Request for Support from First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
First Call is a non-partisan, multi-sector provincial coalition focused on promoting children’s rights and improving the well-being of BC’s children and youth. We receive no government funding.
We are currently engaged in an advocacy project aimed at addressing the weakening of child labour protections and lowering of the work start age in BC resulting from changes to the Employment Standards Act in 2003. There is an advisory committee guiding the project which includes representatives from CUPE and UFCW, along with academics, lawyers, and community service organizations.
We are very pleased to be working closely with an active group of young workers from the CAW and other unions (the Minimum Age Group).
At this point in the project we are focusing on gathering further, current information on the workforce experiences of children and youth ages 12 to 18 in relation to:
• health and safety in the workplace,
• economic exploitation,
• the impacts of work on their education, and
• enforcement of, and compliance with, existing child labour-specific regulations.
In addition to an online survey asking youth about their work experiences, we are scheduling focus groups around the province with young workers, supplemented by individual interviews.
There is a dearth of government research or statistics on children under 15 in the workforce. We are compiling research on best practice child labour standards in other jurisdictions and the few academic studies that have been done on child labour in Canada. This will be added to the information from the survey responses, focus groups and interviews with young people to make recommendations for change to the Employment Standards Act and Regulations to bring BC’s laws into compliance with the principles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Labour Organization conventions’ standards, and best practices in other jurisdictions.
Request for Support
This project is funded by a grant from the Law Foundation and in-kind contributions from our coalition partner organizations.
We are seeking additional financial support for three things:
1) Honoraria funds for youth participants: We are committed to paying $50 per youth participant in the 2-hour focus groups and interviews. Our current budget will allow us to conduct 6 focus groups of 8 youth each and 15 supplementary interviews: (6 x 8) +15 @ $50 = $3150. Each additional $100 would allow us to include 2 more youth.
2) Draw prizes: We need funds to purchase some draw prizes for those who complete the survey online or through our face-to-face outreach efforts. We’re trying to solicit donations, but $500 would be a big help!
3) Honoraria funds for non-profits: To recognize the work of non-profit community service organizations who help organize and facilitate focus groups for the project: $500 x 5 groups = $2,500.
If you can help, please contact Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator at 604-873-8437 or by email at email@example.com
For more information, visit First Call’s website at www.firstcallbc.org or nochildlabour.org