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    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Child labour in mines in Madagascar

    11.2.2020 - (2020/2552(RSP))

    with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
    pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

    Michael Gahler, Željana Zovko, David McAllister, Sandra Kalniete, Andrey Kovatchev, Krzysztof Hetman, Milan Zver, Lefteris Christoforou, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Arba Kokalari, Loucas Fourlas, Loránt Vincze, David Lega, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Romana Tomc, Michaela Šojdrová, Vladimír Bilčík, Vangelis Meimarakis, Magdalena Adamowicz, Ivan Štefanec, Liudas Mažylis, Michal Wiezik, Tomas Tobé, Frances Fitzgerald, Deirdre Clune, Tomáš Zdechovský, Inese Vaidere, Jiří Pospíšil, Stanislav Polčák, Miriam Lexmann, Peter Pollák
    on behalf of the PPE Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0102/2020

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Proċedura : 2020/2552(RSP)
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    European Parliament resolution on Child labour in mines in Madagascar


    The European Parliament,

     having regard to its previous resolutions on Madagascar, most recently on 16 November 2017,

     having regard to its previous resolutions concerning child labour, notably on child labour in the cocoa sector (14 March 2012),

     having regard to the Joint Statement of 11 June 2019 by the High Representative and the European Commission on the occasion of the World Day against Child Labour,

     having regard to the impact story on child labour in Madagascar published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 12 June 2018,

     having regard to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,

     having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,

     having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Rights of the Child,

     having regard to the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) of 1992,

     having regard to the ILO Conventions 138 concerning the minimum age for admission to employment and 182 concerning prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour,

     having regard to the ILO Child Labour Guidance Tool for Business,

     having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

     having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

     having retard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement,

     having regard to the Constitution of Madagascar,

     having regard to Rule 144 of its Rule of Procedure,

    A. whereas according to the UNESCO, in 2018 more than 1,2 million Malagasy children between age 5 to 14 were working, including 4% in the mining sector for the quarrying and processing of stones and mica; whereas these numbers are probably underestimated;

    B. whereas in November 2018, the NGO Terres des Hommes published an extensive report on child labour in Malagasy mica mines stating that at least 11 000 children between age 5 and 17 currently work in the southern mining regions of Androy, Anosy and Ihorombe, which represents half of the total number of mica mine workers;

    C. whereas mica exports from Madagascar have increased enormously in the last 10 years and Madagascar is now the third biggest mica exporter in the world; whereas mica is transformed and integrated into a wide variety of products, including paint, cars, laptops and cosmetic products;

    D. whereas the rise in exports combined with the significant decrease of the price per ton has aggravated the risk of labour exploitation;

    E. whereas the working conditions in mines are usually deplorable and threaten the life,  health and safety of children who are constantly exposed to chronic respiratory infections, severe injuries, dehydration, and face psychological and physical abuse;

    F. whereas Madagascar has ratified all key international conventions against the worst forms of child labour;

    G. whereas in 2018 Madagascar made progress in the fight against child labour, with the adoption of a new decree reinforcing legislation against child labour; whereas the legal age for employment was raised from 15 to 16 years old; whereas however authorities have failed to apply sanctions due to a lack of resources for effective monitoring and poor law enforcement capacity;

    H. whereas there is a direct link between poverty and child labour; whereas child labour is often seen by vulnerable communities as an alternative to education; whereas it often takes place within the family unit;

    I. whereas Madagascar ranks 161 out of 189 of the UNDP Human Development Index, with 75% of the population living on less than $1.90 per day according to the World Bank;

    J. whereas according to UNICEF, only 30% of Malagasy children have access to primary school; whereas education is key in the prevention of child labour and for keeping children off the streets where they become vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation;

    K. whereas the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims at eradicating child labour in all its forms by 2025;

    L. whereas the EU has been actively committed to the fight against child labour through its development and trade policies, notably through the inclusion of a Trade and Sustainable Development chapter mandating full compliance with ILO core conventions in all trade and cooperation agreements;

    M. whereas European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to have ‘zero-tolerance’ for child labour in EU trade policy;

    N. whereas the European Parliament has asked for an effective traceability mechanism for materials and goods potentially produced through forced and child labour, and for considering the feasibility of a complete ban on the importation into the EU of goods produced through child labour or in violation of basic human rights standards;

    1. Strongly condemns the unacceptable use of child labour in all its forms;

    2. Is deeply concerned at the large numbers of child workers in Malagasy mines and the rights violations that these children face; recalls the Malagasy authorities of their responsibility to uphold the rights of children and guarantee their safety and integrity;

    3. Urges the government to investigate all cases of child labour and impose the appropriate sanctions on those responsible;

    4. Calls on the Malagasy government to urgently address the root causes of child labour in the country; considers that the elimination of poverty is the only way to create the conditions necessary for the eradication of child labour; stresses that the fight against child labour requires a comprehensive approach and targeted measures in the areas of education, employment and social protection, with a particular attention to those most at risk of exploitation;

    5. Calls on the EU to step up its support to projects and initiatives aiming at combating child labour in Madagascar, in particular the strengthening of the policy and judiciary frameworks and institutional capacity building to identify and deter child labour;

    6. Stresses the importance of education in any effective effort to eliminate child labour and in the rehabilitation of former child workers; urges the Malagasy authorities to prioritise the elimination of all barriers to access to education, particularly in rural communities;

    7. Recalls that mining is among the sectors with higher risk of work abuse; takes note of the current revision of the Malagasy mining code and calls on the government to prioritise compliance with its international commitments, including in terms of social and environmental standards, decent work and respect of human and children’s rights, building up on existing initiatives such as the Responsible Mica Initiative;

    8. Insists in this regard that the delivery of mining permits should be conditioned to the companies’ commitment to respect the human rights of the people they employ;

    9. Welcomes the commitment made by the President of the Commission on pursuing child labour free supply chains; insists on the need to prioritise the fight against child labour in all relevant sectors, engaging all stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, to raise awareness throughout the supply chains;

    10. Welcomes the launch of negotiations with Eastern and Southern Africa countries, including Madagascar, to deepen existing trade relations; urges the Commission to raise with Madagascar the issue of Malagasy mining companies using child labour so as to ascertain that no part of their production is directly or indirectly imported to the EU;

    11. Calls to ensure that the deepening of the ESA EPA with Madagascar and partners includes a robust Trade and Sustainable Development chapter providing for respect for internationally agreed labour rights standards, including the fight against child labour; welcomes in this context the Conflict Minerals Regulation as an important step and contribution to responsible sourcing and to help putting an end to exploitation and abuse of local communities;

    12. Calls on the EU to ensure that the respect for human rights, including the fight against child labour and exploitation, remains an essential element of its political dialogue with Madagascar; further calls on the EU delegation in Madagascar to continue to monitor closely the situation of children’s right in the country;

    13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the Council, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the Government of Madagascar, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community and the Commission of the African Union.



    Aġġornata l-aħħar: 11 ta' Frar 2020
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