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International Programme to Eliminate Child Labour

category national | irish social forum | press release author Monday May 01, 2006 13:50author by Gregor Kerr - Aclaim anti child labour initiativeauthor email kerrgregor at yahoo dot co dot uk Report this post to the editors

Pressure Irish government to act now

The response of the Irish public to Trocaire's focus on child labour during its recent Lenten appeal was tremendous. Unfortunately, the Irish government has failed to take even the basic steps necessary to reflect the views of Irish people on this issue. Trocaire's director, Justin Kilcullen has recently called on the Irish government to endorse the International Labour Organisation's International Programme to Eliminate Child Labour.
This call has been endorsed by Aclaim - a recently formed anti child labour initiative. Aclaim has written the letter below to Conor Lenihan, Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights . We urge others to write similar letters and to encourage the Irish government to take this minimal step in condemning the scourge of child labour in today's world. (The Aclaim website is currently under construction and will be available soon at www.aclaim.ie)

(anti child labour initiative)
working for the restoration of childhood

Conor Lenihan TD
Minister of State for Overseas Development and
Human Rights
Department of Foreign Affairs

Dear Mr. Lenihan

You are no doubt aware that on May 4th a major global report on the issue of child labour will be launched by the International Labour Organisation. This report will focus on what ILO member states are doing to tackle the scourge of child labour.

The ILO’s International Programme to Eliminate Child Labour (IPEC) sets out the challenges which face the world if we are serious about eliminating child labour
· the achievement of universal primary education
· improvement in the quality of education and teachers
· income support to families to defray the losses of money when their children return to education
· implementation of legislation that outlaws child labour

It is disappointing to note that the Irish government has not as yet indicated its support for IPEC. The publication of the report on 4th May, and the forthcoming annual meeting of the ILO (scheduled to take place in June) provides an ideal opportunity for the Irish government to endorse IPEC and to join with the 30 donor countries that have already done so. The current shortage of donor funds is a major impediment to the implementation of IPEC.

According to Trócaire, the response of the Irish public to the focus on child labour during its Lenten campaign has been huge. The level of this response would indicate that the elimination of child labour is an issue which Irish people would like to see their government take firm action on.

With this in mind we would like to endorse the call of Justin Kilcullen, Trócaire’s director for the Irish government to
· Welcome the ILO’s global report on child labour
· Indicate its intention to become a donor to IPEC
· Lobby those countries that have not yet done so to join the 87 countries that have adopted IPEC
· Become a passionate spokesperson in international fora such as the UN, World Bank and EU for the elimination of child labour

In the words of Mr. Kilcullen
“Unless wealthy governments undertake a concerted campaign of action, the scandal of child labour will continue unabated and another generation of children will be condemned to a life of poverty”.

In the world of 2006, it is a major disgrace that the scourge of child labour continues to thrive. We trust that the Irish government will take this issue seriously and respond to Trócaire’s call and the will of the Irish people positively.

We look forward to a positive response from you.

Yours sincerely

Related Link: http://www.trocaire.ie
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