The Secretary of Labor signed an agreement with the Association of Blueberry Producers of the Argentine Mesopotamia (APAMA), which ratifies the commitment against child labor in the blueberry harvest.
Joint follow-up and monitoring will be conducted to protect childhood and working families.
The agreement signed by the Secretary of Labor, Ángel Zacarías, and the head of the entity that groups blueberry producers, Alejandro Panuzzio, implies joint actions for responsible production and for reinforcing the commitment to eradicate child labor and protect adolescent work in the months of the blueberry harvest.
The eradication of child labor is a goal that requires the commitment of the provincial government, companies, social organizations and society in general. Zacarías pointed out: “In difficult times it is necessary to join efforts to protect childhood and working families. The provincial government has always fought against this problem and we are committed to strengthen the tools to achieve the commitment of all stakeholders”.
In this context, the official also mentioned the measures taken by the national and provincial governments to support production chains and workers in order to lessen the effects of the pandemic.
Furthermore, the coordinator of Decent Work, Ariel Villanueva, highlighted the commitment of the entity to achieve responsible production. Regarding control actions, he said that “in addition to monitoring and prevention actions, the labor area will intensify controls and inspection tasks in harvesting months to take care of children”.
Carla Ginobili, manager of the Blueberry Committee of Argentina (ABC), made reference to the promotion of education and responsible agricultural production, and in this sense she emphasized the commitment of the sector. “We are convinced that prevention and awareness can only be achieved by a joint effort at the national, provincial and municipal levels,” she said.
Ginobili welcomed the execution of the agreement and described it as “a result of the public/private linkage where the focus is on the workers and their families”. She thanked the provincial officials for their commitment and support to the sector.
The agreement, which was virtually executed, was also signed by the president of ABC, Federico Baya, and the attorney-in-fact of Apama, Jorge Sosa.
This is a two-year commitment document that provides for prevention tools, such as awareness and prevention campaigns, training for the entire value chain and education programs to improve opportunities for boys, girls and teenagers.
Parties agree to fight against child labor, to which end they will carry out actions to prevent and deal with any possible cases that may be identified through the use of the protocol in force. In other words, upon being informed of a possible case in any of the subcontracting companies, producers must report the fact to the department labor delegation, which will take and refer the case to the corresponding official agency.
As regards adolescent work, parties agree to ensure compliance with the regulations in force.