Human Resources Development Canada

Human Resources Development Canada

June 12, 2006 12:14 ET

Government of Canada Funds Project to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central America

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 12, 2006) - To mark June 12, 2006 - World Day Against Child Labour, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, today announced a grant of $600,000 to the International Labour Organization (ILO) for a project to prevent and eliminate the worst forms of child labour in four Central American countries. The grant is provided to the ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) under Human Resources and Social Development Canada's International Trade and Labour Program. The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

"Children are the most precious asset in our families and communities around the world. Their future is everyone's responsibility and they have the right to grow-up in a protected environment, free of exploitation and hazards. Today's funding announcement underscores the Government of Canada's ongoing global commitment to make a difference," said Minister Blackburn.

The ILO established IPEC in 1992 to promote global awareness and assist governments in their efforts to prevent and eliminate child labour. This new project will help to build the capacity of ministries of Labour and workers' and employers' organizations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to develop and implement policies and programs aimed at the prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Training will be provided to labour inspectors to ensure the effective enforcement and implementation of child labour legislation and regulations, and the withdrawal of children from exploitative and hazardous work.

According to the ILO's recent Global Report, The end of child labour: Within reach, the number of children involved in the worst forms of labour around the world has decreased for the first time across the globe. The findings indicate that between 2000 and 2004, the number of child labourers worldwide fell by 11 per cent, from 246 million to 218 million. The report concludes that if the current pace of decline is maintained and the global momentum to stop child labour continues, child labour could be eliminated, in most of its worst forms, in 10 years.

"This is welcome news, but despite the considerable progress made, international efforts must continue. That is why I am especially pleased that Canada is providing funding for a new project, and I would like to also commend the ILO for their continuous efforts and commitment to eliminate child labour," said Minister Blackburn. June 12 has been declared as the World Day Against Child Labour by the ILO in order to mobilize people around the world against child labour and its worst forms. It is a day to remember children and to recognize the commitments by governments, individuals, employers, unions and organizations to taking action to eliminate the exploitation of children, and to encourage everyone to continue to make a difference.

Additional information on Canada's funding program is available on the HRSDC Web site at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/lp/ila/ITLP_index.shtml

Details about the ILO can be found on their web site at http://www.ilo.org/;

World Day Against Child Labour at http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/wdacl/2006/index.htm

and the Global Report at http://www.ilo.org/dyn/declaris/DECLARATIONWEB.DOWNLOAD_BLOB?Var_DocumentID=6176

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Labour and
    Minister of the Economic Development Agency
    of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
    Roxane Marchand
    (819) 953-5646