Joint Statement by the International Tobacco Growers' Association (ITGA) and the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF): International Agreement Signals Fight Against Child Labour in Agriculture
The ITGA and the IUF recognise the need to end the use of child labour in the tobacco growing sector and to provide children with an upbringing that gives them the best chance to succeed in all aspects of life.
The ITGA and the IUF share the view that child labour results from a number of factors including the generally poor social and economic conditions faced by tenant farmers and labourers. These poor conditions are often compounded as a result of the deaths of family members arising from the prevalence of AIDS in rural communities in many developing countries where tobacco is grown.
The ITGA and the IUF are jointly committed to the achievement of best practice in relation to both agricultural production and internationally recognized employment standards and workers rights.
The ITGA and the IUF agree that the needs of each country differ and local solutions should be found within a framework including the following principles:
Children have right to schooling, a full family life and a safe and healthy upbringing
Children under the minimum legal age or under the age recognized by the relevant ILO Convention should not be employed in the production of tobacco leaf
Because many tobacco enterprises are family-run, it may be possible that children take part in routine chores as part of family life. However this must not extend to potentially hazardous tasks using machinery and crop chemicals.
The ITGA and the IUF will work closely with their members to develop a research programme that covers child labour and the general social and economic standards of tenant farmers and labourers.
The ITGA and the IUF recognise that these issues may be difficult to resolve in the short-term and will therefore require a long-term commitment from all parties concerned.
The ITGA and the IUF agree to seek to establish a joint programme of research, information exchange and action in order that internationally recognized standards can be fostered in countries where tobacco and related crops are grown. Priority countries and a timetable for this programme will be developed and announced at a later date. This programme will include joint activity in relation to AIDS awareness and prevention programmes.
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