CHILD LABOR: Committed to a Happy Childhood

Committed to a Happy Childhood is the framework given by Bunge to all those activities or initiatives aimed at protecting and fostering the rights of boys, girls and adolescents.

The following are aspects upon which the activities and initiatives of Committed to a Happy Childhood are developed: the right to education, the right to rest and leisure, to play and recreational activities, the right to receive special care, the right to have adequate physical, spiritual, moral and social development and to be contained in a family environment.

All these rights are based upon the special condition of boys, girls and adolescents who, due to the fact of not having reached the full physical and mental development, require special protection in order to ensure that these rights are not infringed, for instance, in the face of the possibility of being involved in economic or labor activities not allowed in the National Constitution, laws or in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the National Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor and Protection for the Adolescent Worker, the boys and girls who work in Argentina participate in different fields: agriculture, industry, mining, construction, domestic chores, trade and services. In terms of rural environment, the highest involvement of boys and girls has to do with the tobacco, cotton, onions and olives harvest. They also take part in sowing, weeding, flowers, fruit and vegetables picking, corn picking and threshing and animals grazing and milking.*

Bunge develops various programs aimed at discouraging child labor and fostering the right to the education of boys, girls and adolescents due to the fact that child labor is a serious issue in the communities where the company operates.

Among the activities organized by Bunge, both at a community level and within the company, the following can be mentioned: special celebrations for child's day whose main objective is to emphasize the importance of playing during childhood, focusing on a different theme every year, for instance, education, healthy eating, creativity, inclusion and solidarity; school grants, strengthening of educational institutions with a special emphasis on rural education; support to fathers and mothers during kindergarten and back-to-school stages; health, nutrition and healthy lifestyle promotion; among others. The initiatives dealt with for this theme are being further developed in the course of the report.

In 2016, Bunge Argentina joined the Company Network against Child Labor, which is a public-private cooperation at the request of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security and the National Commission for the Eradication of Child Labor (CONAETI) of the Argentine Republic.

Source: Handbook for actions against child labor. Corporate experiences guidelines, Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, CONAETI, Company Network against Child Labor, April 2015.