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U.S., Brazil and ILO to expand fight against child labour in post-earthqake Haiti – first ILO North-South-Sout
June 15, 2010

Brazil, U.S. and ILO to expand fight against child labour in post-earthqake Haiti – first ILO North-South-South “triangular agreement”

GENEVA (ILO News) – Brazil and the United States have joined forces to expand the fight against child labour in Haiti, in the first “triangular agreement” on North-South-South cooperation to be signed under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The agreement stresses “the importance of the need to eradicate and prevent child labour and to ensure that core international labour standards and principles are observed in the Republic of Haiti, especially during the aftermath of the tragic earthquake that struck its territory on January 12, 2010 and the country’s reconstruction process.”

The first so-called “triangular cooperation agreement” follows a decision by the governments of Brazil and the US to work jointly on issues related to the world of work, in particular child labour. It will support efforts by Haitian authorities and society, and is “inspired on successful Brazilian experiences which shall be adapted to the local context and needs of the Republic of Haiti.”

The agreement recognizes “the Brazilian experience in the prevention and elimination of child labour, the support of the United States of America concerning efforts to eliminate child labour and ILO’s knowledge and experience in this domain,” notably in the construction sector where constituents have developed a tripartite initiative to build capacity of young and adult workers.

Activities for the prevention of child trafficking and sexual exploitation, and of child labour involving dangerous work related to the reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure are among the goals of the project to be deployed by ILO in Haiti, according to the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), and will build on existing actions against child labour in Haiti, also funded by Brazil, that have had the trade unions and CSA and the Government as leading partners in the country.

It also addresses the need to train adult workers participating in the rebuilding of the country based on Brazil’s experience and gives priority to the reconstruction of schools.

The triangular agreement was signed by the US Department of State, the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour of Haiti, and the ILO.

The participation of Brazil is also part of the commitment of the Brazilian government and the ILO to promote South-South cooperation. On 15 June, Brazil and the ILO also signed South-South cooperation agreements for a social protection project in Timor-Leste, and for projects related to the eradication of forced labour and the promotion of green jobs in Latin America and Africa.