Friday, June 5, 2015

ILO:::‘Nearly 100m Children Engage In Labour In Agric Sector’

The International Labour Organisation (ILO ) has revealed that nearly 100 million boys and girls between ages 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour in agriculture.
As such it has, with the help of a new training guide developed by the FAO, developed a new visual guide to protect children and extension workers in Africa and elsewhere are engaging with rural communities to reduce children’s exposure to toxic pesticides used in farming

The ILO stressed that “many children are directly exposed to toxic chemicals while working in the farm, but children are also exposed when they help with family chores or play, and through the food they eat and the water they drink.”
The organisation noted that children are far more sensitive to pesticides than adults, adding that exposure can result in acute poisoning and sickness immediately after contact. But often, it also has longer term chronic impacts on their health and development.
“Limiting pesticide use and promotion of non-toxic alternatives is important for reducing exposure but education is equally crucial,” it said.
The FAO and ILO’s new visual guide provides an easy accessible training tool. It helps agricultural extension workers, rural educators, labour inspectors, and producer organisations in teaching farmers and their families how to identify and minimise risks at home and on the farm. They also learn how to recognise and respond to signs of toxic exposure. The user-friendly guide has three main modules: how children are exposed to pesticides, what the health risks are and why children are particularly vulnerable and what can be done to reduce those risks.
“The tool was initially developed in Mali, where it is now widely used by extension workers, farmer field schools, labour inspectors, and producer organisations. Its use is also expanding in Niger and other African countries. We are seeing growing interest from other regions. The guide is not only raising awareness that something must be done, but also showing what needs to be done,” the director of the FAO’s Social Protection Division, Rob Vos, said.
It noted that not all situations are the same. The guide is not only available in several languages (currently in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and a Russian version will be available soon), but also adapted to different regional contexts, including Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia Pacific. The graphics and illustrations are adapted accordingly as well.
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