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11.10.1999

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EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C289/29

brought into conformity with this Directive by Decree 94/96 adopted on 17 July 1996. The Commission is satisfied that the Portuguese decree fully meets the requirements of the Directive, and has no reason to doubt that the decree is being fully applied.

( 1 )

OJ L 247, 5.10.1993.

(1999/C289/038)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-3243/98

by Anna Karamanou (PSE) to the Commission

(19 October 1998)

Subject: Exploitation of child labour

Dervish Kaplan, a leading member of the Istanbul trade union movement, claimed recently that children between the ages of 9 and 13 are employed throughout the chain of production making articles of clothing for the Italian company Benetton at particularly low wages.

The exploitation of child labour is a widespread phenomenon. According to a recent study by the International Labour Office, some 250 million children worldwide between the ages of 5 and 14 are working in harsh conditions with appallingly low wages, while 120 million children are forced to leave school in order to work.

What measures is the Commission taking to combat the callous exploitation of child labour by multinational companies and to ensure that children’s rights are protected?

Answer given by Mr van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(10 November 1998)

The Commission has also recently learnt about the facts mentioned by the Honourable Member. Child labour in Turkey has in particular been the subject of several criticisms by the International Labour Office.

According to information collected by the Commission Benetton has just signed a memorandum with the Turkish agent holding its licence in Turkey with a view of abolishing any contractual relationship with subcontracting companies in the country that use children who are less than fifteen years old as part of their workforce.

The Commission for its part during the last few years has undertaken numerous actions and initiatives in the field of child labour (see the Commission staff paper services document updated to 11 May 1998 which the Commission is sending direct to the Honourable Member and to Parliament¢s General Secretariat.

(1999/C289/039)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-3250/98

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(20 October 1998)

Subject: Food aid for Russia

The EU intends to send food aid to Russia so as to enable this country to meet its food needs. However, it has been reported that this aid will consist mainly of animal products (meat and milk) and cereals; Mediterranean products such as citrus fruits, horticultural produce and olive oil will not be included or, if they are, it will be only on a very limited scale.