Let me reinforce Christina Behrendt’s (ILO) message. On a day like this, the World Day Against Child Labour, we should also recognizes that nearly 60 percent of all child labour is found in agriculture, be it in crop production, livestock farming, forestry or fisheries. Working on the farm is not necessarily bad for children. In fact, it can be good for their development. However, when we talk about child labour it is because, children are exposed to conditions that are harmful to their health and education, thus violating their rights and undermining their future chances of finding decent employment as an adult. Poverty is at the root of persistent child labour, but for the reasons explained it in fact perpetuates poverty and undermines food security.
I also agree with Christina that improved social protection measures for children and their families can help prevent child labour in rural areas. Investments in education, health and nutrition in rural areas are essential to improving productive employment opportunities for youth and adults, in turn reducing poverty and the demand for child labour. But, of course, it is but one piece of the puzzle. Broader rural development and poverty reduction efforts are needed to prevent child labour at its root causes.
In order to raise awareness about the importance of addressing child labour in agriculture, FAO and ILO are working together to develop the E-learning course “End child labour in agriculture”. To access a preview of the first unit and for more information on the upcoming units, please visit: http://www.fao.org/2/childlabouragriculture
Also, to learn more about FAO’s work preventing and reducing child labour in agriculture, visit: http://www.fao.org/childlabouragriculture
Coordinator Strategic Programme on Rural Poverty Reduction (SO3) and
Director Social Protection Division (ESP)
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla -- 00153 Rome, Italy