Children’s Rights

Introduction 

EI has a comprehensive campaign to promote the protection and respect of 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 Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), other Global Union Federations (GUF) such as IUF and BWI, national trade unions, union national centres, and various non-governmental organizations such as the Global March Against Child Labour and the Stop Child Labour Campaign.  

 

 

Policy 

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

The elimination of child labour requires a substantiamobilisation and effective useent funds. EI encourages its member organizations to lobby their respective governments to devote at least 0.7% of their GNP to development assistance and to increase the proportion of this assistance dedicated to the fight against child labour, including through the development and improvement of quality public education. EI also encourages its members to push  their governments to ratify of ILO Convention 138 (Minimum Age Convention 1973 worst forms of Child Labour 1999). 

In addition to a wide range of targeted measures to eliminate child labour, a comprehensive programme in this area should include commitments to the expansion of public education, including quality early childhood education, schools, transitional and special education and vocational education to achieve the goal of education for all. That will require significant additional resources bother from domestic and aid budgets. 

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. 

Activities 

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

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

In order to maximize the support provided by teacher unions and their members on the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL), EI and the ILO/IPEC have decided that EI will take the lead in developing advocacy materials and proposing initiatives for teacher unions and their members to support efforts to eliminate child labour and to mark that day. 

EI members are encouraged to take actions leading up to the World Day Against Child Labour to increase the awareness of members and the public. EI’s intention is to broaden the campaign by increasing the number of EI members participating each year and deepen the campaign activities of experienced participating members. In 2012, EI member organizations in Benin, Cambodia, Colombia, Haiti, Indonesia, and Uganda received support to organize a national workshop on child labour. In 2013, teacher unions in Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, India, Lebanon, Mali, and Turkey received support from EI to organize a national workshop. The workshops aim at attaining the following objectives: 

  • Adopt policies and programme activities to eliminate child labour and realize the right to Education for All.  

  • Learn more about the child labour situation in the country and find ways in which teacher unions could contribute to the elimination of child labour by developing further cooperation with the ILO-IPEC and other organizations working on child labour 

  • Better understand  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 organizations in the country.  

  • Discuss the education materials developed by  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 organized through EI member organizations to raise awareness among populations where child labour is common 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 organizations contributed to the adoption of the landmark Hague Roadmap for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor by 2016. The Roadmap highlights education as a key strategy to combat child labour 

 

World Day Against Child Labour 

Every year on 12 June, Education International and its member organizations worldwide celebrate the World Day Against Child Labour. It is an occasion to highlight the global extent of child labour and raise awareness on the situation of millions of children working across the globe. For EI and its affiliated teacher unions, the World Day Against Child Labour is also a good time to reiterate that every child has the right to a free and quality public education. The ILO launched the first World Day in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of working children and to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour.

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