The ILO and the III Global Conference on Child Labour in Brasilia

At The Hague Global Chid Labour Conference (10-11 May 2010), the Government of Brazil announced that, in cooperation with the ILO, Brazil would host the III Global Child Labour Conference in 2013 to measure progress in implementing the The Hague Roadmap and towards the goal of 2016. The Conference in Brazil, entitled “III Global Conference on Child Labour” by the Brazilian Government, is an opportunity for reflection and joint dialogue between government, social partners, civil society, regional and international organizations on the progress made in the process towards the elimination of child labour, especially its worst forms, as well as a space for presenting proposals of mechanisms to accelerate the elimination of this phenomenon.

The Conference will take place in Brasilia, from October 8th to 10th, 2013. The Brazilian Government has sent official invitations to the ministries of External Relations of 193 member states of the United Nations, stating that the composition of the four-member delegations should to respect the quadripartite nature of the conference: one government representative, one worker’s representative, one employer’s representative, and one civil society representative. The composition of the delegations also should take into account gender, race and ethnicity equality issues.

To encourage the wide and democratic participation of all interested players, in order to create an international mobilization network and momentum prior to the Brasilia Conference, and also to give voice to children and adolescents from all around the world, a virtual platform “Child Labour Dialogues” was developed and is open to all institutions and individuals that are either interested in the issue or are directly involved in activities related to the elimination of child labour. This will be the main space for the discussion about challenges that are associated to the fight against child labour, especially to its worst forms. The platform is open to everyone and will feature six dialogue rooms. The thematic rooms will be moderated by representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations and civil society institutions recognized for their role in combating child labour.

The dialogues will be organized in thematic rooms following the four axes of the The Hague Roadmap: education and training, national legislation and enforcement, labour market policies, and social protection. Besides these four rooms, a room will be dedicated to the discussion and collection of contributions to the Brasilia Conference Base Document, and the platform will also enable the participation of children and adolescents who may express their point of view on the main challenges and the measures needed to accelerate the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Children and adolescents will also be encouraged to discuss their concerns about work and education.

The Brasilia Conference is expected to encourage the exchange of lessons learned and good practices so that the efforts made by several countries may allow the construction of more consistent policies and integrated strategies for addressing child labour. In that sense, the experiences accumulated by governments and non-governmental organizations, social partners and civil society worldwide represent a rich mosaic of knowledge that can inspire the implementation of new projects and policies focused on the elimination of its worst forms. All the participants are encouraged to submit their good practices on the prevention or elimination of child labour thought the online form available in the Brasilia Conference official web site.

An International Advisory Committee was created to advise the Conference’s Executive Committee in Brazil to contribute to the Base Document and to disseminate information about the Conference. Invitations to the International Advisory Committee were sent to all countries and 22 countries accepted the invitation. ILO is part of the International Advisory Committee and is collaborating in technically advising on the contents and structure of the Brasilia Conference.

The Organizing Committee of the Brasilia Conference will not promote any face-to-face preparatory events or meetings prior to the Conference. However, a system has been put into place by the organisers so that any activity that will discuss child labour in view of the Conference may be officially recognised as a preparatory event as long as it fulfils the following mandatory requirements: covers specifically the issue of child labour and is at least of a tripartite nature and involves representatives from the central government of the host country.

In this context, since 2012, the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) has been actively promoting the Brasilia Conference by collaborating with several sub-regional preparatory meetings in the context of the MERCOSUR, CPLP, ECOWAS, ASEAN and Maghreb countries, that had, inter alia, the objective of identify and share good practices and, based on the The Hague Roadmap and the 2010 ILO Global Action Plan, discuss ways to accelerate the pace towards the 2016 goals.

Additional information can be found at the Brasilia Conference official web site.