UK Statement delivered on 3 November 2016.
I speak on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom. We thank the Office for this report setting out proposals and preparations for the IV Global Conference on Child Labour, due to take place in Argentina in November 2017.
Whilst recognising the importance of maintaining a focus on child labour, the UK fully endorses the proposal made by the Argentinean Government to widen the scope of the Conference to include forced labour, in view of the fact that SDG 8.7 calls for the end to forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030, in addition to ending child labour by 2025.
The UK supports the ILO’s Alliance 8.7 initiative and its aims to bring together all parties interested in achieving SDG 8.7 by coordinating efforts in support of it.
The UK would be interested in participation in the Conference and sharing the UK’s experience and lessons learned of tackling child labour and forced labour, which in the UK’s view, form part of modern slavery.
We would be happy to share learning from the UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and the enforcement of this legislation in the UK, and are keen to work with international partners to step up global action to end to modern slavery in all its forms.
We aim, for example, to support the ILO’s work in promoting the ratification of the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, which comes into force next week. The UK is one of only eight member states to have ratified this Protocol.
In conclusion, we strongly endorse the Office’s support to Argentina in preparing the IV Global Conference on Child Labour and support the decision points as drafted.