ILO to mark World Day Against Child Labour (12 June 2003)

Tuesday 10 June 2003
( ILO/03/29 )

GENEVA (ILO News) - Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan is to be the keynote speaker on Thursday, 12 June when the
International Labour Organization (ILO) marks the second World Day Against
Child Labour here.

This year's event focuses on the trafficking of children, a criminal
practice in which some 1.2 million children each year are compelled to
perform various forms of unwanted work, ranging from hazardous or forced
labour to commercial sexual exploitation. ILO Director-General Juan Somavia
will introduce this year's event. Following the address by Queen Rania,
Lyse Doucet, a BBC presenter and correspondent will moderate a programme
highlighting anti-trafficking activities in four areas of the world: the
Philippines, the "three border area" of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, the
Mekong River area in Asia, and Africa.

The event will take place in Room XIX of the Palais des Nations, from 11:30
to 13:00. Media wishing to attend the event or obtain interviews should
contact the ILO Department of Communication (see contact information below)
for more information.

Trafficked children are caught in a web that spans all continents and
nearly all countries. These children are moved within and across national
borders through force, coercion or deception by unscrupulous traffickers.

The ILO defines a trafficked child as one who is relocated and exploited.
Those who contribute to or profit from the practice - recruiters,
middlemen, document providers, transporters, corrupt officials and others -
are defined as traffickers.

Alarmingly, most children who are trafficked today wind up in commercial
sexual exploitation. The ILO publication "Unbearable to the Human Heart"
says that less publicized forms of trafficking push children into domestic
service, service industries like restaurants and bars, hazardous work in
factories, agriculture, construction, fishing and begging and even armed

World Day against Child Labour
12 June 2003, 11:30 to 13:00, Room XIX, Palais des Nations
"Local Solutions, Global Problem: Communities Combat Child Trafficking"
Welcome and Opening remarks by moderator: Ms. Lyse Doucet, BBC Presenter
and Correspondent
Introduction by: Mr. Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International
Labour Office
Keynote speaker: Her Majesty Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

  From the Philippines

In and effort to prevent trafficking of children as they transit through
the main seaports in the Philippines, the Philippine Ports Authority,
employers' groups, porters' associations, NGOs, and many others and joined
forces. Together, they work towards identifying and rescuing children and
adolescents who, lured by promises made by traffickers, leave the safety
and security of their homes in search of work and fortune. Panellists: Ms.
Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, President of the Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc.;
Ms. Gina R. Virtusio, Public Relations and Corporate Communications'
Manager, WG&A Shipping Lines; Mr. Alfonso Cusi: General Manager of the
Philippine Ports Authority.

  From Latin America

The Triple Border region - where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil intersect -
is a vast area with porous borders, major regional commercial and tourism
centres and a population of almost 500,000. The lack of vigorous border
checks and law enforcement in the region facilitates illegal commerce,
including weapons, drugs and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.
In this region, the ILO has established a tri-country partnership approach
to combating child trafficking. Panellists: Ms. Isa Ferreira, Chief
Technical Advisor of the ILO Programme on the Prevention and Elimination of
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Young Children and Adolescents at the
common border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay; Ms. Beatriz Helena Dutra
Jacinto de Farias, Representative of the Regional Nucleus of Social
Services and social worker of the Action Program in Foz do Iguaçu.

  From Africa

In Togo, 200 villages have been identified as communities where trafficked
children originate. In order to stem the traffic, the ILO is helping to
establish community vigilance committees whose objective is to create
awareness on the dangers of child trafficking amongst rural families and
within communities. This work is part of preventive efforts throughout West
and Central Africa. Panellist: Mr. Essodina Mibaféi Abalo, National
Programme Manager for the ILO's programme on the elimination of child
labour in Togo.

  From Mekong Sub-region

The Mekong Project to Combat the Trafficking in Children and Women covers
five countries of the Greater Mekong sub-Region: Cambodia, China (Yunnan
Province), and Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam. It identifies viable preventive
strategies, strengthens communication between grassroots communities and
national policy makers, and encourages replication of project successes.
Panellists participating by telephone: Mr. Hervé Berger, Chief Technical
Advisor of the Mekong Sub-Regional Project to Combat Trafficking in
Children and Women; Mrs. Zhao Xiuying, Standing Member of All China Women's
Federation; Member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), and; President of the Yunnan Province Women's Federation.

For more information, contact, ILO Department of Communication:

David St. John
Tel.: +4122/799-6939
Mobile: +4178/794-9670

Cristiana Falcone
Tel.: +4122/799-6158
Mobile: +4179/281-4766


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