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Amsterdam Child Labour Conference 26-27 February, 1997


Press release | 11 February 1997


GENEVA (ILO News) - An international round-table conference on the most intolerable forms of child labour around the world will be held in Amsterdam on 26-27 February at the initiative of the Government of the Netherlands and with the active support of the International Labour Office. The Conference will be chaired by Mr. Ad Melkert, Minister of Social Affairs and Employment of the Netherlands.

The opening ceremony will take place Wednesday, 26 February, at 9:15 a.m. in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Keynote speeches will be delivered by Mr. Ad Melkert and by Mr. Michel Hansenne, Director-General of the ILO.

The aim of the Amsterdam Child Labour Conference is to raise international awareness about the most harmful forms of child labour - such as slavery, debt bondage, child prostitution, and work in hazardous occupations and industries - and to stimulate action towards their eradication as a matter of immediate priority.

The participants will include high government officials from more than 30 countries, representatives of trade union and employers' organizations, NGOs, international organizations and working children from different countries.

Political statements will be made on 26 February by Ministers from a number of industrialized and developing countries who will discuss the approaches adopted in their countries in order to eliminate the most intolerable forms of child labour. The list of Ministers is attached.

Ms. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF will address the Conference on 27 February. Also on that day, three technical workshops will be held which will include presentations, panel discussions and debates among the participants. The themes for the technical workshops are:

(1) International and regional cooperation in the area of eliminating child labour;
(2) Globalization, liberalization and child labour;
(3) ILO instruments on the elimination of exploitative and hazardous child labour.

Journalists wishing to attend the Amsterdam Conference should register as early as possible with the Press Office of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, providing their name, address, date of birth and the name(s) of the media they represent. The person to contact is Ms. Janneke Allers or Mr. Peter van Meenen: Tel: (+31.70) 333.45.49 - Fax: (+31.70) 333.40.30.

The Conference will be held in the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, in the centre of the city.

List of Ministers scheduled to address the Amsterdam Child Labour Conference:

- Mr. M.A. Mannan, Minister for Labour & Manpower, Bangladesh;
- Mrs. M. Smet, Minister of Labour, Belgium;
- Mr. Paulo Paiva, Minister of Labour, Brazil;
- Mr. Axworthy, Minister for External Affairs, Canada;
- Mr. Ahmed Ahmed El Amawi, Minister of Manpower and Migration of Egypt;
- Mr. Norbert Blüm, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of Germany;
- Mr. M. Arunachalam, Minister of Labour of India;
- Ms. Natalya Korzhova, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Kazakstan;
- Mr. P. Masinde, Minister of Labour, Kenya;
- Mr. Jan Pronk, Minister for Development Cooperation, the Netherlands;
- Ms. Kari Nordheim-Larsen, Minister of Development Cooperation of Norway;
- Mrs. Lina Laigo, Minister of Social Welfare, Philippines;
- Mrs. M'Bengue Ndiaye, Minister of Family Affairs, Senegal;
- Mr. A. Diop, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senegal;
- Ms. E. Snyders, Minister of Labour, Suriname;
- Mrs. M. Winberg, Minister of Labour, Sweden;
- Mr. Sebastian Kinyonto, Minister of Labour and Youth Development of Tanzania;
- Mr. Chatchai Earsakul, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Thailand.