Children Rights



EI has a comprehensive campaign to foster children’s rights which is designed to encourage the active participation of all member organisations and to produce measurable results. EI co-operates closely in this area with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), other Global Union Federations (GUF) such as IUF and BWI, national trade unions, union centres and various non-governmental organisations such as the Global March Against Child Labour and Stop Child Labour Campaign.




The EI World Congress has passed a number of resolutions on the elimination of child labour. They are:  "Child Labour" (2011), "Gender and HIV/AIDS" (2004), "Trafficking in Women, Girls, and Boys" (2001), "The Rights of the Child" (1998), "Children of Refugees and Asylum Seekers" (1998), "The Girl Child" (1998) and  "Child Labour" (1995).

To download our policy documents, please visit our Policy Library. The latest Congress resolution on Child Labour is available here:

The elimination of child labour requires a substantial strengthening of development funds. EI therefore encourages its member organisations to lobby their respective governments to devote, as quickly as possible, at least 0.7% of their GNP to development assistance and to increase the proportion of this assistance dedicated to the development and improvement of quality public education. EI also encourages its members to lobby their governments for the ratification of ILO Convention 138 (on a minimum working age) and Convention 182 (on ending the worst forms of Child Labour). This is to ensure that there are adequate resources to allow for an expansion of public education, including quality early childhood services, schools, transitional and special education and vocational training to achieve the goal of Education For All (EFA). As we approach the Education For All deadline of 2015, it is everyone's responsibility to make sure that child labourers are not forgotten.

EI also lobbies for quality teacher training and in-service development to enable teachers to meet the diverse and special needs of children, particularly the most disadvantaged, those at highest risk of becoming child labourers and those who have been child labourers.

For more information, please contact EI.


Education is an essential tool for eliminating child labour, and EI believes that primary responsibility for ensuring the re-integration of former child labourers into the formal education system lies with national authorities.

EI member organisations have been involved in the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for years. In January 2012 EI entered into a new 2 year partnership with the ILO-IPEC. The main component of the programme is to mobilise EI member organisations to participate in programmes concerning child labour prevention and promotion of education opportunities for all children.

In order to maximise the support provided by teacher unions and their members on the World Day against Child labour (WDACL), El and the ILO/IPEC have decided that EI will take the lead in developing advocacy materials and proposing initiatives that teacher unions and their members can take to support the World Day against Child Labour.

EI members are encouraged to undertake actions leading up to the World Day against Child Labour to increase awareness of members and the public. EI’s intention is to broaden the campaign by increasing the number of El members participating each year and deepen the campaign activities of experienced participating members.

In 2012, EI member organisations in Benin, Cambodia, Colombia, Haiti, Indonesia and Uganda received support to organise a national workshop on child labour. In 2013, teacher unions in Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, India, Lebanon, Mali and Turkey will receive support from EI to organise a national workshop. The workshops aim at attaining the following objectives:

  • Adopt policies and programme activities to eliminate child labour and realise the right to Education for All.
  • Learn more about child labour situation in the country and find ways in which teacher unions could contribute in the elimination of child labour by developing further cooperation with the ILO-IPEC and other organisations working on child labour.
  • Better understand the government plans on eliminating the worst forms of child labour, the ILO-IPEC actions, the ILO Decent Work Country Programmes and the actions of some of the civil society organisations in the country.
  • Discuss the education materials developed by the EI and use the materials in actions against child labour with the intent to understand the effectiveness of the material and revisions that might be required to adapt the materials to the local context.
  • Develop specific actions against child labour for the World Day against Child Labour (12 June).

Grassroots activities are organised through EI member organisations to raise awareness among populations where incidents of child labour are frequent, in order to encourage parents to send their children to school. In Europe, affiliates work with NGOs to lobby governments to eliminate child labour.

Through its participation in the Global Task Force on Child Labour and Education for All, EI together with national delegations, UN institutions, other trade unions and civil society organisations contributed to the adoption of the landmark Hague Roadmap for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016. The Roadmap highlights education as a key strategy to combat child labour. 

At its 6th World Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa, in July 2011, EI adopted its most recent resolution on Child Labour, calling on its member organisations to adopt specific policies and a programme of actions on child labour, as well as to support unions in developing countries fighting child labour.

Following the adoption of this resolution, EI organised an international conference on “School is the best place to work: Education unions against child labour”, in collaboration with its member organisations AOb in the Netherlands and GEW, Germany.  The Conference took place in Berlin, Germany, from 5 to 7 October 2012. The German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB), Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and the International Labour Organisation’s Bureau for Workers' Activities (ILO-ACTRAV) also supported the conference.

12 June is the World Day Against Child Labour. EI organises awareness-raising activities around the day to highlight the right of every child to free quality public education and encourages its member organisations to celebrate the World Day. Every 12 June, EI and the ILO-IPEC produce a joint publication highlighting the vital role of education in combating child labour.





This short documentary shines the spotlight on successful strategies by the Moroccan National Teachers' Union (SNE) to prevent child labour by reducing school drop-out rates. A production of EI, in cooperation with SNE and NEA. Archival footage courtesy of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

No to Child Labour! Yes to Education!

This documentary of 15 minutes talks about the life of Zara and child labour in Turkey. A production of EI, in cooperation withAOb and CNV-O, EI Dutch member organisations.



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