Resolution on: Child Labour

published 17 September 2019 updated 18 September 2019

The 8the EI World Congress, meeting in Bangkok from 21 to 26 July 2019 has:

(1) observed that child labour remains a threat that prevents children from going to school because some families believe that their children’s labour is more profitable than their schooling even though they know that education is in all likelihood the best solution to poverty;

(2) noted that the worst forms of child labour(1) constitute one of the most serious threats to a child’s physical, intellectual and emotional development;

(3) noted that the fight against child labour is helping achieve SDG4 and improve the living conditions of individuals, communities and schools;(4) again observed that the trade unions which embarked on programmes to combat child labour are seeing benefits: the academic achievement of young people and the quality of schools and learning have improved because schools have become more attractive; and the trade unions have recruited more members and learnt new working methods;(5) also observed that the trade unions involved in the fight against child labour have a deep understanding of the problem and thus have skills that can help better protect children against this phenomenon.

(6) Consequently, the 8th EI World Congress is calling for:

(i) governments to be forced to provide free quality education while making school accessible to all;

(ii) adopting a law on compulsory education for all children aged between 6 and 16 with a view to better protecting them;

(iii) governments to support vulnerable families through the issuing of necessary documents to access education for the benefit of children whose births have not been registered;(iv) governments to build and renovate preschool and primary school learning environments on their national territory;(v) governments to distribute school kits to the children of vulnerable families;

(vi) governments to develop social programmes that aim to improve household livelihoods and thus reduce poverty.

(7) The 8th EI World Congress is also asking member organisations to:

(i) get involved in the fight against child labour;

(ii) urge governments to adopt strong legislation, including the UN Agenda 2030, to prevent child labour and persuade governments to abandon the laws and policies that enable it;

(iii) develop a strategic partnership with other stakeholders to discourage child labour;

(iv) to uphold and broadly publicise the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).(1) Education International stresses the importance of eliminating ALL forms of child labour, not only the worst forms, in line with ILO Convention No. 138 on The Minimum Age, and as called for by SDG Target 8.7