI has adopted a multi-pronged approach that encompasses schooling, organizing, campaigning, micro-finance and skills training. The partner unions today have successfully mainstreamed thousands of children into regular schooling and have been instrumental in improved wages and working conditions. This has been made possible by Solidarity Support Organisations in Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Finland and Australia.
To mark the World Day Against Child Labour, Child Learn - a non-profit initiative that partners with the BWI - is organising a marathon and kids run in Schimmert (the Netherlands) on 16 June 2012. All the proceeds from the marathon shall be utilised for ensuring schooling to workers’ children at the BWI supported schools and its campaign - Decent Work for Adults and Decent Education for Children. One of the highlights of the marathon this year is the participation of two teachers from the child labour schools from Uttar Pradesh and Orissa States, India.
We also call upon affiliates, partner organisations and national governments to honour the rights of children and on governments to ratify ILO child labour conventions and accordingly also align their national policies and programs.