Making a difference since 2002.
History & Principles
The ECLT Foundation adheres to 10 Guiding Principles for all our projects and activities. Learn more.
The ECLT Foundation has remained committed to ending child labour in tobacco growing for over a decade.
Read how the following events led to the ECLT Foundation’s formation in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002.
- International awareness
- The United Nations approves the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a new, major international standard in the field of the rights of the child.
- The ILO’s Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour enters into force.
- Joint statement on child labour in the tobacco industry
- The International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) and the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF) sign a joint statement, which is witnessed by the ILO. In doing so, the ITGA and the IUF recognize the need to contribute to the elimination of child labour in the tobacco-growing sector and to provide children with an upbringing that gives them the best chance to succeed in all aspects of life.
- A new partnership is formed
- British American Tobacco (BAT) joins the effort and signs a memorandum of cooperation with the ITGA and the IUF. The three organisations agree to work jointly to combat child labour in tobacco growing. They agree to involve all stakeholders in the tobacco sector so that child labour will no longer play a role in its production.
- An international conference sets up the ECLT Foundation
- This new partnership is officially launched in Nairobi in an international conference, “Eliminate Child Labour: Establishing Best Practice in Tobacco Farming.”
- More than 120 delegates and speakers representing 14 countries in three continents attend. Keynote speakers include the Kenyan Minister of Labour Hon. Joseph Ngutu, and the ILO Executive Director Mr. Kari Tapiola. The conference establishes a permanent infrastructure to address child labour in tobacco growing and provides a framework for ongoing action. The decision is made to base a central secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Download the conference report
- New members and the launch of the ECLT Foundation
- New partners from the tobacco corporate sector join the international initiative:
Gallaher Group Plc
Imperial Tobacco Group PLC
Japan Tobacco Inc.
Philip Morris International
Philip Morris USA
Scandinavian Tobacco Company
The three major tobacco leaf processing companies: Dimon Incorporated, Standard Commercial Corporation, and Universal Leaf Tobacco Co. Inc.
- Other companies follow throughout the years.
- The ECLT Foundation office opens in October 2001, and the ECLT Foundation officially launches on 5 April 2002. Guiding Principles are defined to informed programs and activities going forward. (Links to new Guiding Principles page that’s not part of main navigation)
- The ECLT Foundation starts its first project in Malawi: the Association for the Elimination of Child Labour (AECL). The AECL consists of the Ministry of Labour, Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU), and Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA). As a principle, each project is supported by a multistakeholder steering committee with local partners and authorities. The ECLT Foundation also organizes partners’ meetings to share experiences and help develop the ECLT Foundation’s strategy.
- The ECLT Foundation starts its first project in the Philippines, implemented by the Department of Labour & Employment and the Bureau of Women and Young Workers.
- The ECLT Foundation starts its first project in Tanzania: Urambo Tobacco Sector Project (UTSP). Implemented by ILO-IPEC, the UTSP also includes three local NGOs.
- The ECLT Foundation starts its first project in Uganda: Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Uganda (ECLATU). ECLATU is implemented by ECLATU Trust, an organization comprising the National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU), Uganda Tobacco Growers Association (UTGA), and BAT Uganda (BATU)
- The ECLT Foundation funds the Agricultural Workers Union (AWU) of Kyrgyzstan and the regional office of IUF to implement ongoing child labour elimination interventions in Kyrgyzstan.
- The ECLT Foundation participates in the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) Conference in The Hague, which adopts a road map for the elimination of child labour. At this conference, the IPEC launches the Child Labour Platform and the ECLT Foundation participates in the meetings.
- The ECLT Foundation co-sponsors the Global March Against Child Labour Conference in Washington, DC, a major project of unions, and sponsors the Malawi MCTU representative.
- The ECLT Foundation sponsors and provides leadership to the Malawi National Conference on Child Labor in Agriculture. The ECLT Foundation promotes and sponsors a children’s conference running parallel to the main national conference.
- The ECLT Foundation promotes a joint message that is issued and signed by the ECLT Foundation, IUF, and ILO to congratulate the Malawi Government for the conference accomplishments.
- Save the Children joins the ECLT Foundation Board as Advisor, and becomes the first civil society organization to sit on the ECLT Foundation Board.
- CONTRAF-NICOTEX-TOBACCO Gmbh (CNT) joins the Board, bringing the number of tobacco company members on the Board to 13.
- The ECLT Foundation organizes a stakeholder dialogue on child labour in tobacco in Tabora, Tanzania, and sponsors the participation of local, national, and international union representatives and ILO.
2014 to present
- The ECLT Foundation continues the fight against child labour in tobacco growing.