We acknowledge that child and forced labor are complex problems with several reasons and that its answers also depend on the joint action between various players whose roles complement each other.
Some of the deeper causes of child labor go beyond our own capacity to respond and there are several constraints in the contexts that our producers live in: Situations of inequality, poverty, lack of access to social services, to health, education and limited government capacities to ensure our rights. But despite that there are international treaties and national laws, their implementation is still insufficient and the mechanisms to address the harmful practices of child and forced labor are scarce or sometimes non-existent.
The limited capacity that producers have, in many cases, to fully meet the decent labor standards and labor rights are related to the lack of decent income that allows the producer and his/her family have a decent standard of living and invest in education and the well-being of his/her children, or guarantee decent wages and conditions for his/her workers. The lack of decent income has a negative impact in the living conditions of the producers, their families and their temporal or permanent workers.
It also has an impact in new generation’s interest to remain in the countryside and follow their peasant family’s path. If field work loses its appeal and is no longer seen as a viable alternative source of income for new generations we have a major challenge to secure generational inclusion and production’s future sustainability at a family level.
The Fairtrade system, through different guarantees that offers to producers, wants to reverse this situation, but these efforts are not enough.