World Day Against Child Labour

Dear CLW team

Today is the World Day Against Child Labour, which is such an important day for us, I would like to share some thoughts with you.

“Work gives people dignity. But when working conditions are bad, we must fight for better conditions. Not just for us and for our families…. Here in Bolivia, for many years the work done by children has not been recognised. Although many children have been working…. We are not calling for children of 10 or 12 to work. We are calling for protection for children, who do work, and for their contribution to be recognised.” 
— Lourdes Cruz Sánchez, speaker of the Potosí Working Children’s and Adolescents’ Council.

While we see through our program how harmful work can have dramatic consequences on children’s development and well-being, we all know that the lived experience of children are much more complex. Work, even harmful work, have most of the time both positive and negative impact on children, and decent work is more widely being recognized as an empowering path for boys and girls.

This year the focus for discussion is on Quality education. This is very relevant for the work Children Lead the Way does. The relationship between work and education is rich and complex, as many children combine work and school, and that education outcomes can also be achieved through work. One key to our work is the understanding that quality is the priority when talking about education, and that it translates in special ways for working boys and girls, taking into consideration their needs and aspirations. Also, important that poor quality education is a reality for many children which push them into work.

In our program, we address this relationship in many ways:

– access to basic formal education

-access to flexible non-formal education

– provision of productive education and technical vocational training

and more!

If you want to see more resources, you can visit the dedicated page on Onenet: World Day against Child Labour 2015 that we have set up with the support of CPI, and even share your thoughts there on the discussion board!

I also invite you to see (if you haven’t already) our beautiful videos

Meet Mary: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DHkQaBvHW0

Meet Karen: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo9SGrkVVUc

A particular good campaign this year is being delivered by the Concerned for Working Children « Are you anti #childlabour or #antichild?​” In our campaign against #ChildLabour let us ensure we are not #AntiChild. The campaign addresses the larger more nuanced conversation around child work and rights that has been building up internationally and nationally. Its objective is to open these debates in the context of India and to begin a fresh conversation on a child labour law which is child rights centric and informed by children’s experiences, latest research and understanding of child work

As always, let me know if you have questions, comments, ideas you would like to share.

Warmly

Olivia

«  Until we listen to working children, working solutions for their problems will continue to remain out of reach » CWC press release

« While no one disagrees with education as an important tool to broaden horizons, this articulation of education as ‘compulsorily’ being the space that children are to occupy versus a space they ‘choose’ to occupy, is a telling one. It points to us that ILO continues to ideologically view children as passive recipients of adult imposed structures instead of people with agency who are learning to make their way through life by actively engaging with it. In so seemlessly conjoining it with the issue of child labour it seems to forget that a right cannot become a compulsion for the rights holder. » CWC press release

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