The deputy Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania Robert Wilton held discussions with business representatives in a meeting devoted to the role of businesses on child labor in Albania. Wilton stated that there are many children working in the agriculture sector, textile, garment industry and mining. Wilton cited a survey of INSTAT published in 2012, which showed that about 57.000 children work in Albania, 8% of which of the age 5-17 were economically active. “This high number of children working currently, will suffer the consequences during their whole life,” he said.
Most of these children, according to Wilton, come from poor families and therefore they are obliged to work and dropout, and this hampers their physical and mental development. The most appropriate solution for this situation according to Wilton is the adoption of a Code of Conduct by businesses, that will serve as a labor standart and will prevent the obliged labor of children.
The alternative presented by Wilton was approved by the business representatives who attended. The president of Biznes Albania, Luan Bregasi, declared that business associations are ready to sign this Code of Conduct since businesses have responsibilities regarding this problem.
The meeting follows a project of OSCE Presence in Albania presented on 7 July 2014 against child trafficking and exploitation. The project is funded by the Italian government and aims to raise awareness on businesses and to compile a Code of Conduct in order to to prevent child labor in Albania. Many high officials of Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Social Welfare, officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, NGO activists and many business representatives attended the meeting.
But the situation of child labor in Albania has improved in years. According to an article of The Guardian for a report of the International Labor Organization, “Albania, Brazil, Chile, Ivory Coast and Tunisia have used ‘very innovative strategies and social programmes’ to make impressive strides in keeping children out of the workplace. Reich said: ‘These countries took important steps forward in their efforts to address child labour, and, for some, this was the first time we had seen such a high level of advancement.’”
News source: ATA
Photo credits: Flickr / Satish Krishnamurthy