Launch of project "All against Child Labour in Tunisia"
17/04/2017 18:09, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - A project called "All against Child Labour in Tunisia", part of the national programme to combat child labour (2015-2020) was launched Monday in Hammamet.

The project, which covers the period 2017-2020, focuses on developing practical plans for the national programme service and its monitoring, implementation and evaluation mechanisms.

The launch of the project was announced in the form of a workshop that will continue until April 20, under the supervision of the Steering Committee of the National Programme to Combat Child Labour.

"Tunisia needs a comprehensive national strategy, involving all the parties concerned and including all programmes and policies for the protection of children," Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Trabelsi said in a statement to TAP.

These policies should be based on a common strategy to combat poverty and child labour, as well as the protection of delinquent children and marginalised groups, he stressed.

Trabelsi further pointed out that the phenomenon of child labour has worsened in recent years.

Figures from the Ministry of Education reveal that nearly 100,000 pupils leave school every year to a fate that remains unknown, exposing them to all forms of exploitation, including minors' labour.

As part of this project, the National Institute of Statistics has started a national survey on child labour based on a sample of 15 thousand families and the results will be published in September 2017.

The survey will establish a database and facilitate analysis and diagnosis of the situation in order to define appropriate policies against this scourge.

Neziha Laabidi, Minister of Women, Family and Children, said children's delegates receive nearly 9,500 reports per year on children, including child labour and assaults of which they are victims.

The launch of the project "All against child labour in Tunisia" coincides this year with the celebration of the national year of the child 2017, she pointed out, stressing the need to put everything in place in order to develop strategies for child protection, fight against child labour and early school leaving, especially for girls, who are then exploited as house-keepers.

US Ambassador in Tunis Daniel Rubinstein underlined that his country's support for this project stems from the common conviction to preserve the rights of the child and to put in place laws serving the interests of children and protecting them from all forms of delinquency.

The project's general coordinator Naïma Zaghdoudi said the main objective of this project is to support the national programme against child labour.

It includes three major axes: strengthening inter-institutional co-operation between State apparatus, organisations and components of civil society; creating an information system on this phenomenon, its causes and dimensions, and raising awareness of the dangers of child exploitation and labour.

The project, developed by the International Labour Office (ILO) in consultation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the workers’ and employers' organisations, will be implemented with funding from the United States Department of Labour (USDoL) in the order of million dinars.

Tunisia has committed to combat child labour by ratifying the 1992 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); ILO Convention No. 138 (1973) on Minimum Age for Employment in 1995; and ILO Convention No. 182 (1999) on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 2000.

As part of these commitments, Tunisia has established a legislative and institutional framework for the protection of children affecting the fight against child labour through the reform of the Labor Code, the elaboration of a Code for the Protection of Childhood, the law on compulsory education and legislation on social advancement.

This national commitment was reiterated in the new Constitution of January 2014 which stipulates in Article 47 that: Children are guaranteed the rights to dignity, health, care, education, and teaching from their parents and the state.”

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