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Thank You Chairperson
I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.
We thank the Office for this report outlining the preparation activities for the forthcoming IV Global Conference on Child Labour, to take place in Argentina in November 2017.
The Conference will be essential to take stock of actions taken to contribute to the reduction of child labour and to eliminate the worst form of child labour and as well of the implementation of The Hague Roadmap and Brazil Declaration, and to reaffirm the global commitment towards the elimination of child labour in all its forms.
We are aware that the goals assigned by The Hague Roadmap and Brazil Declaration are not fully achieved and we believe that efforts should be strengthened and scaled up in areas where progress can be made.
At the EU level, we have taken the first steps for preparing the conference by adopting EU Council Conclusions on Child Labour in June 2016, and which will contribute to the discussions by reaffirming the urgency to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and supporting efforts towards this goal worldwide.
Reaffirming our commitment, we would like to stress the importance, among other issues, of a Rights based approach encompassing all human rights, including rights of the child and the need to address child labour in a multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder approach; for example by supporting social protection floors, quality education and decent job opportunities and through interventions in trade agreements and global value chains. It is crucial to ensure the need for support assistance to unaccompanied children engaged in large scale migratory flows and the current refugee crisis at risk of trafficking and child labour.
We welcome the efforts of the Office to provide support to the Argentinian government and the social partners in the organisation of the conference. Regional meetings and global tripartite consultations will be important to prepare the ground for a consensual approach during the conference.
We recognise the importance of the sustainable development goals and fully support the implementation of the target 8.7 which sets the objective of the elimination of child labour by 2025 in all its forms.
We acknowledge the Argentinian government decision to broaden the scope of the conference to forced labour. While this makes sense given goal 8.7 of SDGs we do expect that sufficient attention will be allocated to the issue of child labour and that it will not duplicate other conferences on trafficking and forced labour.
A discussion as well on decent work alternatives for young people of legal working age is welcome in particular through the use of quality youth employment and education and training policies, in a context of high youth unemployment worldwide.
In conclusion, we strongly encourage the Office to continue its support to Argentina in preparing the IV Global Conference on Child Labour and support the decision point as drafted.
Thank you Chair.