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Monday, June 15, 2015

Preventive measures to check child labour in agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has designed new measures to checkmate the preponderance of child labour in agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Rob Vos, Director of FAO's Social Protection Division, in a press release in Rome said, "In recent years, we have seen an increase in awareness of child labour and its role in producing export crops such as cocoa, coffee and cotton." The implication of this, he said, “we see much more effective action to prevent child labour in these value chains. However, child labour on family farms not connected to international commodity markets has remained largely untouched. The new guide tries to fill this void”

The new guide, NaijaAgroNet gathered, is intended for use by agricultural organizations, NGOs, international organizations, agricultural ministries, policy-makers, and other actors involved in agricultural programmes, be they related to crop production, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry or livestock-raising.

Worldwide, large numbers of children are involved in agricultural work. This is normal on family farms and - provided it stays within acceptable boundaries -- is not only beneficial for the farm but also allows children to acquire valuable knowledge and skills.

For about 100 million children, however, such work goes beyond what is acceptable - interfering with schooling or involving them in work that is hazardous and damaging to their development, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

The new guide highlights the need to address child labour in family farming in an appropriate and context-sensitive way that respects local values and family circumstances. Social protection and poverty reduction programmes can be particularly effective in helping poor families to send their children to school and to avoid exposing them to hazardous work on the farm.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE
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