4th European Forum on the Rights of the Child: extracts from the opening speeches by Jacques Barrot and Benita Ferrero-Waldner
Type: Speech - summary
End production: 18/06/2009
The 4th Meeting of the European Forum on the Rights of the Child addressed a severe topic: Child Labour. The Forum focused on how to effectively address child labour using instruments the EU has at its disposal. Within the main theme of child labour, the Forum specifically focused on social protection and corporate social responsibility
Even though there has been a gradual decline in child labour, this problem has a global character and no region is free of it.
According to ILO (ILO, The end of child labour: Within Reach, Geneva 2006 estimates, some 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are working, approximately 120 million of them are working full -time, and estimated 126 million are involved in hazardous work. Boys continue to be more exposed to child labour, particularly work of a hazardous nature, than girls. The difference becomes more pronounced with increasing age.
The indicator for employment by sector breaks down employment into three broad groupings of economic activity: agriculture, industry and services.
The problem of child labour is not confined to the developing world, it exists everywhere, also in Europe. In many cases, child labour in Europe is less visible than in other parts of the world.
In Europe, as in other parts of the world, there is not only the problem of child labour as it is defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and ILO Convention. In Europe and in the world exploitation of children includes commercial sexual exploitation, slavery and similar practices, exploiting children for illicit activities, child trafficking, begging and exploitation of street children, and employment of children under hazardous conditions.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Presentation of the conference room
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security: The Commission adopted a communication identifying challenges and priorities which will allow to pursue the creation of a real space of freedom, security and justice within the next five years; this programme that will be adopted by the European Council under the Swedish presidency at the end of the year, will be followed by an action plan in 2010; a Europe for citizens, community of rights, a Europe that protects, a Europe responsible and united, is a Europe where respect of children rights and fundamental rights is essential.
||SOUNBITE (English) by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy: The two areas where we are focusing are social protection and corporate social responsibility; we want to look at the ways in which social protection can help fight child labour and also promote education; we want to look at how social corporate social responsibility can be leverage to maximum effect; education is particularly important, promoting and above all enabling the poorest to access education is an effective approach to eradicating child labour; wherever I could work, I always put the strongest focus on education.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Benita Ferrero-Waldner: The Commission is already doing quite a lot; last year I presented to the Council a new communication and action plan on a special place for the children in the EU external action; we are planning a study on how best we can use our available tool to combat child labour; there are two principle trends in our approach: our political dialogue with third counties and our real activities on the ground.
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Jacques Barrot: The Commission revised the framework decision on human slavery in March; we wanted to fight in a more efficient way against sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, organ trafficking; we added a clause to avoid punishing victims from illegal immigration; we introduced more investigation and prevention tools to support victims.
||Cutaway (2 shots)