South-South Cooperation

ILO and Brazil seal new project to support the Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean free of Child Labour

In the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, a renewed South-South cooperation partnership is essential to promote the exchange of knowledge and the improvement of public policies.

Notícias | 1 de Fevereiro de 2021
Brasília - The Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed, at the end of 2020, a new project to support the Regional Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean free of Child Labour. The renewed partnership is essential, since 2021 was declared the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour with the purpose of promoting legislative and practical actions to eradicate child labour worldwide. The ILO will be responsible for facilitating the organization and implementation of the International Year.

The Initiative represents the region's commitment to accelerate the rate of eradication of child labour in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is an innovative cooperation instrument, which aims to consolidate and guarantee the sustainability of the advances already achieved, ensuring full rights of children and adolescents.

The new project has three central objectives:
  • Develop and improve data collection and analysis systems on child labour to guide the formulation of public policies in Brazil;
  • Simplify work processes and methodologies for more effective application of child labour laws and better compliance at the national level;
  • Strengthen institutional capacities of national stakeholders to develop and implement effective multisectoral strategies for the prevention and elimination of child labour in the Initiative countries.

Ambassador Ruy Pereira, director of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, highlighted Brazil's commitment to the topic.

"The country has a history of active regional participation in the fight against child labour, within the perspective of cooperation for development, with the exchange of good practices, establishment of partnerships and a multisectoral approach to strengthen the fight against the roots of the problem," he said. “This new project reinforces, even more, the Brazilian commitment on the theme, within the scope of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, by bringing together Brazilian institutions to cooperate in the exchange of their best practices with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean”, said the Ambassador.

Martin Hahn, director of the ILO office in Brazil, spoke about Brazil's participation in the founding of the Regional Initiative and its importance for the International Year.

“In the Sustainable Development Goals, an important goal was established to eliminate all forms of child labour by 2025. Brazil is one of the founders and one of the greatest supporters of the Regional Initiative. This new project represents that commitment, and is even more important when 2021 is declared the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour”, highlighted Martin Hahn.

About the Regional Initiative

The Initiative is the result of the III Global Conference on Child Labour (III CGTI), held in October 2013, in Brasilia. The conference brought together about 1,200 people, high-level representatives from governments, employers, workers, international organizations, in addition to experts, legal practitioners, teenagers, and journalists from around the world. The CGTI III underscored the commitment and leadership of developing countries to adopt effective strategies in the pursuit of the eradication of child labour, especially in relation to those seeking to eradicate child labour in its worst forms.

Since its creation, the Initiative has been guided by the principles and practices of South-South and trilateral cooperation and, today, it operates through a regional network of focal points that has 30 representatives from each of the ministries responsible for work, and seven delegates from each of the employers’ and workers' organizations.

Operational responsibility lies with the ILO, through its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, which acts as the Technical Secretariat. Although established before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Initiative is fully aligned with the SDGs and, in particular, with goal 8.7 of SDG 8, which aims to eradicate child labour in all its forms by 2025.

In this context, Brazil is the protagonist, having been the first country to approve a South-South cooperation project for the creation and implementation of the Initiative. The project was implemented from 2013 to 2019. Brazil is the only country among partners with two institutional focal points, the Special Secretariat for Social Security and Labour (SEPRT), of the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Citizenship, institutions that share the coordination of child labour eradication policies in the country.

Over the years, South-South cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and good practices between Brazil and the Caribbean countries in the elimination of child labour has intensified. Between 2018 and 2019, Brazil supported activities to combat child labour involving activities in Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica has recently also shown interest in cooperation with Brazil in the areas of labour inspection and combating child labour.