Research report - National Child Labour Action Programme for South Africa (1).doc

This draft child labour action programme clap

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This draft Child Labour Action Programme (CLAP) proposes ways of ensuring that children do not become involved in the worst forms of labour and other forms that might be detrimental. In developing this Child Labour Action Programme it was important to determine what, within the South African context, should be regarded as child ‘labour’. Work in and of itself is not necessarily harmful to a child. It will, in fact, often be beneficial in many ways. Thus an ILO document acknowledges that ‘the absence of work … can condemn the child to a variety of social, moral and health risks’. In addition, when identifying kinds of work that may be considered beneficial or harmful for the child’s development it is important to consider the role of cultural views, which differ from community to community. The Government of South Africa has embarked on a process of formulating appropriate policies and a national action programme to combat child labour. The Department of Labour is the lead institution. This document briefly discusses the areas of work that children do, identifies the areas needing the most concerted attention, and recommends a range of actions. The following are fundamental policy directives that require that South Africa take steps to avoid children engaging in work that is detrimental to them, and what kinds of work do be addressed. 1.1.1 The Constitutional imperative The Constitution (s 28) provides that children under 18 have a right to be protected from work that is – exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for their age, detrimental to their schooling, or detrimental to their social, physical, mental, spiritual or moral development. Most participants in the national consultative process towards the CLAP supported the following definition of ‘child labour’, as drawn from the Constitution: ‘work by children under 18 which is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for their age, detrimental to their schooling, or their social, physical, mental, spiritual or moral development. The term ‘work’ is not limited to work for gain but includes chores or household activities in the child’s household, where such work is exploitative, hazardous, inappropriate for their age or detrimental to their development’. This definition of child labour is now accepted by the government and other stakeholders and is used in this policy.
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Page 8 Executive summary Draft 4.10, October 2003 1.1.2 International obligations South Africa has ratified various international instruments on child labour, indicating the country's commitment to improve the situation of its working children. South Africa, as a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), assisted in the drafting of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (1999). It ratified the convention in 2000, which requires of the country to take time-bound measures to eliminate the worst forms of child labour (WFCL).
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