Today, we proudly honor National Children's Day, a significant occasion that honors the well-being, rights, and importance of children on a global scale, including their role in the agriculture sector. It recognizes the harmful effects of hazardous conditions on children's growth and development and emphasizes the importance of respecting and safeguarding children's rights and welfare. Furthermore, it casts a spotlight on the essential need to ensure that children have access to education and diverse opportunities beyond engaging in agricultural work.
"Every child has the right to be protected from work detrimental to their health or development. Working children have the right to a safe environment and fair wages."
The Convention of Child Rights
In numerous regions around the world, children actively participate in agricultural activities, particularly in rural communities. While their involvement can be crucial for supporting their families' livelihoods, it also raises valid concerns about child laborand its potential consequences on their education and well-being. National Children's Day serves as a platform to advocate for a harmonious balance between children's responsibilities and their rights to receive education, enjoy leisure time, and be in a safe environment. This observance calls for implementing measures that protect children from hazardous agricultural tasks and promote an environment where they can flourish academically and within the agricultural realm.
Child Labor in Agriculture Sector
It is a concerning issue that persists in many parts of the world. It refers to the involvement of children in various forms of agricultural work that are harmful, exploitative, or interfere with their education, health, and overall well-being. This includes work below the minimum age, hinders compulsory education, or is hazardous, considered inappropriate for children, and prohibited. While some level of children's involvement in family farm activities can be seen as traditional and beneficial for learning important life skills, the exploitative forms of child labor in agriculture can have severe and lasting negative consequences on children's physical and mental development.
Causes of Child Labor in Agriculture consist of a few reasons, i.e.,
Poverty. A significant driver of child labor in agriculture. Families living in poverty often rely on the income generated from their children's work on farms to meet their basic needs.
Lack of Education. In many cases, children engaged in agricultural labor miss out on education due to the need to work and contribute to family income.
Limited Enforcement of Child Labor Laws: In some regions, weak enforcement or a lack of child labor laws allows exploitative practices to persist.
Seasonal and Migratory Work: Agricultural activities often involve seasonal work or migratory labor, leading to vulnerable situations where children can be exploited.
Cultural Norms: In certain communities, child labor in agriculture may be considered a norm, perpetuating the practice across generations.
Protecting the Most Vulnerable: Children in Agriculture
Koltiva plays an important role in preventing child Labour and promoting fair employment practices in rural communities through a comprehensive approach involving all levels of the supply chain. Koltiva's approach to preventing child Labour and promoting fair Labour practices:
Labour-Specific Farmer Training
Koltiva emphasized the importance of safe and fair Labour practices, discouraging the use of child Labour and forced Labour while promoting the provision of protective gear and proper rest breaks.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Training
Implementing Good Agricultural Practices enhances farm productivity and increases farmers' and workers' income, reducing their vulnerability to exploitation and poverty-driven human rights abuses.
Supply Chain Monitoring
Koltiva's Field Agents conduct surveys to identify issues within the supply chain and potential risks of exploitation. By closely monitoring the supply chain, Koltiva can take appropriate actions to prevent and address these issues, ensuring that workers, especially children, are treated fairly, and their rights are protected.
Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS)
The Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System further aids in identifying children involved in or at risk of child labour, providing tailored remediation support, and striving to eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
National Children's Day every July, 21st celebrates the innate connection between children and agriculture, promoting awareness, education, and advocacy for a better future. As we commemorate this special day, let us remember that investing in the well-being and education of our children is a cornerstone of building a prosperous and sustainable agricultural sector for generations to come. Let's create a safe and supportive environment for every child, ensuring they have access to education and development opportunities. Happy National Children's Day!