As part of its observance of the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June, 2007, EI released several publications, including a brochure entitled “Child Labour: Quality Education is the right response”, which discusses the important role of education in ending child labour and outlines some of the ways EI and its affiliates are combating child labour and ensuring Education For All.
Today more than 200 million children worldwide are deprived of a childhood. Many work in fields, mines and factories, but others suffer less visibly in domestic work, sexual exploitation and slavery. 80 million children, many of them working, do not attend school. These two realities are inextricably linked. As part of its fight against child labour, EI has published a brochure entitled “Child Labour: Quality education is the right response”, which outlines the problem, discussing its work in the area and providing examples of successful EI affiliate programs.
EI can contribute to the fight against child labour in two major ways: through collective action in the international trade union movement and through the Education for All Campaign. EI seeks to unite its large member base worldwide, creating a wide network of organizations working both globally and locally to fight child labour. At the international and national levels, EI affiliates can lobby their governments to take action against child labour and provide free, quality Education for All. At the regional level, teacher unions can conduct awareness-raising campaigns for teachers, students and communities about the dangers of child labour and the importance of education. Even individual teachers can join the fight by monitoring school attendance and intervening when he or she believes a student might be working or at risk of dropping out of school.
The brochure also discusses the EFAIDS programme, a joint initiative of EI, the World Health Organization and the Education Development Centre, which aims to prevent new HIV infections among teachers and learners, mitigate the negative effect of AIDS on achieving EFA goals and increase the number of learners completing basic education. It also works to prevent child labour by providing support for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children and fighting against stigmatization of HIV/AIDS carriers.
The brochure includes a section on the gender and ethnic dimensions of child labour and the special attention that must be paid to the difficulties faced by girls and ethnic and other minority groups. It also discusses successful programs run by EI affiliates in Morocco, Albania and India, and closes with an overview of EI’s partnership with the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO-IPEC).
“Child Labour: Quality education is the right response” is currently available in English, French and Spanish, and will soon be available in Portuguese. To download the document, please click on the link below.