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Land and labour

Agricultural workers’ tenure rights

Jacobs, N. and Cotula, L. 2021. Land and labour: Agricultural workers’ tenure rights. Legal Brief, 6. Rome, FAO.

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    Tackling child labour in livestock keeping
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    Livestock farming often takes place in remote rural areas where farmers and their families have limited access to infrastructure and basic social services, notably education, health, access to clean water and social protection. Moreover, farming practices are under pressure by, for example, climate change induced changes to weather patterns and urbanisation. Therefore, many livestock dependent families, especially small scale farmers and pastoralists, are generally vulnerable and face different types of risks and shocks. Their children may end up leaving their home areas to nearby towns and cities working rather than going to school, often performing hazardous work (for example in street work). This may fuel a downward spiral, depriving tomorrow’s herders and farmers of their health and education, increasing environmental degradation and perpetuating intergenerational poverty as families opt for child labour as part of short term survival strategies. Ensuring changes to land tenure system, agricultural practices, labour divisions and protecting children from hazardous work, while respecting the cultural rights of children, their families and communities, is essential to engage livestock farming communities on sustainable pathways. This paper seeks to analyse the dynamics underpinning child labour in livestock farming and identify the strategies that governments, farmers, private sector, international organizations and others may pursue to prevent and eliminate child labour in livestock keeping. This paper focuses on child labour in livestock keeping operations, but it is also important to note that child labour may also be present in the wider livestock value chains, e.g. in abattoirs, packaging, transport and so forth.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Gender equality, social protection and rural development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
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    This publication is a collection of articles written by economists, sociologists, and gender specialists and practitioners from twelve post-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. It is unique in its effort to review and analyze the issues that are at the intersection of gender equality, social protection and rural development in the region. Overall, there is a lack of research, documented knowledge and public discourse on this subject and a multi-disciplinary approa ch is necessary for ensuring an in-depth and rigorous understanding of these intersecting issues in the context of the region. In supporting this publication, the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia intends to draw attention to these issues as critical for the socio-economic development of the region, and raise greater awareness among all stakeholders and promote more research in this area. One of the main reasons why this subject remains on the periphery of research and discourse is the widespread public opinion that issues relating to gender have already been addressed and are, therefore, not priorities for rural development and social protection. Indeed, in the post-Soviet countries, women, including those located in rural areas, continue to enjoy relatively high levels of literacy and education and high economic activity rates. Furthermore, all countries, in an effort to sustain the achievements of the previous regime, have recognized the formal supremacy of internation al legal norms and UN standards, including in the area of gender equality and women’s rights. They have also been developing and implementing national policies towards achieving gender equality. However, if we look beyond the average numbers, and disaggregate available statistics by sex and by location wherever possible, we can see that in critical areas (for example, formal employment; access to social services such as childcare facilities and pensions; and participation in local governance, am ong others), rural women often emerge as the most disadvantaged group. There are also key issues, for example, access to productive resources (such as land, credits, agricultural equipment and extension services) that are of crucial importance to rural livelihoods but are not commonly viewed from a gender perspective. Across the region, women form a majority in the rural population, and a significant proportion of the labour force engaged in agriculture. However, the overarching trend in terms o f rural women’s employment is their engagement in informal, low-skilled and low-paid jobs. Women’s access to assets and productive resources is also significantly lower than that of rural men’s. Rural women’s participation in public life has reduced dramatically over the last decades, and generous social welfare is no longer a social norm.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Impact of COVID-19 on informal workers 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic is a major economic and labour market shock, presenting significant impacts in terms of unemployment and underemployment for informal workers. In rural areas, the livelihoods of especially the self-employed and wage workers are at risk, because agri-food supply chains and markets are being disrupted due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement. Families might resort to negative coping strategies such as distress sale of assets, taking out loans from informal moneylenders, or child labour. Specific groups of workers, including women, youth, children, indigenous people, and migrant workers, who are overrepresented in the informal economy, will experience further exacerbation of their vulnerability. Response measures should foster the expansion of social protection coverage to informal workers in agriculture and rural sectors, including timely cash transfers, food or in-kind distributions. Specific measures should be tailored towards women workers with care responsibilities at home, families that may resort to child labour as a coping strategy, as well as other vulnerable subgroups. Efforts should be made to maintain agricultural supply chains and strengthen the market linkages for local producers, while promoting decent work.

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