The International Cooperative Alliance and the ILO organize a webinar to mark the World Day against Child Labour

The awareness raising training package on “The role of cooperatives in eliminating Child Labour” was also launched during the webinar on June 9, 2021.

News | 30 June 2021
On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, the International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank (ICETT) of the International Cooperative Alliance, in collaboration with the ILO organized the webinar “Ethical Value Chains : How Cooperatives Tackle Child Labour” on 9th June 2021, bringing together 90 participants. The webinar aimed to raise awareness of how cooperatives can help fight against child labour in their sphere of influence and value chains, sharing case studies and practical recommendations on how to enhance and accelerate the progress of elimination of child labour.

Opening remarks were delivered by Bruno Roelants ICA Director General, followed by a presentation by Merav Niv, a member of ICETT Human Rights and Value Chains Working Group. The event consisted of two main panels: the first panel focused on case studies of cooperatives actions in the fight against child labour and the second panel presented the ILO’s work on cooperatives towards the elimination of child labour.

Speakers in the first panel included Mr. Patrick Owusu, Manager of Asunafo Cocoa Farmers Union in Ghana who referred to the main actions of Asufano, including the implementation of Community Child Protection Committees in 67 communities, child labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems and a series of awareness raising activities for its members and communities, including at schools. The second speaker, Mario J. González, President of La Riojana Cooperativa in Argentina explained that the cooperative provides cooperative scholarships to its members and staff so that the children could attend school and university, La Riojana has also established an agro technical college open to members’ children. The third speaker Lilian Maina, Social and Compliance Risk Manager of Fairtrade Africa presented the Fairtrade criteria related to the elimination of child labour and examples of cooperative actions. Finally, Todor Ivanov, Secretary General of Euro Coop explained the EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Business and Marketing Practices and the Consumer Cooperatives contribution to it.

Andrea Davila, ILO
The second panel included a presentation of the ILO awareness raising training package “the Role of Cooperatives in Eliminating Child Labour” (facilitator guide to train field trainers and facilitator guide to train direct beneficiaries) by Andrea Davila, Senior Technical Officer at ILO COOP. The purpose of the training package is to raise awareness of agricultural cooperatives about child labour, so that they are able to decide on and implement a set of actions that will contribute to its prevention and elimination.
Edgar Aguilar, ILO
The panel also benefited from the participation of Edgar Aguilar, Social Finance Officer at ILO Africa Regional Office who explained the integrated area-based approach to support cooperative organizations to address root causes of child labour adopted in the framework of the project “Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa” (ACCEL).
Philippe Vanhuynegem
Closing remarks were done by Philippe Vanhuynegem, Chief of ILO FUNDAMENTALS Branch, who highlighted the importance of collaboration between different actors and reiterated the key role of cooperatives in the elimination of child labour.