Here you can find statements from ECLT, reports from the field and news of recent publications like our Annual Report. To find out what happened in previous years look at the news archive.
Election of ECLT Officers
The ECLT Foundation Board is convening in Geneva for its bi-annual meeting in September. Re-elected President, Antonio Abrunhosa, who is the Secretary General of the International Tobacco Growers Association shared his views on the accomplishments, opportunities, and responsibilities of the ECLT Foundation in 2012. Read more.
Mr. Abrunhosa has presided the ECLT Board since 2009. Read more.
Barbara Martellini, Vice President at Universal Leaf Tobacco was re-elected Vice President of ECLT. Ms. Martellini has served on the ECLT Board since 2002. Read Ms. Martellini’ s address to Malawi President Joyce Banda during the National Conference on Child Labour sponsored by the ECLT Foundation.
Ms. Martellini is shown here greeting the Vice-president of Malawi.
Newly elected Treasurer, Simon Green, from Alliance One International, shown here next to social partners as the Board listened to children and village child labour committee members during the recent visit of Board Members to the PROSPER Project in Tanzania.
Mr. Green has served on the Board of ECLT since 2005.
Child Labour Elimination Actions for Real Change (CLEAR) Project issues its first news Bulletin
The publication, which will be released on a quarterly basis, includes news articles on CLEAR activities carried out in three impact districts of Mchinji, Ntchisi and Rumphi. It is inspiring to read big ambitions by children withdrawn from child labour, how communities are mobilising themselves through village savings and loan (VSL) groups to end poverty (the major driver of child labour). Click here to read the first CLEAR Bulletin.
REACT Project lays foundation for child labour interventions
Since its launch on 16th June 2013, the Realizing Effective Action for Children Together (REACT) Project led by Save the Children Mozambique has prioritized the recruitment of project staff to be based in Tete Province and building relationships among the implementing agencies and local stakeholders. Key achievements towards increasing knowledge of the project and improving local multi-sectoral coordination around child labour include:
- The establishment and convening of the first multi-sectoral Technical Steering Committee meeting in Angonia District;
- Invitations from local government to make presentations about the project at various fora, including the upcoming 7th session of government; and
- Mobilization of six communities to strengthen local child protection systems.
Multi-stakeholder engagement will be essential for local ownership, effective coordination in the response to child labour, and future sustainability of interventions.
Now that project staff is in place, the REACT project will prioritize the participatory social mapping of institutions, beneficiaries and communities. Through social mapping, project staff, communities and stakeholders [such as tobacco companies working in the project area] identify vulnerable households and children using indicators that are based on demographic and socio-economic factors. Key results of the social mapping process include a determination of the project caseload, a standard referral protocol, and a rollout of customized or appropriate project responses to the child labour problem in the targeted areas.
The REACT Project aims to combat exploitative and hazardous child labour, particularly the worst forms of child labour in tobacco-growing areas of Macanga and Angonia Districts in Tete Province, Mozambique. The projects aims to end child labour for 4,500 children and support the livelihoods of 500 tobacco-growing families to achieve better outcomes for children at risk of entering in child labour.
The REACT Project seeks to leverage the expertise and local knowledge of the implementing partners and stakeholders to roll out a community-based system for identifying and withdrawing children from the worst forms of child labour, while strengthening capacity at district and national levels.
Launch of REALISE Project in Uganda to Strengthen Family Livelihoods
21 May 2013
Hoima District, Uganda: Representatives from the ECLT Foundation joined together in partnership with Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO) to launch the Realizing Livelihood Improvement through Savings and Education (REALISE) project in the Hoima District of Uganda. The event was an opportunity to celebrate the inauguration of the new four-year project together with a number of local families, children, and a broad array of project stakeholders including representatives from the Ugandan Ministry of Labour, Gender, and Social Development; Ministry of Education and Sports; British American Tobacco, the Commissioner for Basic Education, and many other local, regional, and national authorities.
The inauguration of the four year REALISE project, funded by the ECLT Foundation and implemented through the collaborative efforts of UWESO, is helping to protect thousands of children from child labour in the Hoima District of Uganda. Located in the western region, the Hoima District is one of the largest tobacco-growing districts in Uganda, and as it is in many areas, tobacco here is grown on smallholdings at the household level. It is a labour-intensive crop, so often entire families are involved in its production. The REALISE project address both the social and economic factors that drive smallholder tobacco farmers to employ children in hazardous work, and those that impel children to seek such work.
The coordination and participation of local stakeholders and their programmes in Hoima will enhance the opportunities for the project to lift families and children out of poverty and eliminate child labour in the area. It is anticipated that the REALISE Project will protect 5,940 children, ages 5 to 17, from work that is exploit¬ative, hazardous, or considered to be the worst forms of child labour in tobacco growing.
In conjunction with the launch, the National Advisory Committee of REALISE met for the first time in Kampala. Representatives of training units of ILO, as well as the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), and several NGOs and district departments dealing with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) attended the first national advisory committee meeting, providing a foundation for the support necessary to direct and sustain the efforts of the project.
Another key component of the project will be the formation of 600 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), that will strengthen the livelihoods of vulnerable households by teaching caregivers business skills so that families can engage in alternative forms of income-generating activities, such as rearing, poultry, bee-keeping, and farming. “With UWESO’s expertise of working with VSLAs,” says ECLT Foundation Executive Director Sonia Velazquez, “over 18,000 caregivers of former child labourers or chil¬dren at risk of entering child labour will generate and diversify their income to be able to provide for the basic needs of their children. I believe the REALISE project will generate good learning and practices about how VSLAs and income generation can effectively be used to reduce and combat the prevalence of child labour in agriculture.”
ECLT Foundation Awards $3.1 Million to Combat Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Mozambique, Uganda, and Kyrgyzstan
6 November 2012
The ECLT Foundation has awarded $3.1 million over four years for projects in Mozambique, Uganda, and Kyrgyzstan to address the root causes of child labour and improve the lives of children and families in tobacco-growing communities.
“These projects show that more and more communities are committed to working collaboratively to keep children away from labour and help them succeed in school and in life,” said ECLT Foundation Executive Director Sonia Velazquez. “Our projects also offer replicable child labour prevention and withdrawal models that can be used in agricultural communities worldwide.”
The three funded projects enable vulnerable families to strengthen their livelihoods, improve access to quality education, raise awareness about the problems associated with child labour, and strengthen the capacity of local and national governments to address child labour. The projects will directly help 15,800 working, out-of-school, or otherwise vulnerable children and orphans and 20,000 families. They will help an additional 150,000 children by strengthening the communities in which they live. Each project is anchored in a national plan to eliminate child labour.
Click here to read the full funded-projects description.
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) announces competitive solicitations
11 October 2012
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) is pleased to announce three competitive solicitations for cooperative agreement applications (SGA) to combat child labor globally:
- SGA 12-10: ILAB will award up to $3.5 million for a cooperative agreement to strengthen policies and enforcement capacity to combat child labor among vulnerable populations in Ecuador and Panama.
- SGA 12-11: ILAB will award up to $6.5 million for a cooperative agreement to provide education services to children and livelihood services to their households as part of a strategy to combat child labor among vulnerable populations in Ecuador and Panama.
- SGA 12-12: ILAB will award up to $5 million for a cooperative agreement to reduce child domestic labor by building the capacity of domestic workers organizations in one or more countries in South Asia and/or Southeast Asia where a significant prevalence of child domestic work exists.
These solicitations were published on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 and are open through November 15, 2012. We encourage all interested parties to submit their applications with sufficient time to meet the deadline. The full solicitations are available online at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/grants/main.htm. Please note that we may be experiencing some delays in posting the SGAs to our website, however, they are also available on http://www.grants.gov. Please distribute this announcement to anyone who may be interested.
ECLT Foundation Sponsors Malawi National Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture
6 September 2012
The ECLT Foundation sponsored the Malawi National Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture September 4–6, 2012, supporting the Government of Malawi and the ILO in bringing together more than 350 participants around the theme “End Child Labour: Our Children, Our Future.”
The President of the Republic of Malawi, Her Excellency Joyce Banda, opened the conference, which was attended by government officials, the private sector, community leaders, children, and speakers and observers. The event represented the commitment, experience, and knowledge of all sectors invested in the elimination of child labour in agriculture in Malawi.
World Day Against Child Labour 2012
12th June 2012
ECLT is urging everyone to support and raise awareness for the celebrations for the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) on 12th June. Coalescing around the theme of “Human rights and social justice…let’s end child labour,” celebrations will be led by ILO-IPEC, an official adviser to the ECLT.
To read the ECLT statement on WDACL please click here and to read the press release on partner events, click here. To read about activities in specific countries, please click on the following pages: Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.
To access more details of the ILO’s campaign for World Day Against Child Labour 2012, please click here.
You can also join a discussion forum created by the UK’s Guardian newspaper on the root causes of child labour. This live discussion will take place between 2-4pm (UK time) on Tuesday 12th June.
ECLT Foundation Appoints New Executive Director
10th April 2012
A leader in child protection
The ECLT Foundation, an international alliance of tobacco growers, unions and companies that seeks to end child labour in tobacco-growing, is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Executive Director. Sonia Velazquez, an international leader in child protection, joined the Foundation in Geneva at the beginning of April as Executive Director. Recently, Ms. Velazquez was Senior Vice president of the Children’s Division of the American Humane Association in Washington, DC, after an outstanding career with diverse child-focused organizations such as PLAN International and Save the Children, which included working in field offices as well as in headquarters.
Honoured and privileged
Commenting on her appointment, Sonia said: “I am honoured and privileged to be asked to lead the ECLT Foundation and its capable staff. Advancing the mission and exemplary program model of ECLT adds a unique dimension to my lifelong career in child protection. I am looking forward to the challenges that fighting child labour in tobacco-growing will bring, and to partnering with the families and communities where ECLT works. We want to ensure that many more children can be protected and that the opportunities they
need to thrive and develop are provided.”
ECLT – Ten years of fighting child labour
The ECLT, which has just celebrated ten years of existence, focuses its work in three distinct areas. Firstly, it supports and funds programmes that protect children from child labour. ECLT projects help families and whole communities, and engage national and local decision makers in tackling the complex root causes of child labour. Secondly, to be effective, ECLT needs to have a reliable picture of the local conditions of children affected by child labour and of the specific reasons for these conditions. The Foundation commissions research that highlights the causes and extent of child labour in each of our areas, and measures the impact of the programmes. Thirdly, ECLT disseminates successful practices drawn from its experience with tobacco-growing communities to facilitate replication.
The President of the ECLT Foundation, Antonio Abrunhosa, added:
“I am delighted that Sonia Velazquez has joined us at the ECLT. Her broad expertise will help our alliance in our tireless quest to eliminate child labour in tobacco-growing. That’s why, as we work together to face the challenges ahead, I am confident that the second decade of the ECLT Foundation will be even more successful than the first.”
World Day Against Child Labour 2011
12th June 2011
The theme for this year’s World Day Against Child Labour is hazardous work. As much agricultural work is considered hazardous, it is of particular significance when addressing child labour in tobacco growing.
Global March Action on Domestic Work Sector
9th June 2011
The ECLT Foundation supports the efforts of all those who seek to eliminate child labour in sectors other than agriculture. To that end, we fully back the Global March Against Child Labour in its campaign to reduce child labour in the domestic work sector, particularly its recent campaign in support of the proposed ILO Convention on the domestic work sector.
2010 Annual Report
8th June 2011
The 2010 Annual Report has been released. It contains stories about people who have benefited from our projects, as well as a summary of all ECLT’s achievements over the year.
Sign the petition
2 September 2010
Global March has launched a campaign to demand the inclusion of child labour elimination as a global priority. Eliminating child labour is critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
2009 Annual Report
23 June 2010
The 2009 Annual Report has been released. For the first time it includes stories about some of the people who benefit from ECLT’s projects.
ECLT project features on BBC World
5 June 2010
Child labour in Malawi was the subject of a BBC World broadcast on Saturday 5 June 2010. The programme featured child labour in tobacco farming in Malawi and highlighted the work of ECLT.
Channel 4 documentary highlights child labour in Malawi
15 May 2010
ECLT was saddened to see Channel 4’s Unreported World which aired in the UK on 14 May 2010. The documentary showed very young children forced to work in hazardous conditions and denied their right to go to school.
Global conference steps up action to eliminate worst forms of child labour
11 May 2010
A global conference in the Hague on 10-11 May approved a roadmap to step up action to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016.
World Day Against Child Labour 2010
5 May 2010
The World Day Against Child Labour is on 12 June 2010. It follows a major Global Conference on Child Labour in the Netherlands in May. The World Day will call for a scale up the worldwide movement to tackle child labour.
US bill aims to eliminate child labour
30 April 2010
A US bill aims to eliminate the use of child labour in the production of goods imported to the US. ECLT is concerned that the bill may increase poverty and therefore exacerbate child labour.
New president for ECLT
15 January 2010
Antonio Abrunhosa, was elected President of the ECLT Foundation Board at the end of 2009.