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- The Ministry of Labor should
fulfill its responsibility to enforce laws governing child labor and to
develop policies and programs relating to the human rights of child
workers. In particular, the government of El Salvador should allocate
additional resources to the Ministry of Labor to provide for a sufficient
number of labor inspectors to guarantee effective implementation of child
labor laws in the sugarcane sector, and the ministrys new Unit for the
Eradication of Child Labor should coordinate with the Ministry of
Education, the Salvadoran Institute for Children and Adolescents, and
other relevant governmental bodies to develop comprehensive initiatives
targeting child labor in sugarcane.
- The Ministry of Education
should ensure that all children enjoy their right to a free basic
education, grades one through nine, as guaranteed by Salvadoran law. In
particular, it should work with appropriate enforcement authorities to
sanction schools that levy matriculation fees or voluntary monthly
assessments or that turn away students without uniforms, all of which
violate Salvadoran law. In addition, the ministry should work with the
United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the International Programme on the
Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) of the International Labour
Organization, and donor governments to identify ways to prevent indirect
costs of schooling, such as the cost of school supplies and transport,
from becoming a barrier to the enjoyment of the right to education.
- The Legislative Assembly should
set an unequivocal minimum age for employment and should explicitly
prohibit the employment of all children under the age of eighteen in
harmful or hazardous labor.
- UNICEF should work with the
Ministry of Education to evaluate and strengthen existing initiatives to
ensure access to basic and secondary education for children who work. In
particular, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education should identify ways to
ensure that programs intended to eliminate school fees and provide needy
children with school supplies are benefitting their target populations.
UNICEF should also draw on its experience elsewhere to identify other
strategies to prevent indirect costs from becoming a barrier to the
enjoyment of the right to education.
- In line with article 8 of the
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, donor countries should assist El Salvador in implementing the convention, particularly through support for universal
- Sugar mills should ensure that
their supplier plantations respect childrens rights, including their
right to be free from economic exploitation and hazardous labor. Where
their supplier plantations fall short of international standards and
national legislation, mills should provide the economic and technical
assistance necessary to bring plantations into compliance. Sugar mills
should not sever contractual ties with supplier plantations before taking
steps to help plantations achieve compliance with international norms.
Mills should never take actions that would deprive child laborers of their
livelihoods without ensuring that children and their families are
receiving programs and services designed to provide them with alternatives
to hazardous labor.
- Coca-Cola should revise its
guiding principles to reflect the U.N. Norms on the Responsibilities of
Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to
Human Rights (the U.N. Norms) and other international standards.
Coca-Cola and other businesses should incorporate the U.N. Norms in their
contractual arrangements with suppliers and should require suppliers to do
the same throughout their supply chains.
- Coca-Cola and other businesses
that purchase refined sugar for use in their products should adopt
effective monitoring systems to verify that labor conditions on their
supplier sugarcane plantations comply with international standards and
relevant national labor laws. In cases where plantations fall short of
such standards, Coca-Cola and other businesses should assist their
supplier mills in providing the economic and technical assistance
necessary to bring plantations into compliance. In particular, Coca-Cola
and other businesses should support programs and services that offer
children and their families alternatives to child labor, publicly
reporting the status of such efforts at least on an annual basis.