The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is co-sponsoring a high level government and NGO policy dialogue at the State Department in Washington with global leaders.
The conference, which will take place on 8 June, is entitled ’Working Together to End Child Labor: It's Time to End the Exploitation of Children’ and forms part of the official US commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour. It is expected to attract more than 300 government and non-government participants including US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and US Secretary of Labour, Hilda Solis, among government officials and members of the US Congress, who will speak alongside AFT President, Randi Weingarten.
Collectively, the delegates will review progress and activities to evaluate what is working and determine what more needs to be done to eliminate child labour. It is hoped that the event will encourage the advocacy of a ‘holistic government’ approach to ending child labour around the world through US diplomacy and development aid.
The AFT and International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) are preparing a policy reference document as the briefing paper for distribution before the event in order to maximize impact on the Government participants, who will be drawn from 11 state departments and federal agencies which have the elimination of child labour within their policy framework and development programs.
Innovatively, the conference will feature a live webcast in order for people from around the world to participate in real time, and there will be an interactive connection with 6-8 embassies in different regions, which will be hosting their own simultaneous policy discussions.
The one day conference will also feature plenary sessions with keynote speeches and panel discussions. Key topics for debate will include: decent work; education; agriculture and development, and trade enforcement. Audience participation will be strongly encouraged, and the webcast and links with the embassies will bring in questions and comments from outside the room.
EI welcomes this global initiative to fight against the exploitation of children, and encourages all its members organisations to actively participate in the discussions and debates, whether through the AFT initiative or within their own unions.
To access the full information about the AFT event, please visit: www.aft.org/endchildlabor
To participate, simply go to https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/childlabor on June 8th (beginning at 9:00 AM EST), choose "Enter as a Guest," type in your preferred name, and enter the room.