New president for ECLT
Antonio Abrunhosa, was elected President of the ECLT Foundation Board at the last Board meeting in Geneva, November 2009.
Involved from the start
As the Chief Executive Officer of the International Tobacco Growers’ Association, Antonio has been involved with the Foundation from its establishment in 2001. The International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA) is one of the three founding members of the Foundation.
Humbled and excited
“As the third President, I am both humbled and excited about the challenges ahead,” Antonio Abrunhosa said. “My first duty is to convey to all our partners the debt of gratitude we all owe to the outgoing President, Frans Roselaers. During his tenure with the ILO and specifically as the IPEC Director, Mr. Roselaers provided extensive vision, guidance and commitment to the establishment of the Foundation. For the past two years as its President, Mr. Roselaers has provided steady stewardship and leadership to the Board.
“As the President of what is a unique organisation, I will endeavour to maximise the strengths of the Foundation. We have a very significant stakeholder base that includes the tobacco companies, tobacco growers, trade unions and not least our partner organisations in the respective countries. The ILO serves as a distinguished Advisor to the ECLT Foundation and ECLT relies on the ILO for its guidance, experience and knowledge on child labour.
Build the coalition to realise ECLT’s purpose
“My intention is to continue to build this coalition, to realise the ECLT purpose, which is the elimination of child labour from tobacco growing. We shall only achieve this by marshalling the individual strengths of our respective organisations and working together for our common goal. The ECLT Foundation has made steady progress, gained experience and learned lessons through implementing projects in seven countries where the nexus of tobacco growing and child labour exists. There are many examples of the Foundation’s valuable work.
“However, we have recognised the need to clearly identify and promote best practice with regard to community interventions to eliminate child labour. In order to do this, we have embarked on a programme to change the way we work, to improve our evidence base, and to increase our leverage and operational effectiveness.
“I look forward to working with all our partners and stakeholders in the months and years to come.”
Born in Portugal in 1952, António Abrunhosa took over the family farming business 1981. His professional experience includes working for the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture. António is the founder and first President of a Regional Association of Sheep and Goat farmers and of the Portuguese Federation of Sheep and Goat farmers. A tobacco farmer himself, António was elected President of the Portuguese Tobacco Growers Association (APT) in 1993. Over a four-year period he occupied the office of Treasurer of the European Union Tobacco Growers’ Association (UNITAB) and worked as Rapporteur to the European Parliament of the ‘Report on the Situation of the European Union Tobacco Sector’. António is Chief Executive of the ITGA, a position he has held since 1999.
António is a graduate in Economics and holds a post-graduate degree in European Union Economics.