ILO strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector

ILO strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector

For immediate release

Geneva, Switzerland, 5 March, 2018 - The International Labour Office of the ILO has released its “integrated ILO strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector” which will be presented at the Governing Body session in March 2018. The ECLT Foundation has been following this discussion closely because of the significant potential impact that the Governing Body’s decision will have on the realisation of the legal and human rights of the children and families of the more than 40 million tobacco farmers in over 120 countries worldwide.

On behalf of those children and their communities, the ECLT Foundation welcomes the Office's recognition “that decent work in tobacco-growing areas can be an important contribution to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the ambitions of the Buenos Aires Declaration.” The Foundation affirms the ILO’s proposed approach to promote improved policies, strengthen social dialogue and assist tobacco-growing communities “to address decent work deficits, including child labour.”

The ECLT Foundation shares these priorities, seeking collaborative and sustainable solutions that support established international legal frameworks, including ILO Conventions 138, 182 and 184, in order to progressively eliminate child labour in tobacco-growing communities.

There is still significant work to be done as the most recent ILO statistics show that there are still 152 million children in child labour and more than 70 percent work in agriculture, including in tobacco growing. The upcoming Governing Body decision has high stakes for these children. Unless collaboration continues, or other long-term resources are assured, effective solutions to address the root causes child labour will be diminished and, in some cases, may end.

As a key factor to support long-term sustainability and scalability of efforts against child labour, the ECLT Foundation continues to prioritise collaboration, including public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships, in line with the SDGs (target 17.17) and the Buenos Aires Declaration. The Foundation employs both area-based interventions and social dialogue to engage all relevant stakeholders including government, social partners, communities and other agricultural sectors in tobacco-growing areas around the world.

Now and in the future, the Foundation focuses on impact and transparency in all its work and looks to accelerate sustainable change in tobacco-growing communities for the ultimate benefit of children, farmers and their families.  In anticipation of the upcoming ILO Governing Body session, the Foundation will continue to closely monitor the evolving discussions.

For further information: Created in 2000, the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation is a global leader in preventing child labour in tobacco agriculture, and improving the lives of children in tobacco-growing areas. The Foundation brings together the stakeholders of the tobacco supply chain, including its largest group, the growers, along with leaf suppliers and manufacturers, to leverage impact. With the adoption of the Pledge of Commitment and Minimum Requirements on combatting child labour by member companies in 2014, ECLT promotes and advances responsible business practices that are in line with international standards. The ECLT Foundation strengthens communities, advocates for improved policies and advances research so that tobacco-growing communities can both benefit from agriculture and ensure health, education and safety for their children.

Press release PDF ILO strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector.pdf

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