Date: Fri, 25 Apr 97 11:03:25 CDT
From: rich%pencil@VM.KSU.EDU (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Italian Labor Campaigns Against Child Labor
Article: 9799

/** 324.0 **/
** Topic: Italian Labr Campaigns Against Child Labr **
** Written 10:16 PM Apr 24, 1997 by labornews in **
From: Institute for Global Communications <>
Subject: Italian Labr Campaigns Against Child Labr

The labour world against child labour

ICFTU Online…, 88/970416, 16 April 1997

Brussels, April 16, 1997 (ICFTU OnLine): Italian workers have contributed nearly 2 million dollars to support projects aimed at combating child labour in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. This contribution is the outcome of a campaign launched in February 1996 in Italy by trade unions and employers' organisations, the results of which were presented in Rome today at a conference organised jointly by the Ministry of Labour, the Italian committee of UNICEF, and the Italian tripartite (trade unions-employers-governments) committee of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The date of the conference is significant, as it marks the second anniversary of the murder of Iqbal Masih, a 12-year-old Pakistani boy who had the courage to tell the whole world about the nightmare lived by millions of children in his country.

Launched on February 28, 1996, following an agreement between the Italian trade unions (CGIL, CISL, IUL)and the industry federation, Confindustria, the campaign, called the “Italian labour world against child labour” has encouraged millions of workers to give up one day or one hour of their wages, which will be used to finance projects.

In Rome yesterday, the representatives of Italian trade unions and employers agreed on criteria for using the the US$ 1.75 million they have collected, and invited UNICEF and the ILO to prepare over the next three months practical projects aimed at the clothing factories in Bangladesh, bonded labour in Nepal and the surgical instruments industry in Pakistan, notably in Sialkot which has already been in the news for using child labour in the production of footballs.

“The projects to be elaborated by the two international institutions will involve the local trade unions in their implementation and will be subject to regular monitoring” assured the trade union organisations.

The Italian labour world's campaign also has a political objective. Last year, following the joint efforts of the social partners, the Italian government agreed to defend the idea of the social clause at the first Ministerial Summit of the World Trade Organisation held in Singapore in December.

According to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), there are more than 200 million child workers around the world, more than half of whom are in Asia.