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Collaborating Centre Connection - June 2011

Practices to Protect Youth, Children from Hazardous Work are Shared at Workshop Hosted by NIOSH, Partners

By Nura Sadeghpour

speakers at the Creating Safe Futures workshop

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), hosted a workshop in Washington, D.C. June 2, 2011, on good practices to protect children and youth from hazardous work, in support of the World Day Against Child Labour.

The one-day workshop -"Creating Safe Futures" - brought together professionals in occupational safety and health and youth employment to seek ways to collaborate in eliminating hazardous work of children and youth worldwide.

The aim of the June 2 workshop was to strengthen and expand current initiatives globally to prevent young children from being drawn into hazardous work and to protect youth of legal working age from exploitative and dangerous conditions. The workshop allowed participants to share good practices and strategies used around the world to combat hazardous child labor through education, engagement, empowerment, and enforcement. The workshop was designed to be the impetus for introducing occupational health and safety language into international applications for funding, producing a publication highlighting key practices, and developing new partnerships.

workshop attendees sitting at a table

In the U.S., an estimated 146,000 young workers 15- to 17-years old are likely to sustain occupational injuries and illnesses each year. In 2009, 27 youths under the age of 18 died from work-related injuries. NIOSH and its partners conduct strategic research and outreach to prevent such injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. NIOSH’s global partnerships leverage the use of NIOSH resources to help the partner agencies further youth and child safety abroad. The partnerships also provide NIOSH with information and experience that it can use in furthering good practices in the U.S.

ILO launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of children who are engaged in labor that is mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous or harmful, interferes with their schooling, and in extreme forms, includes enslavement, separation from their families, and exposure to serious hazards and illnesses. The day, which is observed on June 12, is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against these forms of child labor, reflected in the huge number of ratifications of ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labor, and ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for employment.

workshop panel sitting at a table and speaking into microphones

According to ILO Convention No. 182, hazardous work is a worst form of child labor, alongside slavery, prostitution and illicit activities, and must be addressed "as a matter of urgency," using "immediate, comprehensive, and effective measures." More than half of all child laborers worldwide engage in hazardous work, while it continues to increase among older children ages 15 to 17, jumping from 52 million to 62 million in four years. Most nations of the world have ratified this Convention and are therefore bound by it.

More information about NIOSH research for preventing occupational injuries, illnesses, and death among working youth can be found at More information about NIOSH’s global collaborations can be found at

Spotlight: Child Labour: Strategies for Prevention – Italy, GPA 5.28o

By Fabio Boccuni, Grazia Fortuna, and Marta Petyx

Rome, Italy

lavoro minorile logo

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Prevention of Italy (INAIL, formerly ISPESL), Department of Occupational Medicine occupational safety and health project activities have focused on developments at a national level with a forthcoming stage involving risk perception and links between child labour, migration and school attendance. As a Collaborating Centre within the Workplan of the WHO CC’s Network in Occupational Health, it has developed an educational plan for schools to contribute to a "culture change," by way of communication methods and tools that incorporate the physical and psychological growth of a child. (GPA 5.28o).

The major impacts of GPA project 5.28o on child labour 2009-2010 include the following:


  • Project "Child labour – to know so as to act" produced the following outputs:
    1. Planning of 10 activities developed within the (psychological and cognitive) evolutionary stages of school-aged children, and completed through information materials including training fact sheets, videos and presentations.
    2. Preparation of an educational/operating handbook with teaching/operating methodologies and tools for pupils in the second cycle of primary school.
    3. Presentation and dissemination of the Project and single teaching units on a web page devoted to this issue on INAIL website.
  • Project "Child labour in the new multiethnic communities. Phenomenon diffusion, social representations, gender differences and community features. Understanding to prevent". An action research in Esquilino neighborhood of Rome.

    Scientific publication:

  • Petyx M, Fortuna G, Boccuni F, Petyx C, Iavicoli S. Development of an educational programme for schools focused on child labour. 29th International Congress on Occupational Health. Cape Town, March 22-27, 2009.


two children using a computer
  • Testing of the INAIL project "Child labour – to know so as to act" in neighborhood schools of Rome.
  • Promoting a "cultural change" in the approach to child labour through information for trainers, students and opinion leaders.
  • Updating of INAIL website on child labour.
  • Inclusion of "Child labour" in the INAIL information material for the project "Promotion and dissemination of health and safety culture in the school" intended for educational staff, pupils and parents, to sensitize the school system to a new culture.
  • Presentation and dissemination of "Child Labour" on an Italian web page: "Promotion in the school of safety culture" on INAIL website.
  • Within the 5th WHO Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (Parma, March 2010), a special session was organized, "Social inequities in occupational health." The Symposium was organized by INAIL with WHO providing a contribution on "Protecting our future: from the prevention of child labour to the promotion of culture of occupational health and safety."

Spotlight: El Bosque University and NIOSH partner in Bogota, Colombia

By Simone Tramma, Julietta Rodriguez and Maria Teresa Espinoza

a group photo of workshop attendees

A NIOSH Training Workshop on Radiographic Classification of Pneumoconiosis with the Application of the International Labour Office (ILO) 2000 International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconiosis, followed by the NIOSH B Reader-like proficiency examination in the classification of chest radiographs for pneumoconiosis, took place in Bogota, Colombia on April 11-16, 2011. The workshop was requested and sponsored by the El Bosque University, with support from the Workers’ Compensation Director of the Ministry of Social Protection and the Colombian National Mining Occupational Safety and Health Committee. Among the 28 Colombian physicians that participated in the workshop, 18 were occupational medicine physicians, 6 were radiologists, and 4 were pneumologists or evaluators of impairment.

workshop attendees standing around a table with two computers on it

The ongoing collaboration between NIOSH and these Colombian agencies has been invaluable to support their efforts to improving working conditions for Colombian workers. This request was made by the El Bosque University in their attempt to improve learning and performance in the screening, diagnosis and care of workers throughout Colombia who are exposed to dusts that potentially cause occupational respiratory diseases. U.S. participants and presenters included Ms. Anita Wolfe and Dr. Simone L. Tramma, from the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies at NIOSH, and Dr. John E. Parker and Dr. Edward L. Petsonk, from the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the West Virginia University. The key contact persons in Colombia were Dr. Maria Teresa Espinosa Restrepo, Associate Professor and Director of the Occupational Health Graduate Program, and Dr. Julietta Rodriguez Guzman, Assistant Professor of the Occupational Health Graduate Program at the El Bosque University; acting co-chairs of the postulated WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health to be designated in Colombia.

Looking forward: Preparing for the WHO CC Network 2012-2017 Workplan

By Marilyn Fingerhut and Evelyn Kortum

Oslo, Norway

Planning committee members sitting at a table

The Planning Committee of the Global Network of Collaborating Centers for Occupational Health (CCs) met in Oslo, Norway June 15-16, 2011 to provide guidance for a draft structure of the new 2012-2017 Workplan. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Collaborating Center, the National Institute of Occupational Health.

The WHO Occupational Health staff at Headquarters and in the WHO Regions along with the members of the Network of CCs, have been working together on a 2009-2012 Workplan to provide tools and guidance to assist countries to meet their obligations agreed in the May 2007 World Health Assembly Resolution 60/26, the "Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health (GPA)".

Preparations are now underway to bring to the CC Directors in October a proposal for the structure and content of the new 2012 -2017 Workplan. At that time, the CCs will also be invited to identify projects that they can contribute to the new Workplan in collaboration with other CCs. Final decisions will be made at the 9th Global WHO CC Network Meeting to be held March 15-17, 2012 in Cancun, Mexico. This Network Meeting precedes the 30th Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), one of the three non-governmental organizations active within our CC Network.

The Planning Committee is the administrative leadership body of the WHO Global Network of CCs for Occupational Health. It provides practical input and assistance to ensure the coordinated work of the Network and progress in the commitments of the Global Network Workplan, in order to achieve the objectives of the World Health Assembly Resolutions ‘Occupational Health for All’ (1996) and the GPA (2008-2017). The Planning Committee consists of the members of the Advisory Committee, the Workplan GPA Managers, Regional Advisers for Occupational Health, Presidents of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in official relations with WHO (ICOH, IOHA, IEA), a representative of the ILO, the Co-Coordinators of the Network, and the WHO Secretariat. See below for a list of current Advisory Committee members and Workplan GPA managers.

Planning committee members sitting at a table

Twenty-five participants attended the meeting in Oslo, including representatives of the Advisory Board, all three NGOs, all of the GPA Managers, the WHO Headquarters Secretariat and the Regional Advisors for the Western Pacific, South-East Asian, and European Offices.

The participants discussed the draft Workplan structure and agreed upon a draft structure that reduces the number of 15 Priority areas of the current 2009-2012 Workplan but continues to focus on obtaining deliverables that will advance the GPA. Follow-up activity includes completing the draft 2012-2017 Workplan for distribution in September to the CC Directors and preparation of a "Call for Collaborative Projects" that will accompany the draft Workplan. It was agreed during the meeting to strongly encourage CCs to work together to achieve products that can be useful globally or are adaptable to different country contexts. It was also agreed to solicit from the CCs their support for managerial and administrative aspects of the Network and provide the opportunity to all CCs to become more active in international work.

The Advisory Committee includes

  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) USA
  • National Institute of Occupational Health, Johannesburg (NIOH)
  • National University of Singapore
  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Prevention (INAIL) Italy

The GPA Objective Managers for the 2009-2012 Workplan:

GPA Objective 1: To devise and implement policy instruments on workers' health
      Claudina Nogueira, NIOH, South Africa
GPA Objective 2: To protect and promote health at the workplace
      Stavroula Leka and Aditya Jain, University of Nottingham, UK
GPA Objective 3: To improve the performance of and access to occupational health services
      Kaj Husman, FIOH, Finland and Leslie Nickels, NIOSH, USA
GPA Objective 4: To provide and communicate evidence for action and practice
      Jo Harris-Roberts and Ed Robinson, HSL, UK
GPA Objective 5: To incorporate workers' health in to other policies
      Wendy Macdonald, University of LaTrobe, Australia

2009-2012 Workplan

Global Plan of Action for Workers’ Health

30th Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health

ICOH March 18-23, 2012: Deadline for abstract submissions extended

The International Commission on Occupational Health will host the International Congress this year in Cancun, Mexico, March 18-23, 2012. The dates and the scientific program can be found at Details regarding hotels and other information about Cancun are online at the Congress website. Abstracts have been called which link to the theme of 'Occupational health for all: From research to practice'. All submissions are subject to review and all presenters must register for the Conference. Submission instructions can be found at: Deadline for abstract submissions: July 20, 2011.

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