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Global March demands IMF Combine Fiscal Stimulus with Broader Social Dialogue


Statement from Global March Against Child Labor representing 2000 member organizations in 100 countries including ITUC and Education International representing the interest of the child laborers and the hardest to reach children worldwide

The global civil society has seen with interest the outcomes of the Development Committee meetings in Washington, D.C. The GLOBAL MONITORING REPORT 2009 - A DEVELOPMENT EMERGENCY OVERVIEW prepared by IMF and World Bank and released in Washington, D.C on April 26, 2009 reiterates the assessment made by the ILO that 30-50 million more people around the world will be unemployed, 23 million from developing countries and that extreme poverty and hunger will bear down heavily on the lives of nearly 90 million people as the crisis deepens and we feel the full impact of it on the poor worldwide and twice as many will be undernourished. In poor countries, education outcomes, such as school enrollment, also tend to deteriorate during economic crises—especially for girls. The report further draws the attention to the fact that even at the MDG halfway point, around 75 million children of primary school age were not in school; it further did not risk making a forecast that how many more children in the school going age will be pushed out of school, as an aggregate impact of this on child labor world wide.

Kailash Satyarthi, President of the Global March Against Child Labor, remarked that, “we demand to earmark at least $10 Billion immediately out of the fiscal stimulus assigned to IMF to protect childhood of millions. This must be spent on supporting a package of incentives to prevent children drop out from schools, eliminating child labor, investing in building the education infrastructure including training and hiring adequate number of teachers. He questioned when will the international financial institutions start thinking on a child centric financing for development which is the only way of futuristic sustainable development.

Global March welcomes President Zoellick’s proposal that developed countries invest 0.7 percent of their stimulus packages, or about $15 billion based on the packages announced to date, in a Vulnerability Fund to help developing countries is in some measure as it gives the opportunity to restitute the spirit of the Monterrey consensus. The triple functions of this to strengthen the social safety nets, funding in essential infrastructure and supporting enterprise and micro finance institutions should all be further categorically qualified to bolster school attendance, prevent school drop out and fight child labor in quest to expand fair and decent work for adults.

Cleophas Mally the Regional Coordinator of the Global March for Francophone Africa lamented that, ‘at this moment there is not much clarity available on how this fund will be operationalized’. He said that “the challenge facing the IMF and World Bank is how to re-establish credibility in the eyes of the world’s poor. These are the people who have suffered from terrible cuts to public sector spending inflicted by the demands of the IMF and World Bank while failing to act responsibly and decisively to curb the excesses and irresponsible behavior of financial institutions in industrialized countries which brought about the crisis we are in today.” Both of these require very clear ground rules to be established on do’s and don’t in administering resources for countries so that it does not push children out of schools and turn them into child laborers in absence of teachers, payments of salaries, lack of classrooms, supplies etc.

Andrew Tagoe from the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union commented that, ‘the ritualistic affirmation of the Accra Agenda for Action on Aid effectiveness, management and ownership is all symbolism till the time there is real acknowledgement to broadening the development partnership with Southern CSO networks and Social partners focused on addressing the credibility gap these two institutions face today. It makes it even more imperative for a stronger time bound oversight of the operational method, mechanisms and processes for servicing of the poor in a manner that demonstrates its readiness to embrace a governance system and scope for social dialogue to keep the focus on people centered development.” The thesis of Amatya Sen applies entirely on these twin institutions that the lack of transparency has led the poor poorer and the hungry impoverished and so the critical need is to establish meaningful social dialogue with non state actors; teachers union, trade unions and Southern NGO networks in the new governance architecture.


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