Know and Uphold Labour Rights: Ten-day Campaign against Child Labour in Kyrgyzstan

A ten-day campaign against child labour was held on 2 to 12 June 2017 in Kyrgyzstan, leading up to the World Day against Child Labour.

News | 12 June 2017
Bishkek, Osh and Karakol hosted a series of events attended by public officials, local self-government representatives, labour unions, employers, civil society organisations and members of the public.

The ten-day campaign initiated by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Labour and Social Development and supported by the ILO aimed to raise public awareness in Kyrgyzstan about the situation with child labour and prevent the involvement of children and adolescents its worst forms.

In particular, the campaign featured a broad discussion of the country's engagement in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the role of Alliance 8.7 in mobilising the global efforts under SDG Target 8.7 to end child labour, human trafficking and forced labour.

On June 2 and 7, intensive consultations with local authorities were held in Osh and Karakol to develop mechanisms designed to step up coordination and effectiveness of central government and local authorities’ collaboration in providing assistance to families and children in difficult life circumstances, including working children.

On June 7, 9 and 12, consultations were organised in Osh, Karakol and Bishkek for students of vocational schools. Representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, State Inspectorate for Environmental and Technical Security, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Office of the Ombudsman explained basic labour rights of minors under 18 and potential workplace risks in an effort to prevent student involvement in forced labour, modern slavery, trafficking, and hazardous forms of child labour. The consultations were held in an interactive Q&A format.

"Children and youth are our future. Young people under 18 can and should be engaged in productive work, but their labour potential must be utilised without negative consequences for their health, education and overall development," stressed Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Development Jyldyz Polotova during her meeting with students of Vocational Lyceum No. 5 in Bishkek.

The ten-day campaign also included consultations with representatives of vocational and general schools, social welfare services, labour unions, local authorities, employers, civil society and international organisations to discuss ways to improve access to vocational training for vulnerable youth. On June 12, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and Science Agency of Primary and Secondary Vocational Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, hosted a round table "Expanding Access to Primary Vocational Education: Towards Decent Youth Employment."

"I am certain that the recommendations developed today for improving access to vocational training can inform the creation of effective tools and mechanisms for preventing involvement in the worst forms of child labour," said Gulnura Mamyrova, Head of the Agency's Department for Analysis and International Relations.