PERC, ACTRAV, GUF, IPEC and Federation of Kyrghizstan Trader Unions Join Efforts to Eliminate Child Labour.

Over 35 trade union leaders and activists from the ITUC/PERC affiliated Federation of Trade Unions of Kyrghizstan (FPKr) together with ACTRAV, IUF and IPEC took part in the 4 day brain storming workshop aimed at planning union strategy in combating child labour in Kyrghizstan.

Bishkek, July 15-18

Seminar consisted of 2 stages. During the first stage sector unions of FPKr identifies main areas, problems and challenges and developed approach to planning union sector strategy. At the second stage participants tried to incorporate sector strategy into the overall policy of FPKr aimed at elimination of CL at the national level.
Intensive and fruitful discussion disclosed a whole complex of problems directly and indirectly influencing the use of child labour. This broad picture involves not only economic, but also social cultural issues, traditions, legal and illegal immigration, government labour policies, informal economy, etc.

It has been recognized that only joint efforts of all interested parties, including unions, natural allies among the NGOs, enforcement of government CL policy and socially responsible business may really change situation.

Some unions from the sectors where CL does not exist also found their role and place in a joint effort. Thus medical workers and teachers unions recognized their role in education of people on the adverse impact of CL on kid’s health, family and human values.

Interestingly enough that while looking for the most effective scenario of cooperation in CL elimination both sector unions and FPKr leaders came to conclusion that current structure and functions of the unions require basic changes and that union capacity building element should be integral part of the future work.

The work will continue with two sector union’s strategic planning workshops in the fall and a 4 day workshop finally identifying strategy and action plan for the unions struggle against chills labour.