June 3, 2020
Name of the webinar: Online Study Session on Child Labour and Business
Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
Co-hosts: International Labour Organization (ILO), JICA
Mr. TAKASAKI Shinichi, Director, ILO Office for Japan
Mr. OGASAWARA Minoru, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO Regional Office for Africa
Ms. TORRES Katherine, Senior Programme and Operation Officer, ILO (Geneva)
Ms. PFLUG Bharati, Senior FUNDAMENTALS Specialist, ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Mr. SAWADA Hiroyuki, Deputy Director General, and Group Director for Governance, Governance and Peacebuilding Department, JICA
Mr. YAMASHITA Chigiru, Senior Deputy Director, Law and Justice Team, Governance Group, Governance and Peacebuilding Department, JICA
Total more than 140 people (there were participants from Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union delegation, businesses, academics, law offices, NGOs, ILO, JICA and others)
While already there are an estimated 152 million children in child labor, the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic shock can push millions of more children into child labour.
ILO and JICA are both making efforts to contribute to the elimination of child labour in collaboration with stakeholders in Japan. ILO has translated the "Child Labour Guidance Tool for Business" into Japanese as a resource for Japanese companies to meet the child labour due diligence requirements.
JICA, in 2020, established the "Platform for Sustainable Cocoa in Developing Countries," aiming to bring together a variety of stakeholders to take collective actions against child labour problems in cocoa industries.
Ahead of the World Day against Child Labour (June 12th), this webinar was co-hosted by ILO and JICA to promote the understanding and awareness of child labour risks in business, and to build and deepen the partnership among stakeholders for collaboration against child labour.
Mr. TAKAHASHI Shinichi, Director of the ILO Office for Tokyo, made the opening remark. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between ILO and JICA in order to accelerate actions for achieving Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the elimination of child labour by 2025. Mr. SAWADA Hiroyuki, Deputy Director General of the Governance and Peacebuilding Department of JICA, then introduced JICA's recent activities in this field in the context of human security and stressed his great expectations for further collaboration with ILO.
These remarks were followed by presentations from ILO and JICA. Mr. Smith from ILO explained the definition of child labour, and highlighted the increasing risks of child labour with the fall in living standards, school closures and pressures on public budgets caused by COVID-19. Ms. Torres from ILO gave a detailed presentation about the state and business responsibility to protect human rights, and introduced the Child Labour Guidance Tool for Business, which has been translated into Japanese. Mr. Yamashita from JICA introduced JICA's engagement in child labour issues focusing on the Platform for Sustainable Cocoa in Developing Countries established in January 2020.
In the Q&A session and the closing session, the participants shared the need to work collaboratively with various stakeholders and partners around the world, in order to accelerate activities against child labour.