News Release - January 15, 1997
ROMANOW RAISES CHILD LABOUR ISSUE WITH PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT
Premier Roy Romanow raised the issue of child exploitation in talks
with Philippines President Fidel Ramos yesterday.
This issue arose as part of a wide-ranging discussion between the
Philippines head of state, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the other
Canadian First Ministers on the Team Canada trade mission.
Child exploitation is an issue in the Philippines and many other
"Child poverty and child labour are twin blights on the world," Romanow
said. "It's time, through international agreements, that we invest as
much effort into protecting people - above all children - as we do
promoting trade and investment.
Romanow said the issue needs to be addressed at two levels. First,
because companies are on the front line of trade, they and the
consumers that buy from them must take responsibility for their own
actions and must be careful not to contract for or buy products made by
child labour. Second, Romanow said governments need to get to work on
expanded rules to govern trade and economic relations between
"Increased competitiveness and trade must not come at the expense of
the well-being of children or at the expense of a safe and dignified
life for all who labour to produce the things we trade," Romanow said.
"Just as Team Canada is a world-leading trade concept, Canada should
lead the world in searching for an effective way to couple trade and
investment development with respect for internationally-recognized core
labour standards, including a ban on child labour."
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Phone: (306) 787-0850