Home · Articles · News · NikeLeaks Cables: Europe · Netherlands: CHILD LABOR STUDY: REPORT ON THE NETHERLANDS
December 14th, 2011 WW Staff | NikeLeaks Cables: Europe
 

Netherlands: CHILD LABOR STUDY: REPORT ON THE NETHERLANDS

     
Tags:

Reference ID: 00THEHAGUE1794
Created: 2000-06-16 13:06
Released: 2011-08-30 01:44
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Origin: Embassy The Hague

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001794

SIPDIS


DRL/IL FOR CHRIS CAMILLO
DOL/ILAB FOR MARCIA EUGENIO


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB, EIND, PHUM, ETRD, SOCI, NL
SUBJECT: CHILD LABOR STUDY: REPORT ON THE NETHERLANDS

REF: STATE 100081


SUMMARY
-------
1. CHILD LABOR IS ILLEGAL IN THE NETHERLANDS. THE COUNTRY
HAS COMPREHENSIVE LABOR AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION TO PROTECT
YOUNG PEOPLE AT WORK. THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT TAKES A LEADING
ROLE IN THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHILD LABOR. IN
MAY 2000, THE GON SENT A DRAFT LAW TO THE SECOND CHAMBER OF
THE DUTCH PARLIAMENT FOR DUTCH RATIFICATION OF ILO
CONVENTION 182 ON CHILD LABOR. RATIFICATION IS EXPECTED
BEFORE THE END OF 2000. DURING THE ILO NEGOTIATIONS, THE
NETHERLANDS ACTED AS COORDINATOR AND SPOKESPERSON FOR
INDUSTRIALIZED MARKET ECONOMY COUNTRIES (IMEC). THE
NETHERLANDS ALSO ACTIVELY SUPPORTS THE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM
ON THE ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOR (ILO/IPEC).


INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS
---------------------
2. THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE
INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AIMED AT ELIMINATING ABUSIVE AND
EXPLOITATIVE CHILD LABOR AND PROMOTING PRIMARY EDUCATION FOR
CHILDREN. THE DUTCH HAVE PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE
NEGOTIATIONS LEADING UP TO THE ADOPTION OF ILO CONVENTION
182 IN JUNE 1999. DUTCH RATIFICATION OF ILO CONVENTION 182
IS EXPECTED BEFORE THE END OF 2000. BETWEEN 1999 AND 2003,
THE NETHERLANDS WILL SPEND SOME FIVE MILLION DOLLARS PER
YEAR ON CHILD LABOR PROJECTS, INCLUDING ILO/IPEC PROJECTS.
THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT ALSO CONTRIBUTES TO THE ILO'S
STATISTICAL INFORMATION AND MONITORING PROGRAM ON CHILD
LABOR (SIMPOC).


NATIONAL EFFORTS
----------------
3. THE 1919 LABOR ACT PROHIBITS FORCED AND BONDED LABOR BY
CHILDREN IN THE NETHERLANDS, AND THIS PROHIBITION IS SHARPLY
ENFORCED. THE MINIMUM AGE FOR EMPLOYMENT IS 16 YEARS, AND
FOR FULL-TIME WORK IT IS CONDITIONED ON COMPLETION OF THE
MANDATORY 12 YEARS OF SCHOOLING.


4. HOLIDAY WORK AND AFTER-SCHOOL JOBS ARE TIED TO VERY
STRICT RULES, WHICH ARE SET IN THE WORK-TIME ACT, THE CHILD
LABOR REGULATION (FOR CHILDREN UNDER 16 YEARS), AND THE
WORKING CONDITIONS DECREE. FOR INSTANCE, PEOPLE UNDER 18
ARE PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM WORKING AT NIGHT, OR IN AREAS
DANGEROUS TO THEIR PHYSICAL OR MENTAL WELL-BEING. CHILDREN
OVER 12 YEARS ARE ALLOWED TO PERFORM SOME TYPES OF LABOR, AS
LONG AS THE WORK IS NOT DONE DURING SCHOOL HOURS, SUCH AS
WORK IN THE FRAMEWORK OF ALTERNATIVE SANCTIONS, LIGHT NON-
INDUSTRIAL WORK, LIGHT WORK IN CONNECTION WITH SCHOOL, AND
DELIVERING MORNING PAPERS. OBSERVANCE OF THE RULES IS
CARRIED OUT BY THE DUTCH SOCIAL MINISTRY'S LABOR INSPECTION
OFFICE. DURING CONTROLS BY THE LABOR INSPECTION LAST
SUMMER, IT APPEARED THAT ONE OUT OF FOUR COMPANIES HAD
VIOLATED THE REGULATIONS APPLYING TO HOLIDAY WORK.


EDUCATION
---------
5. BASIC EDUCATION IS FREE FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN 4 AND 12,
ALTHOUGH SCHOOLS MAY ASK FOR A VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION FROM
PARENTS. VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IS ALSO FREE, EXCEPT FOR
COSTS OF SCHOOLBOOKS. MANDATORY ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOLS ENDS
AT 16, OR AFTER AT LEAST 12 YEARS OF EDUCATION. CHILDREN
ILLEGALLY RESIDING IN THE NETHERLANDS ARE ALSO UNDER THE
MANDATE.


CHILD SOLDIERS
--------------
6. THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT RECENTLY DECIDED NOT TO RAISE THE
MINIMUM RECRUITMENT AGE FOR THE DUTCH MILITARY TO 18,
DESPITE HEAVY NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE. THE
MINIMUM AGE FOR RECRUITMENT IS STILL 17, BUT SOLDIERS MUST
BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD TO PARTICIPATE IN COMBAT. THEY ARE
NOT SENT ABROAD UNTIL AGE 18.


SEXUAL ABUSE
------------
7. INTERNATIONAL SEX TOURISM INVOLVING THE ABUSE OF MINOR
CHILDREN IS PROSECUTABLE. THE AGE OF CONSENT IS 16. THE
PROSECUTION OF ADULTS FOR SEX WITH MINORS BETWEEN THE AGES
OF 12 AND 16 ONLY OCCURS WHEN A COMPLAINT IS FILED BY AN
INTERESTED PARTY. IN 1996, THE NETHERLANDS TIGHTENED ITS
CRIMINAL LAW, QUALIFYING AS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE NOT ONLY THE
PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND SALE OF CHILD PORN, BUT ALSO
MERE POSSESSION. THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR SUCH OFFENSES WAS
RAISED FROM 3 MONTHS TO FOUR YEARS IMPRISONMENT, SIX YEARS
IN THE EVENT OF FINANCIAL GAIN, AND THE MAXIMUM FINE WAS
MORE THAN TRIPLED. THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT HAS GIVEN PRIORITY
TO FIGHTING THE PROBLEM OF TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND
CHILDREN.


NGO ACTIONS
-----------
8. DUTCH TRADE UNION FEDERATIONS AND OTHER NGOS ARE VERY
ACTIVE IN THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHILD LABOR. THE FNV, THE
LARGEST DUTCH TRADE UNION FEDERATION WITH MORE THAN 1.2
MILLION MEMBERS, TAKES A LEADING ROLE IN THIS CAMPAIGN. THE
FNV SUPPORTS INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION PROJECTS AGAINST
CHILD LABOR. IT CONTRIBUTES TO PROJECTS IN INDIA, PAKISTAN,
BANGLADESH, NEPAL AND THE PHILIPPINES.


9. THE FNV AND OTHER NGOS, INCLUDING DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
ORGANIZATIONS, CONSUMER AND WOMEN'S GROUPS, AND THE FAIR
TRADE ORGANIZATION, HAVE INITIATED THE "CLEAN CLOTHES"
CAMPAIGN, WHICH SEEKS TO IMPROVE WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE
CLOTHING INDUSTRY.


10. THE "CLEAN CLOTHES" CAMPAIGN HAS USED THE EUROPEAN
SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP, CURRENTLY BEING HELD IN THE NETHERLANDS
AND BELGIUM, AS A PLATFORM TO PROTEST THE BAD LABOR
CONDITIONS IN COMPANIES PRODUCING SPORT SHOES, CLOTHES AND
FOOTBALLS. FOR INSTANCE, THIS YEAR, THE FNV AND THE DUTCH
ALTERNATIVE CONSUMER ASSOCIATION STAGED PROTEST ACTIONS
DURING A NIKE SHAREHOLDERS MEETING AND DURING A RACE
SPONSORED BY NEW BALANCE.


11. THERE IS STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE DUTCH FOR THE USE OF
LABELS ON FOODS AND OTHER PRODUCTS (E.G., RUGMARK AND FAIR
TRADE LABELS) SHOWING THAT PRODUCTS ARE PRODUCED WITHOUT
CHILD LABOR AND FOR FAIR WAGES. FAIR TRADE SHOPS SPECIALIZE
IN SUCH PRODUCTS. IN FEBRUARY 2000, THE DUTCH CLOTHING
CONCERN "WE INTERNATIONAL" ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL DEMAND
FROM ITS SUPPLIERS THE GUARANTEE THAT ALL "WE" CLOTHES ARE
MADE WITHOUT CHILD LABOR, FORCED LABOR, DISCRIMINATION, AND
UNDER HEALTHY AND SAFE LABOR CONDITIONS, USING THE "SOCIAL
ACCOUNTABILITY (SA) 8000 STANDARD." OTHER CLOTHING
COMPANIES IN THE NETHERLANDS, INCLUDING C&A STORES, HAVE
ESTABLISHED THEIR OWN CODE OF CONDUCT.
SCHNEIDER

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 
 

 

 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close