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State represented: Federative Republic of Brazil

Committee: United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)


Agenda 02 : Ensuring a labour-free and healthy childhood for the children of South Asia,
living below poverty line.

The Federative Republic of Brazil recognizes the importance of ensuring a labour-free and
healthy childhood for the children of South Asia, living below poverty line, as it has become an
increasingly larger concern for all the nations and believes that this issue should be brought to
light in the UNHRC. Children are our future. In order to materialize our vision of sustainable
development, it is essential to ensure the healthy childhood for all children living under poverty
line by eradicating child labour. It is estimated that there are 21.6 million children, aged between
5 and 10 years, working in South Asia. The factors that contribute to child labour in South Asia
are all related to poverty. Brazil believes, Education is the key to break free from vicious
cycle of poverty and thus ensure labour-free and healthy childhood for children all over the
world. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the right to education. Although this
doctrine was adopted in 1948, the world has fallen quite short of this goal.
The Federative Republic of Brazil has formed legal framework for combating child labour.
Brazil ratified Convention No. 138, the Minimum Age Convention, in 2001 and Convention No.
182, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention in 2000. In 2004, Brazil has ratified the
Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography,
the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict, United
Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC), Human Trafficking
Protocol, supplementing the CTOC and Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, supplementing the
CTOC.30. Brazil has also implemented a series of legal reforms to help bring national laws into
full compliance with the conventions. The 1988 Brazilian Federal Constitution and the 1990
Statute on Children and Adolescents provide the legal framework that defines and implements
childrens rights policy in Brazil. According to the national legislation, the minimum age for
general employment in Brazil is 16 years. The Government of Brazil, in coordination with ILO-
IPEC, implemented a Time-bound Programme to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in
domestic service, prostitution, hazardous work in agriculture, and other informal sector activities.
The project ended in September 2008, withdrawn over 5,000 children from exploitive labour and
prevents an additional 2,000 from becoming involved in such activities.
There are two main international conventions on child labour supply advocated by the
International Labour Organization (ILO). First, Convention 138 establishes a minimum age for
employment. Signatories on this 1973 convention agree to to pursue a national policy designed
to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for
admission to employment or work to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental
development of young persons (Article 1). Convention 138 specifies that the minimum age for
employment should not be less than 15. Second, Convention 182 attacks the worst forms of
child labour. It defines a child as all persons under the age of eighteen. Signatories on this 1999
convention commit to take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and
elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency. In addition to these two
conventions, the ILO also encourages poor countries to sign a memorandum of understanding
with the ILO to take active steps to participate in the ILOs International Programme for the
Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). Joining IPEC entails the creation of a national steering
committee that develops a national plan of action for the elimination of child labour in the
country.
Brazil believes Compulsory schooling laws have advantages relative to legislation against child
labour. But we have to provide incentives. Some programmes such as the Merenda Escolar
Programme in Brazil provide breakfast and lunch to students. This type of programme benefits
the household only in that it alleviates the need to feed the child, but it has the added benefit of
potentially improving the nutritional intake of students. In the Goat-to-School Programme in
Brazil, children that attend school are given goats and training on how to tend and rear goats.
Beneficiary households are directed to use the milk to feed their children and to repay the
programme in goats without interest. Thus, this programme provides the household with an asset
that yields an income flow, ameliorating the concerns about how cash transfers are spent.
Moreover, the goat yields a flow of income, in part replacing income that the child would have
provided by working. In addition, the children tend the goat, contributing resources to the
household. The work associated with the goat is flexible and not so difficult that the child is too
tired for schoolwork. Other recommendations are:
Make it compulsory for every member states to participate in IPEC.
Increased donation to the poor countries by developed nations, so that the poor nations
have enough fund to provide financial incentives to poor children.
Do utmost for improving educational infrastructures to ensure quality education.
Intensify efforts for poverty alleviation.
Compel South Asian countries to form legislative acts banning all forms of child labour.
ucw-project.org/attachment/Brazil_20june1120110622_103357.pdf
http://www.ilo.org/legacy/english/regions/asro/newdelhi/ipec/responses/
www.oecd.org/employment/emp/2955703.pdf