Resolution on accelerated action against child labour in connection with the post 2015 sustainable development goals

published 25 July 2015 updated 31 March 2017

The 7th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from 21nd to 26th July 2015:

1. Recalls the Resolution on Child Labour adopted by the 6th EI congress in 2011;

2. Acknowledges that progress has been made in reducing child labour, as stated in the ILO-IPEC Report “Marking Progress against Child Labour, global estimates and trends 2000-2012”, published in 2013;

3. Acknowledges the progress towards Education for All as stated in the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4;

4. Acknowledges the important contribution to both achievements by the continuous work of EI and its member organisations;

5. Recognizes at the same time that progress is still limited and that many obstacles remain in place;

6. Notes that many donor governments have stopped contributing financially to education in development cooperation or have drastically reduced their contributions;

7. Notes that many governments are still not investing enough in education, despite pledges and promises;

8. Notes that many governments have signed conventions and adopted laws in favour of quality education for all and on the eradication of child labour, but often do not enforce implementation nor punish those who break these laws;

9. Notes that due to migration, conflicts and natural disasters tens of thousands of children, including refugee children, are deprived of education and that many of them are forced to engage in child labour activities to survive;

10. Welcomes the UN Brasilia Declaration on Child Labour (2013) which, by giving a voice to participants from governments, employers’ as well as workers’ organisations, NGOs and international organisations, commits all stakeholders to strengthen actions against child labour, among which promoting multi-stakeholder initiatives, tackling the informal economy, collecting disaggregated statistics on child labour, building capacities in conflict and post-conflict areas where education is problematic, and engaging in social dialogue to obtain decent work and relevant training for teachers and other education personnel;

11. Welcomes the fact that despite lack of substantial funding, education unions have developed new and creative approaches on the ground to improve the quality of education to keep children in school; to help reintegrate in school those released from child labour situation and to provide the skills and competencies needed to have access to decent jobs;

12. Welcomes the achievements of the Unite for Quality Campaign that was aimed to convince Governments and international stakeholders to improve the quality and relevance of education and also increase the enrolment of all children into school;

13. Welcomes eradicating child labour as well as ensuring quality education and decent work for adults as key objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Congress determines that EI shall:

14. Reinvigorate the work on addressing school dropout and eradicating child labour, with particular emphasis on the action points of the 2011 EI resolution and the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals related to education and child labour;

15. Further cooperate with the International programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO IPEC) and the ILO Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCP) and participate in the Fourth Global Conference on Child Labour to be held in Argentina in 2017;

16. Further cooperate with other relevant stakeholders;

17. Continue to seek funding to support education unions in their fight for quality education and against child labour;

18. Facilitate the exchange of best practices and successes, particularly on promising new developments such as

a. the area based approach leading to child labour free zones;

b. transitional or reintegration classes for children that return from work to school, and the inclusion of these classes in the regular education system

c. specialized training for the teachers of these classes

d. new roles unions are assuming in involving communities or involving “non-traditional” partners.

Congress calls on member organizations to:

19. Continue to advocate for quality public and inclusive education as the best way to eradicate child labour everywhere;

20. Continue to request well planned and formal training for education and support personnel to welcome and support the education of children who are at risk of dropping out or are resuming an education after having been released from child labour practices;

21. Seek cooperation with other education unions, sectoral unions and civil society like-minded organisations, nationally and internationally, to advocate for a decisive enforcement of legislation by all Governments in line with ILO Conventions and Sustainable Development Goals;

22. Encourage union to union and South-South exchange where education unions provide guidance, expertise and mentoring to others; share best practices from the daily classroom work up to union actions and international experiences;

23. Join networks and lobby groups to put pressure on employers and companies which continue to employ children, notably through the supply chain, depriving them of their fundamental rights.