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An integrated strategy against child labour in tobacco: ILO reaches comprise for continued collaboration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Geneva, 1st November 2019

The Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has reaffirmed its engagement with the tobacco sector in an integrated strategy to address decent work deficits, including efforts to address child labour in tobacco-agriculture, in the pursuit of the Organization’s social and legal mandate.

Acknowledging the time invested and level of compromise required from all parties on reaching this agreement, the ECLT Foundation strongly welcomes the Governing Body’s decision, which firmly keeps children, farmers and families at the forefront of this matter.

The ECLT Foundation has been following discussions closely over the last three years due to the significant impact this has on over 60 million people in the tobacco sector, including the communities living in the 120+ countries where tobacco is grown. ECLT echoes the Employers’ position that the ILO must be able to engage with all legal sectors, including the tobacco sector, which has demonstrated a successful private-public partnership surpassing objectives outlined in several ILO documents presented to the Governing Body. The decision reached by the ILO Governing Body provides legitimacy to the multitude of voices raised in concern on ending collaboration to address decent work deficits in tobacco-growing communities. This includes the on-going work of the ECLT Foundation.

Sustainably building on efforts against child labour

ECLT affirms the ILO Governing Body’s formal approval of the integrated strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector at the 337th session on October 31st, demonstrating continued commitment to build upon existing efforts to eliminate child labour in tobacco growing in a sustainable way. ECLT further acknowledges that, with the accelerated SDG 8.7 timeline to eradicate child labour by 2025, there is a hard road ahead to bring about meaningful change for children. The ILO Governing Body’s reaffirmation of the November 2018 decision to continue to mobilise various sustainable sources of funding from the public and private sector, with proper safeguards in place, is exactly what is needed to help strengthen and sustain global efforts in the fight against child labour. The ECLT Foundation is an independent organisation and remains a partner in the fight to progressively and sustainably eliminate child labour, committed to collaborating with all relevant stakeholders at national and international levels

Media Inquiries: media@eclt.org