Luc Panissod, Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and Constance Thomas, Director of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to extend the cooperation between WOSM and ILO for a further five years.
The shared vision of WOSM and the ILO in pursuing social justice and peace and the empowerment of young people are at the core of the collaboration between the two organizations, which was formalised with the signing of a first MoU in 2004. The cooperation is based on a mutual commitment to raise awareness in society through children and youth on issues of social justice, human rights, the social dimensions of globalization and in particular, child labour. Over the past eight years, jointly planned ILO-WOSM initiatives and events have revolved around IPEC’s Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media (SCREAM) programme. As a result of the collaboration, Scouts and Leaders have been trained to use the SCREAM methodology to empower children and youth, mobilise their communities and organise events for the World Day against Child Labour.
Beyond awareness building and advocacy, the potential of Scouting to reach out to children in or at risk of child labour and make a real difference in the lives of children has been proven. Scout Reaching Out projects, often run in partnership with the ILO national offices, have provided child labourers with social care, informal education as a bridge to mainstream schooling and access to recreational opportunities. International conferences on Scouting and child labour and workshops at world and national Scout Jamborees have provided the impetus for collaboration between National Scout Organizations and IPEC field offices.
Luc Panissod, said on the occasion:
"The World Organization of the Scout Movement is happy to renew our Memorandum of Understanding with the International Labour Organization’s International Programme for the Elimination of Child labour (ILO/IPEC). This renewal reinforces our joint commitment to further build on all the good work we have done together so far, since we first signed an MoU between the two organisations in 2004. In these last 8 years, we have worked closely between WOSM and ILO/IPEC not only here in Geneva but more importantly at various levels from Regional, National to local, and the cooperation has only become stronger with time. I can confidently say that ILO/IPEC is one of the closest allies for World Scouting from amongst our external partner organisations, especially in the UN system.
WOSM has especially taken the SCREAM Education Pack of ILO/IPEC to a large number of Scouts in the grassroots level. We have also been working together to promote the World Day Against Child Labour annually for several years now, using it as a new ripple that we send out to the over 30 million strong WOSM membership in 200 countries and territories to remind them of the joint cause that our partnership has been working on. Through this partnership, our National Scout Organizations have advocated children's rights to their young members and extended Scouting to children in difficult circumstances, to help create a better world, which is the Mission of Scouting. The current MoU also entails scope to work together on Keeping Children Safe From Harm, based on Scouting’s work on Child Protection with what we call, the Keeping Scouts Safe From Harm initiative. Many of our National Scout Organizations have been pioneers in establishing excellent policies, procedures and practices in place, including training of adult leaders."
Constance Thomas, said on the occasion:
“215 million children, that is one in seven, are still in child labour, 115 million of them in the worst forms. Youth bring essential energy, ideas and action to reinvigorate the global movement to end child labour. As we sign this new Memorandum of Understanding with the World Scout Movement we look forward to deepening further our cooperation so that the over 30 million Scouts, youth and adults, boys and girls, in 161 countries do not just know about child labour but are able to take an active part in the worldwide movement against it, engaging with socially excluded children to help prevent and remedy child labour.”
Download the MoU between WOSM & ILO-IPEC