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DRC: Learning about child labour

George Clooney is coming to DRC! How exciting is that? He’s doing a documentary on children working in illegal mines and we’re going to be hosting his trip. Ten points to the guys in Washington, good thing I got my hair done before I came out.

In among the excitement, there’s work to be done. I’ve been brushing up on the International Labour Organisation standards, particularly the part on child labour.

Convention 182 prohibits the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced or compulsory labour, recruiting children for use in armed conflict, prostitution and pornography; using children for illicit activities, in particular for producing and trafficking drugs; and other work which is likely to harm children’s health, safety or morals.

It’s been ratified by 171 countries, including DRC. Ratifying states have to eliminate these forms of child labour, remove children from labour, and, interestingly, to provide them with education or vocational skills training as an alternative.

Not all governments are easily able to do this though, which is where we get involved – helping children in these situations at the same time as working with governments so that they can better help children in future.

For me, that means working on funding proposals for the next few weeks to make sure we have the money to get to the children that need it. So I’d better get on.

That bit about George Clooney wasn’t true by the way, although I fell for it, and it made you read the hard bit…. Happy April Fools 🙂

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