Strengthening and expanding partnerships in the elimination of child labour is the main mandate of Partnership for Action Against Child Labour in Agriculture (PAACLA) Indonesia. In addition to the partnership at national level, it is important and strategic to build partnerships at the sub-national level partnerships, province as well as district level. To carry out the mandate, Head of PAACLA Indonesia's National Secretariat, Mr. Misran Lubis, conducted a series of visits to West Nusa Tenggara and East Java in August 2020.
Agenda utama dari kunjungan ini adalah untuk memperkenalkan PAACLA Indonesia sebagai forum kemitraan multipihak baik pemerintah, sektor bisnis dan organisasi masyarakat. Di samping agenda utama tersebut, kunjungan juga bertujuan untuk sosialisasi instrumen internasional mengenai hak-hak anak dan prinsip-prinsip bisnis (CRBP), dan kebijakan perlindungan anak (Child Safeguarding) JARAK-Indonesia.
The Commitment of East Lombok Government
During the visit to West Nusa Tenggara which was carried out on 11 to 15 August 2020, Mr. Lubis visited East Lombok District where KESEMPATAN Project, a project collaboratively implemented by JARAK and SANTAI Foundation with support from ECLT, have been working in 2 targeted villages to pilot child friendly village. The visit was welcomed by the Special Staff of East Lombok Regent (Mr. H. Suroto SKM.M.Kes), the Head of Sub-Directorate of Government and Community Affairs of Local Development Planning Agency/BAPPEDA (Ms. Nis Rukian Tuhulele), and Head of Child Protection of Local Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Agency/DP3A. Mr. Dodik, Coordinator of KESEMPATAN Project from SANTAI Foundation and Mr. Tejo Jatmiko, ECLT Consultant, joined the visit.
Given the pandemic situation, the meeting was held in an open space and only allowed a small number of people to join the discussion. Mr. Lubis introduced the concept of three-pillar partnership consisting of government, CSOs, and private sector to eliminate child labour in the agricultural sector and KESEMPATAN Project activities in West Nusa Tenggara, particularly in East Lombok. Further, the National Secretariat of PAACLA Indonesia shared its aspiration to explore the partnership in the region.
On behalf of East Lombok Government, Mr. Suroto welcomed the support of PAACLA Indonesia and KESEMPATAN Project activities which are being implemented in two villages. According to him, the partnership is very pivotal given the complexity of children's issues and child labour in East Lombok as well as the magnitude of COVID-19 impact to the people's economy. Ms. Tuhulele also shared a similar concern. Following the national level partnership that is coordinated by Bappenas, at the local level, Bappeda will also coordinate and support the partnership development in East Lombok. At the end of the meeting, Mr. H. Suroto stated, "Partnership is today, not tomorrow", an encouragement to work on the established consensus on partnership.
Private Sector Support
The private sector is one of the fundamental pillars in development, including child development and welfare. Gunilla Olsson, Head of Representative at UNICEF Indonesia, states that “All companies, whether small-scale family businesses or large-scale multinational corporations, contribute to the well-being of children through employment creation for their families or also through philanthropic initiatives. But on the other hand, business practices can also have a less positive impact on children". East Lombok is one of tobacco growing areas in West Nusa Tenggara. Children are indicated to get involved in various types of work in tobacco growing, including in hazardous works for children. Hence, it is critical to involve companies, as buyers and as the most interested party, in tackling child labour in tobacco industry .
The National Secretariat of PAACLA Indonesia had also the opportunity to meet with tobacco companies, Alliance One Indonesia (AOI) and Djarum. The visit to AOI, carried out by Mr. Jatmiko, was to strengthen the relations and during the visit AOI provided inputs for separate training for leaf technicians and farmers on child labour issues. The visit to Djarum was welcomed by Mr. Latif, the Deputy Manager. Mr. Sahminudin, the Head of Indonesian Tobacco Farmers Association (APTI) of West Nusa Tenggara also joined the meeting. The meeting introduced PAACLA Indonesia and KESEMPATAN Project that is being implemented in Central Lombok and East Lombok. The National Secretariat also conveyed the plan to establish PAACLA in East Lombok that had been discussed previously with the East Lombok Government.
Responding to the visit, Mr. Latif expressed his gratitude and shared Djarum's commitment to preventing child labour which have been done through sports and scholarship programmes as well as farmers training and mentoring. He believes the partnership at the local level is pivotal and he is welcome invitations for follow up coordination meetings. For taking part in the partnership at the national level, he needs to discuss it with managers and head office in Kudus, Central Java. At the end of the meeting, the National Secretariat gave its partnership guide booklet to Djarum as the initial step for the new partnership.