AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers played a catalytic role in the U.S. and internationally to bring about ratification of ILO Conventions 182 and 138, which aim to eradicate the exploitation of children in the work force, yet, more than 10 years later, according to the ILO, there are more than 200 million children who are child laborers, of which 126 million are engaged in hazardous work; and

WHEREAS, 72 million children in the world are denied access to education, and the U.S. government has failed to live up to its United Nations' commitment to the 2000 Millennium Development Goals of obligating $2 billion a year to support basic education through foreign assistance; and

WHEREAS, significant progress can be made in the fight against child labor by ensuring improved access to and quality of education for children, particularly those marginalized in conflict zones and remote labor environments; and

WHEREAS, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Congresswoman Nita Lowey, chair of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, welcome the support of the AFT for their actions against global poverty so that children have access to quality education and are able to contribute to the economic growth and social stability of the communities in which they live; and

WHEREAS, the withdrawal of child laborers is seen as a means to establish healthy, fair and decent expansion of the adult labor market; and

WHEREAS, the education of girls has been shown to lead to delayed start of sexual activity, reduced infant mortality rates, increased political participation, and expanded employment opportunities with higher incomes; and

WHEREAS, loopholes in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 allow an estimated 500,000 children to work in agriculture throughout the U.S., exposing children to hazardous conditions, risking the children's safety, health and education:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers commit to mobilizing our members to urge the U.S. Congress to pass the Education for All Act and the Obama administration to take leadership in the creation of a fully funded Global Fund for Education; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT provide leadership to labor, human rights, consumer, religious, civic and other organizations in educating the public about the widespread use of child labor and in pressuring governments and private companies to halt the exploitation of child labor; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT continue to reaffirm its commitment to universal public education, with a special focus on marginalized youth and girls, as a means of eradicating poverty and advancing human rights and democratic development; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT reaffirm its commitment to advocate for the passage of the Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act), which closes existing loopholes by strengthening provisions related to child labor in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.