The Association of Blueberry Producers of Mesopotamia Argentina (Apama) used Monday’s World Day against Child Labour to reaffirm its commitment to prevent the use of child labour to harvest blueberries.
As in previous years, the association will campaign to prevent the presence of minors in the fields.
“Year after year we explain that child labour perpetuates poverty,” said Apama president Alejandro Pannunzio.
The World Day against Child Labour was set up by the International Labour Organisation to the scourge affecting millions of children around the world. According to data from Unicef, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, there are more than 150m children who work around the globe.
The Catholic University of Argentina estimates that there are more than one million children and adolescents between the ages of five and 17 who work in the country.
This constitutes a crime in Argentina as it is forbidden for children under the age of 16 to be employed under the Prohibition of Child Labour law.
The eradication of child labour is one of the goals set out under the Sustainable Development Objectives to 2030, which calls on companies, social organisations, governments, and society at large to commit.
“Children must be in school, without school they will not escape poverty, nor will they have a future and our country will not have a decent destiny,” Pannunzio said.
Apama, as part of the Argentinean Blueberry Committee, is also a member of the Network of Companies against Child Labour.