Excerpts from a CmiA Pictureblock Against Child-Labour
For many children in the world instead of having the opportunity to play and go to school, they are forced to perform hard physical labour on a daily basis. Cotton made in Africa supports the fight against child labour by improving the living conditions through higher incomes and through community projects. CmiA upholds the Conventions 138 and 182 of the International Labour Organization (ILO): Any form of exploitative child labour, labour that harms the health and development of children, and any type of child labour that is performed outside of the family, is strictly forbidden according to the Cotton made in Africa criteria. This also applies to child trafficking and forced labour.
The cotton farmers involved in CmiA work exclusively in smallholder structures. The maximum of 3 acres of arable land is operated almost exclusively by family network. Cotton made in Africa recognizes that the work children perform on the family farm is still a financial necessity for the families. In addition, the help children provide in the CmiA project countries is deeply rooted in life on the farm. The work the children perform on the family farm is permitted, provided they have enough time for school and free time. However any work that is harmful to the health and development of children is prohibited. The application of pesticides is therefore just as prohibited as carrying heavy loads. In contrast, however, the children can take over driving away cattle or other livestock from the cotton fields after school or on weekends, for example. In collaboration with the renowned American children's book author, Donald Grant, the initiative has created illustrations about child labour that deal with the questions what is allowed and what is not allowed to inform people in the cotton regions about this important issue and to raise awareness for it.
Long-term solutions to child labour provide more than anything, sustainable economic growth that leads to social progress and promotes education. CmiA works in the poorest countries of the world. Rural areas lack a stable school infrastructure (no schools, too few teachers, no materials, long distances to school, etc.) so that many children cannot receive an education. This is where the CmiA initiative is especially active: In addition, Cotton Made in Africa, in cooperation with its public and private partners in the cotton growing regions is dedicated to this issue and has launched school projects for the children of farming families.