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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO, 2000, 356 p.)
close this folder6. Strategies for employers and their organizations
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAwareness-raising and policy development initiatives
View the documentEmployer action to combat child labour in specific sectors
View the documentDirect support for the removal and rehabilitation of child workers

Awareness-raising and policy development initiatives

Three examples of such initiatives are provided below.

Box 6.3. Employers' Federation of Pakistan

The Employers' Federation of Pakistan (EFP) has been actively contributing to national efforts to eliminate child labour. The EFP started by raising awareness of the characteristics, causes and consequences of child labour among its own members, beginning with the translation of international instruments and national legislation on child labour into local languages. It then created a network of local employers for the protection of working children. This network is supported by a child labour unit at the EFP secretariat in Karachi and comprises 20 focal points nationwide. The EFP regularly publishes information on the activities of this network in its quarterly newsletter.

The EFP is also involved in the employer-led Skills Development Council (SDC), which aims to promote the development of vocational training programmes which are flexible, demand oriented and cost-effective, with the maximum participation of employers. The SDC also registers school leavers, uneducated youth, child trainees and industrial workers, in order to identify training needs which will ensure the availability of trained personnel and provide better employment opportunities to trainees. Through the SDC, the EFP has been involved in awareness-raising and in exhorting local employers to improve the working conditions of children. The EFP has proposed that its office-bearers, the members of its managing committees, and the leaders of local chambers and national business associations establish systems to ensure that their own companies and those to whom they subcontract do not employ child labour.

Box 6.4. Employers' Confederation of the Philippines

In April 1997, the Employers' Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) initiated awareness-raising activities among its own members and affiliated business groups. Its objectives were to obtain a better understanding of the attitudes and concerns of member companies on the issue of child labour; formulate an employers' policy statement to reflect the commitment of Filipino employers to the elimination of all forms of child labour; raise awareness and develop advocacy positions for leading business organizations; and develop capacity within ECOP to offer services to local enterprises in the area of child labour.

To accomplish these goals, ECOP committed itself to:

· surveying member companies to document prevailing corporate policies, programmes and activities that may directly or indirectly affect working children. This includes a special survey examining the linkages between the formal employment sectors and child labour, primarily in the form of blind procurement and subcontracting policies;

· documenting "best practices" which can serve as models for other companies;

· conducting awareness-raising and advocacy programmes for industry associations, and affiliated organizations and members of ECOP; and

· establishing a "child labour focal point" at ECOP to:

· raise employers' awareness and sensitivity to the needs of working children;

· advise enterprises on options available on how best to approach and pursue child labour initiatives;

· design a system whereby employers could share access to data, information and services on strategies to eliminate child labour; and

· provide employers with a platform to participate in national policy development and implementation on child labour.

A child focal point is responsible for training activities in support of these objectives and for monitoring the progress of employer action to eliminate child labour.

Box 6.5. National Association of Colombia Industrialists

A number of employers' organizations have adopted policies in the area of child labour. One example is a resolution adopted by the National Association of Colombia Industrialists (ANDI) in December 1996. Such statements serve the dual purpose of bringing greater attention to the issue of child labour and of providing policy guidance to individual companies.

Resolution on Child Labour by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Colombia Industrialists


(a) That it is the Association's duty to foster the application and respect of ethical values among the employer community and society as a whole;

(b) That in every work relationship respect for individual dignity must prevail;

(c) That the rights of children and young people must be upheld, so that they are protected against economic exploitation and against performing any work which may be dangerous or which interferes with their education, their leisure, or their physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development in general;

(d) That the lack of education and technical training among children and young people prevents them from enjoying better working and social conditions in a world which requires people to be increasingly qualified; and

(e) That, despite the difficulties in evaluating the extent of the problem, recent studies indicate that at least 2,447,000 youngsters between the ages of 9 and 17 work in our country - that is, almost 90 per cent of the children and young people in that age group, who are suffering from poverty and misery, are performing some kind of work.


(1) That its members will not engage for work any individual of less than 18 years of age.

(2) To invite its members to check whether those people with whom they have contracts - such as contractors, clients, distributors, agents, subcontractors, etc. - do not employ any persons of less than 18 years of age.

(3) To request that, when they have dealings with community or cooperative type enterprises, whose activities encompass work which involves family groups, including youngsters of less than 18 years of age, enterprises ensure that the rights of those children and young people are not violated and that their working time allows for education and recreation.

(4) To request the Executive President of the Association to continue supporting efforts to abolish the employment of children and young people in other sectors of Colombia's economy, and to assist in the design and implementation of rehabilitation, training and recreation programmes for displaced children and youngsters.