In the international year for the elimination of child labor, the blueberry sector supports the call of the Global Alliance 8.7 and joins the institutions that will show concrete actions during this year to meet Target 8.7 of the SDGs.
The global spread of Covid-19 pandemic threatens to reverse years of progress in the prevention and elimination of child labor worldwide. The consequences of the pandemic for many children and their families have been, among others, an interrupted education and loss of income in the household.
The International Labor Organization declared 2021 as the international year for the elimination of child labor. Within this framework, Alliance 8.7 – a global alliance to achieve target 8.7 of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals – called upon institutions and individuals to join in the commitment to fulfill concrete actions to eradicate child labor by 2025.
In this regard, the Argentine Blueberry Committee reinforced its social strategy and supported the call for a commitment to action 2021: Ensure that the blueberry sector in Argentina develops a national social compliance system focused on child labor.
What does this commitment mean?
The sector is committed to adopting, on a voluntary basis, a control, monitoring and care program specifically designed for blueberry production by the producers themselves in order to address child labor and the protection of adolescent work in an integral manner. In 2020, and despite the pandemic, the sector already implemented a pilot test for the Social Compliance System (SCS) with highly successful results that predict a promising 2021 for its final implementation. At a national level, the main beneficiaries are the blueberry sector and the entire value chain of the sector, communities in the production areas, the State at all levels; boys, girls and teenagers.
The program includes: a) awareness-raising actions with every stakeholder in the production chain, b) the implementation of a system to monitor and prevent the presence of child labor in the field and c) the establishment of care centers so that mothers can have a place to leave their children and education services so that both male and female teenagers have opportunities to receive training and recreational activities.
How is this 2021 commitment to action implemented?
Poverty and the closing of schools as a result of the pandemic are factors that will most likely increase child labor and school drop-out rates. It is necessary not only to improve controls but also to contribute to the solution of social problems. ABC is setting up an internal team to work on child labor issues within the sector. This team will provide training and technical assistance to companies for the implementation of the program for the prevention, care and monitoring of child labor. Companies will provide training to workers, contractors and drivers; they will also distribute awareness material and post up information signs in the farms. Companies are to work together with the municipalities of the provinces and with RENATRE (National Registry of Rural Workers and Employers) for the implementation of care centers so that mothers can leave their children during harvest and digital youth spots for teenagers to access computers and receive school support as well as training and recreational opportunities.
How is our commitment to action going to contribute to the eradication of child labor?
ABC will develop a model for the production sector that can be duplicated by other industries and companies that belong to the Enterprise Network against Child Labor. In addition, direct care services for boys, girls and teenagers who are currently facing difficulties to attend school will be specifically promoted.
Contribution to the eradication of child labor through 3 specific lines of action: by strengthening protection and education services through public-private partnerships (digital youth spot centers in Sargento Moya and Santa Lucía in the province of Tucumán for teenagers and care centers for boys and girls); by raising awareness of stakeholders in the production chain regarding this issue through communication campaigns and specific workshops to provide training on the regulatory framework, causes, consequences, etc., and using a prevention and monitoring system in the chain by means of an app in order to generate a responsible management model.
Who is responsible for its implementation?
The ABC has an ad hoc team that is in charge of the implementation of the national social strategy and the coordination with the different stakeholders. This team provides advice to a number of companies that will directly develop the actions on the field.
What kind of content will be published regarding this 2021 commitment to action?
Participation in webinars, workshops, national and international congresses.
Active participation in the Enterprise Network against Child Labor, in COPRETI (Provincial Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor), and other related spaces to explain the situation and best practices. Publication of our experience and concrete actions in mass media, press, social media and a specific web page for the national social strategy of the sector.
To learn more about this commitment, you can visit the following website: https://endchildlabour2021.org/