World Scout Movement and ILO-IPEC extend cooperation to fight child labour

The ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) have signed a third Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) extending cooperation for a further five years.

Press release | 9 November 2012, Geneva | 09 November 2012
Geneva —  The shared pursuit of social justice and peace and the empowerment of young people underpin the collaboration between the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the ILO, first formalised in an MoU in 2004 and renewed today in Geneva for another 5 years.

To date, jointly planned ILO-WOSM activities have revolved around IPEC’s Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media (SCREAM) programme. Scouts have been trained to use SCREAM methodology to empower children and youth, mobilise their communities and organise events for the World Day against Child Labour.

International conferences on Scouting and child labour and workshops at world and national Scout Jamborees have fuelled collaboration between National Scout Organizations and IPEC. Beyond advocacy, Scouting has shown it can reach out to children in or at risk of child labour and change their lives. In Kenya, El Salvador, Chile and Egypt, for example, Scout extension projects, often in partnership with ILO national offices, have provided child labourers with social care, informal education as a bridge to mainstream schooling and access to recreation.

One intended joint product of the renewed partnership will be a new SCREAM module on keeping children safe from harm – a priority for the Scouts and the ILO – to promote the dignity and physical and psychological integrity of the child.

ILO Director General, Mr. Guy Ryder, said, "Over the past decade, we have worked together with the Scout Movement to raise awareness of social justice and human rights including, in particular, child labour. As the partnership enters this third phase, we look forward to steering our joint work towards an even more strongly rights-based approach, concentrating on engaging Scouts, particularly in the Global South, in activities which reach out to children in or at risk of child labour. It is in this spirit - common cause in the worldwide movement against child labour - that the ILO is delighted to renew the MoU with the World Organization of the Scout Movement."
“215 million children…are still in child labour, 115 million of them in the worst forms. Youth bring essential energy, ideas and action to reinvigorate the global movement to end child labour. As we sign this new MoU …we look forward to deepening further our cooperation so that …Scouts… do not just know about child labour but are able to take an active part in the worldwide movement against it, engaging with socially excluded children to help prevent and remedy child labour.” said Ms Constance Thomas, ILO-IPEC Director.
“The renewal of this MoU reinforces our joint commitment…. Over these last 8 years, joint work… has strengthened…. WOSM has taken ILO-IPEC’s SCREAM Education Pack to a large number of National Scout Organizations and Scouts at grassroots level. We have also been working together to promote the World Day Against Child Labour, reminding the over 30 million strong WOSM membership of the joint cause we work on. Through this partnership, our National Scout Organizations have advocated children's rights to their young members and extended Scouting to children in difficult circumstances. The current MoU also entails scope to work together on Keeping Children Safe From Harm, based on Scouting’s work on Child Protection with what we call “the Keeping Scouts Safe From Harm initiative.” said Mr. Luc Panissod, WOSM Secretary General.