Phnom Penh, The International partnership for cooperation on child labour in agriculture, which includes ILO, FAO, IFAD, IFPRI (for the CGIAR research centres) and IUF, aims to strengthen collaboration between labour and agriculture stakeholders to better address child labour in agriculture. Worldwide, ILO estimates that there are 215 million children trapped in child labour. Of these the majority, 60 percent, are in agriculture, which includes the fishing and aquaculture sector.
Fisheries in Cambodia are an important part of rural livelihoods and a major contributor to the national economy and food security. Fish provides more than 80% of the total animal protein intake in people's diets and provides nearly more than 1.5 million jobs and involves at least 6 million people in the fishing related activities. Most of the individuals in this sector work only to provide enough food for themselves and their families. This situation perpetuates the cycle of poverty as well as the dependence on children to work. The exploitation of children in the workplace remains a serious concern for Cambodia, which has the highest child economic activity rate in all of east and south East Asia. According to the most recent data from an Understanding Children’s Work (UCW) study, there are as many as 1.5 million children under 18 years engaged in child labour. Specifically, survey data indicates that approximately 75% of child labour is found in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.1 Fisheries can contribute to achieve national development objectives, such as improving livelihoods of the poor, enhancing food security, and the sustainable and equitable use of the fisheries resource base. Improvements in fisheries and aquaculture can also help reach the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on poverty reduction and food security.
At the request of the Fisheries Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia, the ILO and the Fisheries Administration, and in collaboration with FAO organized a two-day workshop from 21-22 December 2011 in Phnom Penh for key officials of the Fisheries Administration. This workshop sensitized officials on child labour in fisheries, as well as the international and national responses to this problem.
As a second step in this process the Fisheries Administration, with technical and financial support provided by the ILO and FAO on behalf of the International partnership for cooperation on child labour in agriculture, will organize a National Consultation in Phnom Penh from 22-24 February 2012. This three-day consultation for key stakeholders of the Fisheries Administration from central and provincial levels, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, Community Fisheries representatives, related local authorities, agencies and NGOs, will be broken up into two sessions. The first, with support from ILO-IPEC, with 50 participants, will focus on identification of strategies and action planning to integrate and address child labour, especially its worst forms in the fisheries sector in Cambodia. It is anticipated that this plan of action will include a specific strategy on how to effectively mainstream child labour into mandate and policies of the Fisheries Sector, which was stated in the Strategic Planning Framework (SPF) for Fisheries: 2010-2019. The second session, 150 participants, with support from FAO, will share the outcomes from the local, regional and national consultation process on “Making a Brighter Future for Small-scale Fisheries through Community Fisheries in Cambodia and will develop a strategy for the steps forward..
Ms. Kaing Khim, Deputy Director-General, Fisheries Administration, MoAFF, Phnom Penh at email@example.com.
Mr. Veng Heang, Director, Department of Child labour, MLVT, Phnom Penh, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Understanding Children's Work (UCW): Children’s Work in Cambodia: A Challenge for Growth and Poverty Reduction. Report No. 38005. Rome, 2006.