Child Labour
‘Child labour exists because we allow it to exist’
Ms. Shanta Sinha, Chair of Children’s Rights Commission, India.

By Development Education Unit, Concern Worldwide

Foreword 2

Section 1 A History of child labour 3

Section 2 Child labour today 7

Section 3 Child labour and education 15

Section 4 Big business and child labour 26

Section 5 The consumer and child labour 33

Section 6 Taking action against child labour 39

Web links - List of websites 44

ISBN: 978-0-9524506-1-0
Acknowledgements: many thanks to Evanna Craig, Lucy Deering,
Michael Doorly, Roísín Kelly and Gráinne O’Brien for feedback
and advice.
Written by Joanna Rea.

Cover pic:
BANGLADESH Narayanganj, Nr. Dhaka.
A child labourer carrying bundles of garments in a textiles factory.
Most of the workers in this factory are children.
Photo: G.M.B. Akash/Panos Pictures

Inside cover pic:
Nagat, aged 9, works in the fields in Al Fash village.
Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures

Child labour is any work
done by a child that may be
harmful to their physical,
emotional, intellectual and
social development.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Despite the world’s promises to care for every child, the scourge of child labour still
leaves countless children deprived of their most basic rights. In order to guarantee
that these rights are secure, the international community must make the protection of
children the first priority in countries where child labour is present. Businesses must
redouble their efforts to ensure that no child labour is used in the production of any
good, and above all people, wherever they may live, must make it clear that the abuse
of children as child labourers has no place in this world.

This book is written for anyone interested in learning about child labour and how to
take action against it.

‘Stop Child Labour –
School is the Best Place to Work’

An international campaign which seeks to eliminate
child labour through the provision of full-time education.

The campaign has two core objectives:

1. To challenge and bring an end to, all forms of child labour and to challenge those
who would argue for its retention

2. To support the global campaign for education which seeks to provide Education For All (EFA)

The Reality
There are to IPEC:
22% of child labourers work 69% of child labourers work
218 million in the service industry – retail, in agriculture – hunting, forestry,
child labourers in the world restaurants & hotels, transport, fishing and agriculture
finance, business, community and
social services
14% of all children between 5 The proportion of girls working is
not decreasing and girls are more
and 17 years are child labourers
9% of child labourers work likely to be child labourers than boys
in industry – mining, quarrying,
1 in 7 children around the manufacturing, construction and
public utilities Progress has been made:
world is a child labourer the number of child labourers fell
Latin America and the Caribbean globally by 11% from 2002 to
are making the greatest progress 2006 and the number of children
63% of children in Mali aged in tackling child labour while the in hazardous work decreased by
26% - ‘child work is declining,
5-14 years are child labourers. highest incidence of child labour
can be found in sub-Saharan Africa and the more harmful the work and
38% of children in Cambodia the more vulnerable the children
and 47% in Burkina Faso
involved, the faster the decline’
are working
Every year 22,000 children (ILO 2006)
die in work related accidents

Campaign Resource ≥ 
/3 Child Labour

449 children in homes. as proportion of the child population. quality education. In 1919. The highest number of child …children belong in school.984 society. labourers is in the Asia-Pacific region but the largest percentage of children working. 50% of children in England and you. poverty with little hope of escape. forced to work in dangerous conditions for up to communities. It is It has existed in every part of the world since ancient the responsibility of everyone to contribute to the times. children 12 hours a day. they mine. they fight in wars. Child labour makes this impossible for children. countries and it is an issue that affects us all. the world began to address the issue Through the provision of full-time. 1 in 7 children around the world is a child labourer. employers. not work. They have been 457. they pick cotton and cocoa. In more recent history. binding agreements and international conventions were adopted but in spite of these.’ education and all the potential that it holds. If every seventh child was taken out of school and put to Children. is found in sub-Saharan Africa. They work in factories and in fields. trade during the industrial revolution when children were unions. denied their rights to a childhood and full-time. History of child labour Child labour is a fact of life for children in many Child labour is not a new problem or phenomenon. teachers. 1 in 7 children in the world is a child labourer . ≥ Section One A history of child labour Introduction The ‘school is the best place to work’ campaign believes that child labour is any work which is harmful to a child’s development including the It is time to end child labour… withholding of access to full-time quality education. ‘Child labour is one aspect of poverty – it is a result By depriving 218 million children of their right to of poverty and it is also a way of perpetuating it. child labour continues to this day. Throughout the 20th Century. they serve There are 864. Eliminating child labour is a moral imperative that we can no longer ignore. parents. there would be 67. a number of legally of child labour is achievable. In 1860. they sew footballs and t-shirts. we are International Labour Organisation all denied a brighter and more just world. develop and fulfil their potential. should be afforded our highest standards of child labourers in Ireland Source: CSO 2006 duty and care. international organisations. they dig. as one of the most vulnerable groups in work. between the age of 5 and 15 years were working. They are trapped in between 0-14 years in Ireland.889 are in primary school. The keys to eliminating child labour: That is 218 million children who are working instead political mobilisation and practical action of going to school. it emerged as an issue elimination of child labour – governments. quality of child labour and the International Labour education and the reduction in global demand Organisation (ILO) adopted standards to eliminate for cheaply produced products. the elimination it. businesses. They need protection from exploitation and should have the opportunity to grow.

must receive a life expectation” – permit. registered with greater than that of unconstitutional. On the end of the century hours in cotton aged 9-11 to work 8 laws prohibit the Italian state of boys and girls” to voyage they were one fifth of all mills to 12 hours hour days and makes employment of any Venice prohibits work in spinning “locked up under children between per day. of South Carolina. child labour no commodity Labour Commission or other suitable Children may not employed to work “Large numbers from interstate be delivered in representing school. General Secretary of the Millions Club to Prime Minister Andrew Fisher. This has received less than labour under the colony of Virginia destined for the colony 16 are in full acts in 1819. the textile industry. 1396 1630 1659 1800 1802 1833 1839 1911 1916 1918 1919 1926 1933 1937 Dreadnought US President American Labour The Foundation In Ireland. The Childrens and Article 24 of the Society is founded Wilson passes Foundation demands of the International School Attendance Young Persons Act Indian constitution to facilitate the Keating. Centuries of child labour Parliamentary petition reports that child slaves In the early nineteenth Massuchusetts from Ireland. Campaign Resource ≥ /5 Child Labour .1844 act applies only to 3 months schooling in age of 13. Arthur Goldie. hold jobs in any factory or (of boys) can now commerce. Cuba. labour. requiring physical mine or in any be obtained in Supreme Court commerce in Czechoslovakia. the previous year. economic value is declares this act of which children Japan. under16 have the United local education adults because been employed. in America. By the children’s work maximum. children must be employment”. This is it illegal for children child under 15 who the use of child factories in the decks amongst horses” the age of 10 and followed by similar under 9 to work.Owen that the peace Labour Organisation. 14 shall be New South Wales. children reform laws. and 1878. employment. Italy. Poland. These hundred friendless ship departed. Scotland century child workers Ineffective English English Act permits becomes the first City of London is and England were comprise one third parliamentary acts children aged 11-18 American state to requested to locked below deck for of all workers in US to standardise to work 12 hours adopt child labour send over “one two weeks before the factories. Kingdom and the authority and they have a longer United States. Act obliges children (UK) – Children states “no child migration of boys Act banning articles treaty include The ILO Constitution aged 6 to 15 to under 13 may not below the age of from England to produced by provisions that is written by the attend a national be employed. A international Belgium. Working hazardous England and their ruling subsequently the production France.

calls to work showing a fall in through the child labourers the for Admission to agreement on the the Elimination for prohibition. Sorabjee twentieth century Labour provisions them work 80 junk dealers. against child labour. Many of metal to sell to Mr. and 15 are in cinders. campaign starts the number of provision minimum wage. 1848 1860 1866 1870 1878 1900 1904 2008: 218 million children are working instead of going to school.Pennsylvania becomes US census finds the first state 750. woollen mills. (Somalia and the permitted to work in United States of certain occupations America). they sew footballs and t-shirts. children…? hazardous. they fight in wars. an hour. and 18 for work was adopted by the (IPEC) within action for the from 246 million formal child labourers that jeopardises United Nations General the International elimination of to 218 million. India begins. They work in factories and in fields. of the International ratified by 147 best place a new report is eliminated employers to pay the Minimum Age an international Programme for countries. School is the The ILO publishes Child labour Standards requires 138 recommends the Rights of the Child. . children. they mine. Children is ratified by 132 countries but two (ILO). is agreed Labour the worst forms for all 18. education to 16 and over safety and morals. they pick cotton and cocoa. of all children scavangers cotton and aged between 5 gathering trash. labour in the US. of workers to The youngest are twelve years of In England. they dig. Other Bengali’s and an estimated Committee is are made for hour weeks as International Workers occupations are Lord Shaftsbury’s 12% of all textile launched by enforcement domestic servants Congress calls for shoe shining for campaign to end workers in social workers to or proof of the for a half pence international campaign boys and street child labour in Mexico are eliminate child child’s age. Assembly. if the work is The Convention and ratified by all Organisation of child labour. of 14 and 15 are countries. At the turn of the National Child however no work.000 workers to limit the age aged 15 and under. after school. 50% found to be age in the silk. they serve in homes. 1938 1973 1989 1992 1999 2003 2004 2015 Fair Labour ILO’s Convention The Convention on The Formation Convention 182. It employment as rights of children which of Child Labour and immediate child labourers of full time limits the age of 15. rope and Lancashire. sweeping for girls.

“Social norms that accept slavery…. sold his shares in the company just before the prices crashed. Ending slavery It is unthinkable today that such a practice as the The royal connection with the slave trade began slave trade could exist. Philip York. it created and then relied “People should be able to become slaves if they on a large support network of shipping services. finance and insurance companies. the Americas. declared that “individuals brought to England from places where they had been enslaved. slavery still lives today. From the first meeting Attitudes that held slavery in place of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade “Slavery is good for slaves…they really are happier in to the passage of the 1807 Slave Trade Abolition a system where their lives are run by others (ask any Act it took just 20 years. He then became an MP and led a group of pro-slavery parliamentarians and influenced government policy on trade. This led to challenging attitudes that saw people being denied the establishment of the South Sea Company which their humanity based on the colour of their skin.They abolished slavery The slave trade contributed significantly to the commercial and industrial revolutions. Cities such as didn’t they? Liverpool and Amsterdam grew wealthy as a result of the trade in humans. Britain won the right hearts. realise their rights. minds and habits of people who occupied to be the sole supplier of slaves to the Spanish the most powerful positions in society. shipped over 64. The legacy of Company. It also had support at the highest and most powerful levels of society. Ending slavery meant changing the the slave trade and in 1713. it meant colonies in South America for 30 years. He realised that political influence would further his business affairs and so he became Lord Mayor of London. shipping and finance.if ethics is a matter of public opinion then slavery was ethical.000 slaves in 15 years. so too does an important lesson…if slavery can be ended then why • Thomas Guy. It is time to consign child labour to the history books and to allow all children to • In 1729.” (Cultural Slavery was big business Ethical Relativism) Slavery was big business.000 acres of sugar plantations in Jamaica. 2007 marked the 200th anniversary of the Slave Trade Abolition Act in Britain. remained in the state of slavery” • William Beckford. Queen It meant challenging businesses that made huge Anne and George I held a 22. the wealthiest man in England (the Bill Gates/Richard Branson of his day) owned 22.5% share in South Sea profits from the suffering of others. However. and granted the Royal African Company a monopoly on the Middle East. defence. In 1672. the Solicitor General. want to!” ports. the founder of the world famous not child labour? Guy’s Hospital in London. Campaign Resource ≥ /7 Child Labour . Charles II it was alive and well in Europe. prisoner)” In that time the campaign challenged assumptions “Living in slavery is better than starving to death…” that had been embedded over hundreds of years and convinced many thousands of people that not only “Abolishing slavery would be economically was slavery wrong but that they had an obligation to disastrous…” end it. yet just over 200 years ago with Queen Elizabeth 1st.

or to be harmful to their discriminate against the poor and vulnerable health or physical. • It exists because we haven’t done enough to end it. Commission. • It exists because the right of children to full-time education is not respected. Child labour is cheap and in (ILO). Child labour could be occupations. mental. All of these issues must be addressed in any serious attempt to eliminate the scourge of child labour. All forms of child labour are is engaged in wage or non-wage work. (Convention on the Rights unaffordable. They conduct research and publish reports on many cases. There are no excuses for going child – irrespective of whether the child child labour. of the Child. whether employed on a daily or on a eliminated with political will and action. intellectual.’ MV Foundation. Definition of Child Labour: Child Labour is • It exists because the formal education work performed by a child that is likely to interfere systems in some countries are allowed to with his or her education. emotional. cocoa) so they are unable to afford school fees for all of their children. • It exists because the international community whether employed in hazardous or non-hazardous allows it to exist. free.1) • It exists because global demand for cheaply produced goods means that suppliers have to find the cheapest labour force possible The main source of information on child labour and often times. ≥ Section Two Child labour today Defining child labour FAQ 1. • It exists because people accept it and make Child labour encompasses every non-school excuses for it. Why does child labour exist? Child labour is commonly defined as work done by ‘Child labour exits because we allow it to exist. he or she is working for their family or for others.’ children under the age of 18 which is considered to Ms. moral or by making schools inaccessible and social development. • It exists because often times it is ‘invisible’. coffee. spiritual. the issue and have a special department dedicated to the elimination of child labour – the International • It exists because consumers do not care Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour enough about who makes the products they (IPEC). India. Shanta Sinha. • It exists because farmers are not paid a fair price for their crops (cotton. buy as long as they are cheap. Article 32. India . contract basis or as a bonded labourer. Chair of Children’s Rights be damaging to their physical. whether unacceptable. this means children are comes from the International Labour Organisation forced to work. ‘It exists where laws are not enforced and where there is a cultural acceptance of children not in school. • It exists because international legislation and conventions seeking to end child labour have not been taken seriously or enforced. social and spiritual development.

safety and FAQ 4. children • Denial of the rights to education. whether by government and when it contravenes existing laws on the forces or rebel forces. if this work prevents involvement of children as combatants or support a child from receiving a full time formal education workers in armed conflict. is likely to harm the health. this kind of work can distribution end of a larger business helps them learn Children used in Armed Conflict – means the valuable life skills. By working instead of learning.Types of child labour FAQ 2. by its development of children nature or the circumstances in which it is carried • Exploitation of children through force. work with dangerous machinery. • Continuing poverty for individuals. emotional and moral Hazardous Child Labour – “work that.this category includes using images of children involved in real or simulated sex. it Domestic Child Servants – children working in becomes child labour. low out. How does child labour moral well-being. This category does not include harm young people? part-time domestic work done on a commercial basis by children old enough not to be harmed by such • Causes serious damage to children’s health work. This category is different • Because young children around the world from the others in that it refers to the process that are involved in dangerous and physically commercially exploits children. poor working conditions and children. health. In fact. or normal household chores done as a member as a result of violence. group of persons to another for remuneration or any other consideration’. work underground. • Because it makes it difficult for adults to Child Prostitution and Pornography – find employment when employing children is meaning ‘the use of a child in sexual activities for cheaper. damaging work. families underwater. However. injury or disease of their family. the whereby a child is transferred by any person or cycle of poverty is perpetuated. household duties for extended hours at the home of an employer – many of these children are working in slavery or slave-like conditions. let’s be clear: child labour is any labour important to note that this category is different than that prevents a child from receiving a full time the broader category of juvenile crime which includes formal education. many have been trafficked and many risk their health. Why is child labour a Child labour has been categorised into different problem? forms. Helping around the house or cases of children committing criminal acts on their farm. work with hazardous materials. or working in a local shop on weekends own but it does include most cases of children or for a few hours after school during the week selling drugs. Children used for Crime – ‘the use.” Such work is defined to include physical. as they are usually being used as the is not child labour. in particular FAQ 3. Is all child labour harmful? for the production and trafficking of drugs…’ It is No! But. . safety or morals of wages. • Impinges on the social. all forms of child labour are • Because it denies children their most unacceptable. procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities. are denied their right to full-time quality education which is the key to escaping Child Trafficking – meaning ‘any act or transaction poverty. Children prostitution. minimum age and conditions for employment. pornography and drugs-related work. sexual/psychological abuse psychological or sexual abuse. be good for a young person . work with long hours including • Denial of the basic rights of millions of night work. at dangerous heights or in confined and whole communities spaces. basic rights – protection and freedom from exploitation. However. Child labour excludes adults from remuneration or any other form of consideration’ the work force and this creates poverty. regardless of where and how children work. Children in the Worst Forms of Child Labour • Because it means children are at work – Examples of the worst forms of child labour include instead of going to school. leisure time and human development for many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children Campaign Resource ≥ /9 Child Labour .

NIGER Aguie (Sahel Region) Children weed a freshly sown millet field. million million million This is due to the invisible and informal nature of 54% 46% 49% 58 child labour and the fact that many children have million 27% not been registered because they have no birth certificate and they do not appear on any school or employment records.1% 20 41 million 5.4% million million 69% Asian-Pacific Asian-Pacific Agriculture sub-Saharan Africa sub-Saharan Africa Industry Latin America & Caribbean Latin America & Caribbean Services Rest of world Note: while the Asia-Pacific region has the highest number of child labourers. Photo: David Rose/Panos Pictures .7 million 48 9% million 150 million 150 122 18% 22% 49.Where and how Global estimates on child labour 218 million – total number of children working Source: ILO 2006 do children work? age gender While the figure of 218 million child labourers is 52 used in official calculations. the actual number million 121 97 108 24% of children working is probably much higher. the incidence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa. 15 to 17 years Boys 12 years and 15 years Girls Under 12 years Where? incidence WHAT TYPE OF WORK? 5.3 million 26.

Secretary General of the UN (MDG Report 2007) administrative. legislation exists that provide for appropriate regulation of the hours makes the exploitation of children illegal. or to be needed now is ACTION! harmful to the child’s health or physical.” or non-existent and the finances and political will to improve them have not materialised. provide for However. • Article 19: Children will be protected from One of the most effective methods of ensuring that all forms of physical or mental violence. Optional Protocols Some governments and businesses see child Following the ratification of the Convention. International law mental. from exploitation and slavery. it keeps their costs. injury children do not start working too young is to set or abuse. with the exception Child Labour (IPEC). moral or social development. We do not need any new laws. Assembly of the United Nations. • Article 28 & 29: The right to education • Article 31: The right to play Child labour is prohibited by international law and • Article 32: The right of the child to be protected is a breach of many international agreements and from economic exploitation and from performing conventions. There are two ILO Conventions of two. without reservation. Optional Protocol on the sale of children. the ILO has been All countries ratified. is born with. Isn’t child labour illegal? States Parties shall provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment. This declaration child prostitution and child pornography lists the fundamental rights and freedoms that every 18th January 2002 individual. Throughout the world. ‘The world wants no new promises. 1. neglect or negligent treatment. Each country that ratifies this convention agress the minimum age of employment. “States Parties shall take legislative. moral and social development. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Agreed on December 10 1949 by the General 2. The UN Convention on the Rights of the The International Labour Organisation Child (CRC) (ILO) 2nd September 1990 Since its establishment in 1919. should have a set of ILO Convention 138 on the Minimum Age for basic rights and protections that ensure their access Admission to Employment and Work to health care and education as well as legal. all too often. FAQ 6. 150 countries have ratified exploitation and abuse. except 2 (Somalia & USA) responsible for proposing a minimum age for 28 September 1992 – Irish ratification entering employment and in 1992. They 115 countries have ratified include the right to education and the right to be free Has been signed but not been ratified by Ireland. spiritual. and therefore the price for their goods. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict International Declarations and 12th February 2002 112 countries have ratified Conventions relating to child labour 18 November 2002 – Irish ratification with minimum age for recruitment into the Irish armed forces as 17. have signed and agreed to abide by it. maltreatment or exploitation. What is interfere with the child’s education. the age at which children can legally be employed. the ILO set up This convention is the most widely ratified convention the International Programme for the Elimination of and every country in the world.’ Ban Ki-moon. goals any work that is likely to be hazardous or to or conventions on the issue of child labour. the monitoring appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure component of these legal frameworks is weak the effective enforcement of the present article. low. Campaign Resource ≥ 10/11 Child Labour . mental. 22nd June 1978 – Irish ratification with minimum age specified as 16 years. social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of this article. and conditions of employment. spiritual. The relating to child labour: Convention recognises that children. civil 19th June 1976 and social services that protect them from harm. two labour as a way to compete internationally as optional additional ‘protocols’ were added.Child labour and • Article 27: Recognises the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical. as a special and vulnerable group in society.

in the spirit of understanding. spiritual. dialogue. • Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure effective enforcement • Promote the dissemination of information on the hazards of child labour to all sectors of the community. Fact: On ps’ ly 5% of ch • The promotion of the child’s understanding ild labourers industries s work in exp uch a textile of primary health care. world and in the work in agri a high prop • The preservation of national independent culture. hild labou r is only a tolerance. Myth: P arents of The education of the child shall be directed to: child labo regard for urers have • The promotion and development of the child’s Fact: Pa the value little rents do re of educati c o n personality. in “Every child shall be protected from all forms of economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s physical. in a free society. ortion and territorial integration. moral. . to sch g to going • The preservation and strengthening of positive Fact: In th ool e overwhe African morals. This convention helped to focus the international spotlight on the need for urgent action to eliminate the worst forms Child la of child labour as a priority. mental. mutual respect and the develo problem in Fact: 1% ping world friendship among all peoples ethnic. 69%. minimum wages for admission to every employment. Myth: M ost child la • The development of respect for the bourers w ‘sweatsho ork in environment and natural resources. keepin orkforce an g a d ults the right to dd November 1999 education w enying children Article 11 Education: them to bre hich would ak the cycle allow Every child shall have the right to an education.ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour 19th November 2000 – came into force 165 countries have ratified 20th December 1999 – Irish ratification Following comprehensive research into the issue. without losing the bour my long-term goal of the effective elimination of ths all child labour. This article covers both the formal and informal sectors of employment…” • Provide through legislation. of poverty. the ILO concluded that it was necessary to strengthen existing conventions on child labour. • Fostering respect for human rights and Myth: C hildren pre fer workin fundamental freedoms. The highes manufacturi ort t proportion ng. tribal and of child lab developed ourers work religious groups. • Provide for appropriate regulation of hours and conditions of employment. al educatio n. work Article 15: Child Labour . children pre lming majority of case fer school to s • The preparation of the child for responsible life Myth: C work. or social development. traditional values and cultures. Myth: Poverty ca uses child prevents a labour an Fact: Ch child from d ild labour c going to s African Charter on the Rights and Welfare auses pove chool children in rty by keep low paid w ing of the Child out of the w ork. agriculture . talents and mental and physical value of form ognise the power and abilities to their fullest potential.

’ Sultana. There is little point in removing adults out of the workforce. Put simply. instead of poverty causing child generated by their children should be supported labour it is. As IPEC notes ‘it is the policy choices made by Thailand. Child labour cannot be tackled as a family issue only. are available to them…adults. a cultural issue. Parents. it also believes that if child should all be involved in providing the necessary labour is not eliminated. Child labour is not a product of poverty alone and poverty does not automatically create families to survive? child labour. adults did. organisations and individuals argue a human rights issue. India Campaign Resource ≥ 12/13 Child Labour . Child labour in not a ‘necessary evil’. it is the school system itself that keeps vulnerable and marginalised children from attending The argument that child labour is a ‘necessary evil’ or school by burdening parents with unaffordable fees. an ‘unavoidable by-product’ of poverty is unfair and does a great disservice to the 218 million children around the world who are denied their rights. but nobody asks the parents education and with it child labour elimination’ of a middle class child why they are sending their (IPEC 2006) children to school. The ‘Stop Child Labour Campaign’ does not think employers. 1998 governments rather then poverty levels alone that explain why certain countries have managed to reach ‘People believe there are many reasons why children a critical threshold in achieving universal primary are better off working.’ MV Foundation. and Some groups. Child eliminated. poverty will always exist. teachers. 14 February. ‘Only 5% of families that have working children Statistics show that huge numbers of children from depend on their wages. government officials. we must recognise the role When children are no longer available for work. the other way around – child and provision for the education of these children labour causes and perpetuates poverty – by keeping should be made. Families that depend on the income In many cases. governments. so we are working to get impoverished and disadvantaged backgrounds go the other 95% of families to send their children to school and in many cases. It’s a double standard – every child. poverty. parents make huge to school. child labour that child labour is a ‘necessary evil’ and that child should not exist and no excuses should be made labour will only be eliminated if and when poverty is for it.Child labour and poverty FAQ 5.’ MV Foundation. governments must ‘Child labour and poverty are inevitably bound redouble their efforts to eliminate it and ensure that together and if you continue to use the labour of all children. in fact. India sacrifices to enrol their children in full-time education. a twelve-year garment factory worker from Bangladesh. rich or poor must be allowed their right to full-time formal education. in every country attend full-time formal children as the treatment for the social disease of education.984 child labourers under any circumstances and they should not be in Ireland? condemned to a life of poverty and lost opportunity. this is the case. you will have both poverty and child labour to the end of time’ Grace Abbott (Childrens’ rights advocate) ‘Why do we have to pay the price of poverty? We didn’t create poverty. While we accept that poverty can police and other community representatives force children into work. a child from work for them to be replaced by another child. it is a societal issue. Rather than merely blaming poverty as the cause of child labour. Often times. Isn’t child labour The link between child labour and poverty is not necessary for poor inevitable. Instead of accepting child labour. labour is not just an issue for poor families. We should not accept the exploitation of children Would we accept 67. social systems. it is something that affects us all. conditions to ensure that children do not have to work. culture and tradition employers have no choice but to hire those who play in allowing children to work.

compulsory education and a support system for poor families Children attend full-time Family can afford to send quality education until the their children to school age of 15 One or both Alternative cycle: parents continue to These young adults work Child labour is unacceptable enter the workforce with skills and are paid well Their employment generates enough income to support themselves and help their own Girls marry later and parents when necessary have children . they remain in low-paying (and often dangerous) work Poor family without resources to send children to school. A family living in poverty cannot afford to send their children to school They lose their job to younger Children are employees and there are forced to work fewer opportunities for adult employment Cycle: Child labour perpetuating poverty Child labour is accepted Now they have a as a ‘necessary evil’ number of children to support with little Children receive little income or no education Girls marry young and have children Children grow up and without basic skills and education. Government of that country has a programme of free.

Photo: Jenny Matthews/Panos Pictures 14/15 .PAKISTAN Dir Community based school set up by NGO Khwendo Kor. an organisation working to empower women and children in Pakistan’s deeply conservative North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Elementary education shall be compulsory…” and Article 28 of Education for All goals (EFA) the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises The six goals are: “the right of children to education. ≥ Section Three Child labour and education Introduction At the World Education Forum in Dakar April 2000. Basic education is a human acceptable quality right and yet. and with a view 1 by 2015 all children of primary school age to achieving this right progressively and on the basis will have access to free schooling of of equal opportunity”. • 58 countries. reach the education goals by 2015. there are millions of out-of-school children around the world today. elementary and fundamental stages. at least in the to achieve 6 education goals. UNESCO Education for All monitoring report 2003/4 • Education programmes are not reaching poor. quality. Many are children 2 gender disparities in education will be from vulnerable and marginalised communities. will be improved Children who are forced to work instead of learn are consigned to a life of poverty and vulnerability.’ of primary school in sub-Saharan Africa. will be expanded As Irish Aid note in their White Paper on Aid 5 learning opportunities for young people (2006) “Education is the primary vehicle by which and adults will be greatly increased economically and socially marginalised adults 6 all aspects of education quality and children can lift themselves out of poverty”. global military expenditure. from it in these ways. disadvantaged and marginalised children. Education shall be free. It is also in the fundamental • Poor education quality is still a major concern. eliminated by 2005 the majority of whom are girls. are moving away from achieving the ‘Education is a torch that can help to guide and EFA goals. progress Less than 63% of pupils reached the last grade with economic and social development depends on it. quality 4 early childhood care and education education. “Watoto Shuleni wala sio Kazini” (Swahili: “child out of work into school”) . Child labour denies 3 levels of adult illiteracy will be halved children their right to a full-time. formal. Our Despite efforts from national and international international ambitions to eliminate poverty will never groups. stay in school and receive the education that is rightfully theirs. illuminate the lives of those children currently excluded from access to education. basic education would cost around • The world will need 18 million new primary $10 billion a year which is the same as 4 days teachers by 2015 to achieve EFA. interests of society to see that this happens. According to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration 185 governments endorsed of Human Rights. it is clear that the world is not on target to be met if these children do not return to school. Free. representing 30% of the world’s population. “Everyone has the right to the Dakar Framework for Action education. Education is the • Girls still account for 60% of out of school acknowledged responsibility of all governments to children and gender parity targets will be missed ensure that everyone is given the chance to benefit by 90 countries in 2015.

just and sustainable world.Child labour and the Focus on Goal number 2 – Education for All Target 1: Ensure that. by 2015. other diseases conflict situations. teaching material and Goal 5: Improve maternal health toilets. (UN MDG Report 2007) governments committed to realising 8 promises. • The highest net enrolment rate is seen in Latin America and the Caribbean where the figure The 8 goals are: stands at 97%. this means that poor girls from rural areas women and children from abject and dehumanising are least likely. and say that no effort was spared?’ Meeting the Challenges of a Changing World UN. these are also the most likely the nature of the global trust at stake and the danger group to drop out of school. The target date 57% in 1990 to 70% in 2005 and in developing for the achievement of these goals – including the regions as a whole. there has been some progress towards the attainment of this goal but there is still a At a meeting of the UN in 2000. conditions and extreme poverty” We must recognise Even when enrolled. same period. If these figures were included. net enrolment currently stands Ban Ki-moon. that many developing countries’ hopes could be irredeemably pierced if even the greatest anti-poverty movement in history is insufficient to break from ‘business as usual’. in many cases. the global estimates would be less optimistic. there has not been a corresponding increase of investment Goal 4: Reduce child mortality î in infrastructure and many schools are struggling to provide adequate resources and facilities such as teachers. These 8 promises – or goals – set targets for the For example: international community on progress towards a more • Net enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa rose from equal. will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Goal 7: Ensure environmental P sustainability The UN also notes that girls and children from poor rural families are least likely to attend school: Goal 8: Develop a global ˚ partnership for development • 31% of children of school going age in rural areas are out of school (compared to 18% for urban areas) • 37% of children in the poorest 20% of the ‘In the Millennium Declaration of 2000. especially girls. classrooms. all of the world’s long way to go. in 2015. world leaders population are out of school (compared to 12% set forth a new vision for humanity…they committed for the richest 20%) themselves “to spare no effort to free our fellow men. • Overall. Goal 1: Eradicate extreme ‰ poverty and hunger While these figures look promising. children everywhere. it is important to note that they do not give us any indication of Goal 2: Achieve universal ® primary education how long children stay in school after they enrol or the quality of education that they receive when they are there. from attending school. from 80% to 88% during the education goals – is 2015. In some cases. children are enrolled but Goal 3: Promote gender equality never actually attend school. ‘The MDGs are achievable if we act now. Although the enrolment Å and empower women numbers are increasing. to attend school. The lack of these basics often discourages children. Secretary General of the UN (MDG Report 2007) at 90% while in Eastern Asia it is 95%. Goals (MDGs) According to the UN. books. of all groups. It is also important to note that these figures do not Goal 6: Combat HIV & AIDS incorporate data from countries in conflict or post- . 2006 Campaign Resource ≥ 16/17 Child Labour .’ • In Southern Asia. Are we on course to look back. Millennium Development boys and girls alike.

7. Reduce Child Mortality Children are involved in dangerous and hazardous work. Goal Child Labour…. Environment Dangerous work. Child Labour has an school going age are not in school at all. P Unsustainable industrial and agricultural practices involving children. Global Partnership Government. How can the world move into the twenty-first century with children still being exploited for their Furthermore. Free. Education Denies children their right to education. Poverty Causes and perpetuates poverty. In impact on progress towards achieving all 8 of many cases. most vulnerable and marginalised groups in these countries – those that are in most ‘Child labour is an issue of grave importance. Demand for cheaply produced products and unfair trade rules create demand for cheap labour which often involves children. compulsory. ® 3. ‰ 2. the While the second millennium development goal figures indicate that 30% of children of primary relates directly to Education. of the poorest. . 8. parents or to look after siblings. consumers and citizens – their inaction and apathy sustain child labour around the ˚ world. these children will come from some the goals. 6. It must need of the education that will give them access to become a top priority for all governments of the opportunities to break free from the cycle of poverty.Looking at sub-Saharan Africa in more detail. Reduce maternal Mortality Physical effects of working when young. according to the ILO. Gender Equality Both girls and boys are involved in child labour but young Å girls are disproportionately affected. quality education to the age of 15 is crucial in the elimination of child labour. business. HIV & AIDS Children are forced to drop out of school to tend to sick . world. î 5. 4. 1. sub-Saharan labour and denied their basic right to an education?’ Africa has the highest incidence of child labour so Craig Kielburger (Childrens’ rights campaigner) the link between child labour and education becomes strikingly apparent. Many work to provide for their families. With education less women marry early or become pregnant at a young age.

This school has 985 students. but many struggle to pay this. Photo: Dieter Telemans/Panos Pictures 18/19 . up to $3 per trimester. but only 17 teachers. The parents have to pay school fees for their children.RWANDA Butamwa Children in a classroom at the Public Primary School of Butamwa.


of the world’s 3. Any justification perpetuating the existence of and guarantees that all children will have access child labour must be condemned. action.From work to school – bridging the gap The MV Foundation The Foundation’s principles ‘Child labour exists because we allow it to exist’ ‘Making education a reality for every child’ The MV Foundation provides an alternative to many The Mammipuddi Venkatarangaiya Foundation (MVF) current views on the link between child labour and is a Concern partner based in the state of Andhra education. All labour is hazardous and harms the overall working children are in India. Any child out of school is a child labourer. The MV ‘non-negotiables’ painted on the wall of a school. 39 and 45) 5. Constitution’s prohibition on the employment of children under 14 years (Articles 24. the MV Foundation seeks to remove all These principles guide the Foundation’s work and barriers to ensure that every child goes to school and clearly outline its approach. (between 70 and 80 million). All arguments in support of child labour are anti- child and are contrary to the values of real human development. 6. in school. There must be total abolition of child labour. Campaign Resource ≥ 20/21 Child Labour . stays in school. Photo: Lizzy Noone/Concern (2004) Photo: Lizzy Noone/Concern (2004) The MVF also challenges the myth that children should not return to school until the quality of education improves. in the world. the MVF argues developed an innovative and successful approach that it is social norms that allow it to continue and to dealing with the issue of child labour which is that these norms must be challenged if child labour based on a firm conviction that all children must be is to be eliminated. 1. MV Foundation community participation initiative. This reality continues despite the Indian 4. It recognises the inextricable link between universal education and the abolition of all forms The organisation’s approach is captured in its of child labour. It is now estimated that one third. to free and compulsory education. While many groups argue that poverty is Pradesh in southern India. Child labour in India India has the largest number of children working 2. With community participation and Charter of Basic Principles (or ‘non-negotiables’). The Foundation has the main determinant of child labour. It argues that improvements in the quality of education will only come after children return to school because the community will campaign more effectively for better schooling when their own children are there. All children must attend full-time formal day schools. growth and development of the child.

with this right. Public awareness is raised through • There has been a positive change in employer’s rallies. they could do for • 3. In attitudes to child labour. involvement and the support of 8. • There has been an increase in wages for women. they can Course Camps. These step-by-step approaches ensure that • The bargaining power of rural labourers has been parents.mvfindia. poor and vulnerable parents are willing better future for their children through education.000 villages. The Foundation also acknowledges that the co-operation The experience of the MV Foundation clearly of parents is vital and recognises that parents.000 essence of any program to eliminate child labour is.000 education activists have been mobilised is most appropriate for their age. enrol in the formal education system in the class that • 3. The MV Foundation enlists the support of every sector of society and it relies on the involvement and • There has been an increase in demand for adult support of the local community in every village where labour and. it operates. its approach and work. system. former child labourers are now in school. become ‘child labour free villages’. after successfully removing 50 children from bonded labour and enabling them to The MV Foundation’s activities focus on the attend school.000 villages in the Ranga Reddy district have When child labourers are withdrawn from work. to create a norm within communities that no child should work and that all children should be • The programme is being implemented in more in formal schools.000 CRPF members throughout Andhra Pradesh. even demonstrates that given the opportunity and support poor parents.500 villages. The purpose of these schools is to allow children to catch-up on the • . they are enrolled in ‘bridge schools’. are motivated strongly to provide a they need.000 youth This also allows MV volunteers to demonstrate to volunteers. public meetings and poster campaigns.500 parents and employers that if they can do without teachers. This time also facilitates discussions on the committees supporting the Foundation’s work. Even though parents were not given any Rights Protection Forums (CRPF) where supporters incentives or subsidies. value of education. than 6. youth volunteers work directly with families of girls and bonded labourers and with child labourers themselves. own communities. covering 137 villages in 11 districts of Andhra Pradesh. According to the Foundation.000 school education and local government longer. Bridging schools and camps • 1. to withdraw their children from work and enrol them The Foundation has established a number of Child in school. Resulting in: prepares them to enrol in the formal education • The withdrawal of children from the labour market. value of allowing children to go to school instead of work. the MV Foundation has continued to twin tasks of the abolition of child labour and expand: the strengthening of schools. children’s help for three days. These short camps prepare children for longer 3 month camps which in turn. 500 women’s group and 1. • Conditions and wages for contract labourers Community activities have improved. first of all. By June 2006. For more information on the MV Foundation. the • Due to the Foundation’s activities. employers and communities can see the increased. please visit www. to liberate children.000 child labourers have gone to Bridge education they have missed and after this. there were 25. The Foundation also organises monthly 3-day camps • The Foundation relies on strong community to encourage children to slowly withdraw from work. their role as education activists. over 400.The Foundation’s approach MV Foundation in numbers ‘No child is free until all children are free’ Founded in 1991. they still want their children can come together and advocate for change in their to realise their right to education. The MVF believes that every child has a right to a childhood and an opportunity to develop to his/her full potential and • The MV Foundation is currently working in that every form of work done by a child interferes 2.

Sh e oft en ha d to work all night in the r to pay off her fathe r’s de pers in a small to a biscuit factory owne en t six ye ars of his life making plastic slip elve-year-old Males h sp m dawn to dusk complete rush orders. They are all eager to learn and all of them are definite about never wanting to work in a factory again. Shashikala’s story Shashikala was 1 when her father died. . She earned 15-20 rupees per day depending on how fast she worked. Shashikala began to work in a biscuit factory in the Kattedan Industrial Area outside Hyderbad. who had preciously looked after buffaloes and Mamta. Sa rith a. The on sh. instead of them. year-old brother – bond away from his employe pla y’ wa s en ou gh to make his brother run meals a day and tim e to ld. e for a loan. a twelve-year-o undation camps has factory. His wo rking day used to last from the a bonded labourer from d taking the cattle out been herding cattle as sw ee pin g the yar d. His ed him to a landlord in exchang ted to the cit y – ha d bo nd do with rice left over His parents – who migra nig ht – in the morning he had to make with one warm me al at all body shows the employer provided him res ide nti al camp Keshavallu’s sm en after six mo nth s in the being prepared to enrol from the night before. e. While others her age were starting school. Thanks to the intervention of the MV Foundation. she cannot bear the smell of biscuits. tless child ly difference is that Kesh This is the story of coun exp loi tative conditions. their families. to Every child in the MV Fo bt. Ev pp y in the camp. and often in Ra ng a Reddy distric ny others like the m in the on. have been ha zar do us an d t of An dh ra Pra de pay. The simple ed to another lan r. would look after the family. Through the efforts Malesh. Saritha. He recently student. 2003) School . Shaskikala left the factory and is now preparing for her Standard VII exams at a residential school for girls. Children attending a MF Foundation programme. Tw ar. Now. The MV Foundation logo painted on the wall of a school. He sa ys he wil l ne enticement of ‘three in school as a full-time do wn er – to joi n him in the camp. Other former child labourers attend the school too – Lalitha. thi s vo luntarily and without the Th ey ha ve do ne school system. was bonded a sim ilar sto ry to tel l. UN DP India. Eight-ye factory – he now owns le for the last two years. and ma ild ho od and their right to educati l ance to rec laim the ir ch instead to join the forma lucky enough to get a ch ren ha ve op ted ou t of work and have chosen inc en tive s to these child promise of cash or other of the MV Foundation.MV Foundation en out of Work and into (Source: Getting Childr Campaign Resource ≥ 22/23 Child Labour . an orphaned 12-year old factory worker. where he is and hard labou r. work long hours for litt ren ac ros s Ind ia wh o start work at an early ag ava llu. Bu t he is ha encouraged his eleven- ravages of malnutrition ve r go ba ck to work. Photos: Lizzy Noone/Concern (2004) Keshavallu’s story dation – had in the res ide nti al ca mps run by the MV Foun llu – one of many children sunrise to Seven-year-old Keshava ag e of five . Sakuna. Her older sister was forced by her extended family to skip school and earn money so that she. old Sa ku na ha d be en plucking flowers fro his first pair. cle aning the cattle-shed an luded sunset and his duties inc to graze.

unacceptable. this type of education is completely development. these are. orphans. Before the beginning of the civil war Our education programmes. Thousands of pupils have and children who are either infected or affected by been displaced. specifically target children of primary school going Nowadays the figure has risen to just over 60%. Keeping children out of work and in school… Concern believes that the problem of child labour must be addressed through the provision of full time Catch Up Classes in Burundi formal education for all children. stay in The current state of the education system has school (by receiving a quality education) been described by the Minister of Education as “catastrophic”. There is a lack of funds and education system. books. the poorest families and include the landless. children of The quantity of teachers has decreased as well as pastoralist (nomad) or migrant families. It is a necessary precondition Adaptability: is the school year flexible enough to to tackling poverty and is essential for sustainable accommodate student and family needs? development. formal education instability and conflict. however some international Just as education here has helped provide a qualified agencies attempt to make sense of them by and highly skilled workforce here. so too. drop out (or are pulled out) before attaining four years of primary education. During the conflict that figure fell to 30%. They are children who come from an unequal geographical spread of services. two thirds or with direct foreign investment into the country in of these are girls. too may bear the fruits of personal and economic For Concern. 2) Ensure that those who are in school. regardless of gender. what language will the student be social and economic barriers in society and taught in. To do this we have Burundi is one of the poorest (it is ranked 167 out to focus on two key tasks: of 177 in the Human Development Index of 2007) and most densely populated countries in the world. children of minority groups. Concern explaining that many child labourers receive ‘one believes. with physical. 1) Get children who are now ‘out of school’ During the last 30 years Burundi has suffered from enrolled in fulltime. class. currently running in 15 70% of children in Burundi were enrolled in primary countries throughout Africa. primary school enrolment rates are half those of urban areas. as nearly 60% of respected and gender inequality in relation to access them are excluded from education and many more to education needs to be addressed. teachers. . and should be Availability: is there school buildings. space? ethnicity or location. glance these two figures seem to be at complete odds with each other. In particular Concern’s education been destroyed.Concern and Child Labour Out-of-school children In many rural areas. available to everyone. the quality of teaching. and 25% of school buildings have HIV and AIDS. Attendance figures It has been said that Ireland’s Celtic Tiger began not further suggest that as many as 72 million children with the joining of the EEC (now EU) in the 1970’s worldwide do not attend school regularly. Accessibility: how far will a student have to travel Education has a powerful impact in addressing to get to school. not a privilege. At first secondary school act in the 1960’s. ‘Education is not just a way of escaping poverty it is a The four A’s: To ensure that the right of every child way of fighting it. Acceptability: does the education that students receive meet quality standards? Education is positively linked to other economic and welfare benefits. Education is a right. Girls with disabilities Meeting the basic right to education not only are up to ten times more likely to be excluded from requires repairs to educational infrastructure but school than for the population as a whole and it also a major expansion of capacity and a change in is estimated that fewer than 5 percent of children people’s behaviours. The right to education is not fully programmes reach out to girls. It is also estimated that there are the 1980’s but with the passing of the compulsory over 218 million child labourers in our world. or sensory impairment in developing countries are reaching the goal of primary school completion. should children in the developing world be or two’ hours of education each day either at work afforded their right to education in order that they or in the evening after their day of toil is complete. cognitive. child labourers. age (6-14 years) from marginalised and vulnerable Problems faced by the education system prior to the communities who are excluded from the formal conflict have worsened.’ Julius Nyere to full time formal education is being met four key elements must be in place. Asia and the Caribbean schools. are there school fees? is central in building human capacity and empowering people.

it arrests development and creates poor quality of life for communities and society as a whole. brightest • Low salaries so they need Most. so drop-out as flooding or illness in the family. This not • Buildings destroyed only benefits the teacher but also helps to lessen the • Teachers won’t work in chance that the child will drop out of school before some areas mastering essential learning and basic skills. In other support. Infrastructure • Not enough schools: and Schools too far away equipment • Not enough classrooms in Working to get children into school established schools in Bangladesh • Inferior quality and shortage of Most households with out-of-school children are school materials and resources extremely poor. In a sample of 30 households. etc. Teachers not • Turn up late motivated • Classes too large so they None of the parents from these households had can’t help children/ only help received any formal education at all. that causes poverty in that it depresses wages. beating. The volunteers formal school system at the grade most appropriate become trainers themselves after 3 years. It is child labour underperforming students. When a family Attitudes • Delinquency of students member is in need of medicine. chairs. over • Lack of basic furniture such as half had incomes of less than 2. former secretary of MV Foundation Campaign Resource ≥ 24/25 Child Labour . or to borrow relevant money (normally at exorbitant interest rates). especially nowhere else to turn. it was the parents’ decision. The decision to leave school was sometimes the child’s decision due Poverty: • Fees too high to humiliation. of these children were enrolled in a second job to support school after the age of six and attended school for themselves one or two years before leaving. facilities (or none at all) household wages sometimes exceeded this. 1.’ Shanta Sinha.000 taka (23 Euros) desk.To address these issues Concern established These volunteers are trained and guided in effective ‘catch up’ classes aimed at encouraging ‘out of teaching techniques to assist the classroom teaching school children’ to enrol in an accelerated learning as well as support sessions with the poorest children programme which would enable them to return to the and mothers before and after school. no encouragement. They have • Lack of role-models. cases. no income Hunger • Malnutrition The well-being of the poorest households varies • No food at lunch time according to the season due to the availability • Lack of food means children of work and the presence of other factors such can’t concentrate.people say that it is caused by poverty. blackboards per month during the months they found work at • Poor water and sanitation all. The School Management committees are ‘There are so many myths about the causes of child supported to identify youth and mothers in the labour…. if they • Children refuse to go and can. but not all. pens.197 pupils completed the catch up Keeping a child in school… classes and another 867 children were supported reasons given for dropping out of school: to return to school through outreach work without attending the catch-up classes. Where there were 3 or more income-earners. or inability to understand the School costs • Uniforms schoolwork. parents could simply not afford school fees. to their age. They see • Illness of parents their children as valuable potential income-earners • Many children are orphans/ and were not convinced that going to school would unaccompanied who have no help their children to secure a better job. • Protracted illness/malaria In other cases. • Books. Concern War • Displaced populations works with teachers to help them provide as • Security high a quality an education as possible. In times of extreme stress. they depend upon parents can’t force them their own family – brothers or parents. By 2007. for girls Once a child is enrolled in school. it is necessary for • Parents do not value education these households to sell their duck or chicken (if they or see school as important/ have one) in exchange for medicine. We community to assist in working with the poorest and believe it is the other way around.

January 2007 At the East African Conference on Child Labour in January 2007. they do so only out of school hours and parents are now ensuring that school is the biggest priority for their children. Open air debates and discussions were held on the meaning of child labour. The community as a whole responded so well to this project that there are now 310 more children attending the local school. Photo: Lo uise Finan Thika Declaration on Child Labour. N khotakota dist g in o Photo: R Malawi. choo hoo back in s hwapu sc ddition a l children g h c lassrooms. depresses adult wages and undermines labour standards and productivity.will strive to promote respect for child rights and freedom from child labour” . With assistance from Concern and the Ministry of Social Welfare. workshops and developed songs and poems which brought to life many of these issues which had not been recognised previously by the community. liberation of children from labour paves way for socio-economic development that includes the poor and marginalised” The declaration also acknowledges the role that everyone must play in the elimination of child labour “Every individual and every organ of society…. Drama groups held plays. teachers and parents on the rights of the child as set out in the Malawian constitution. More teachers are needed as are extra classrooms. to eliminate one of the most serious problems facing the community there – child labour in the fishing industry. Many children work in the fields or in the fishing industry. Uganda and Somalia adopted the “East Africa Regional Declaration on Abolition of all forms of Child Labour and upholding Children’s right to Education”. While many children still take part in fishing activities. It also acknowledged children’s right to education. child protection and the importance of education.Child labour on the lake shore of Malawi Malawi is ranked as one of the 10 poorest countries in the world where the majority of people rely on small scale farming or fishing to provide food and income for their families. guaranteeing that the lessons learnt regarding human rights and child labour are put to good use. Concern has been working with a Community Based Organisation called Khwapu. it has also encouraged the community to lobby their local government departments to provide the necessary resources needed to house these extra students. organised by the Stop Child Labour Campaign. Khwapu conducted training with community and spiritual leaders. 2008 rict . the declaration also noted that “child labour perpetuates poverty. Importantly. K The a ot enou Children and fis ere are n bo hermen haulin tree as th dwe ll Kanyim fishing nets. and this is the next challenge that Khwapu is undertaking. NGOs from Kenya. This declaration acknowledged the fundamental rights of children and called for the abolition of all forms of child labour. a ht under l now being taug l. 2008. This project has not only been successful in terms of getting children into formal education. based along Malawi’s central lake shore.

trade and investment are essential pillars environment or on a global scale. In essence. commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving Despite some recent high profile examples of the quality of life of the workforce and their families companies using children in the manufacture as well as of the local community and society of their products there is a growing awareness at large. we are also eliminating their labour from the informal sector. The problem is monitoring their implementation.’ Henry Ford term stakeholder. particular. 2006 What is Corporate Social Given today’s concerns about the impact of Responsibility (CSR)? globalisation on the developing world.’ The term CSR came in to common use in the early ‘A company that makes profit and little else is not 1970s although it was seldom abbreviated. if it is to be taken of their supply chain. not all business behave in an irresponsible While there are many legal requirements that manner but debates about the role of large regulate the ways in which corporations operate.’ Georg Klan. corporations in relation to issues such as human CSR measures are voluntary actions that are taken rights. environmental stewardship and corporate over and above these proscribed by law. Director of UN Global Compact. Companies have a significant role to play in ensuring Businesses should not seek to gain a competitive that all labour standards are respected and in advantage by exploiting people or the planet. was used from the for commerce and peace. Of course. labour practices and environmental degradation. ‘We must ensure that while eliminating child labour in the export industry. which is more invisible to public scrutiny and thus leaves the children more open to abuse and exploitation’ Carol Bellamy (Former Executive Director of UNICEF) Campaign Resource ≥ 26/27 Child Labour . must move beyond charitable donations and tokenism.’ Carol Bellamy ‘Responsible business is our best hope for delivering (Former Executive Director of UNICEF) broad-based development and creating sustainable markets. seriously. The much of a company. in recent times late 1980s to highlight the impact of a corporation some businesses have been linked to exploitative beyond its shareholders. that no child labour is used in any part Corporate social responsibility. citizenship are widespread and are a crucial component in any discussion on child labour and the development of strategies to eliminate it. not how they Corporate Social spend it.” that ‘corporate citizenship’ is good for business. meaning those impacted by an organization’s activities whether in the immediate Business. However. more and A widely quoted definition by the World Business more companies have recognised that they must Council for Sustainable Development states that operate responsibly and work to uphold international “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing agreements on human rights and the environment. it is about how businesses make their money. Responsibility ‘CSR is good for business and good for society. ≥ Section Four Big business and child labour Introduction ‘Some companies now have their own codes of conduct against the use of child labour.

employers. They must them of your company’s action plan against child also develop policies that actively target the labour. They can create demand for adjust other elements of your company’s sourcing child-labour free goods and continue to ask policy with a view to implementing your company’s retailers for a guarantee that the products they ‘no child labour’ policy. Make sure that children aged 14 or 15 to 18 European Union and the Irish Government) must are allowed to work according to international continue to increase funding for basic education or national agreements on hazardous dangerous in developing countries and support initiatives work. establish facilities such as crèches In brief: and day-care centres for employees. 13. Consumers can 12. attempt to eliminate child labour: businesses. They can learn about the issue of child 11. parents and local and/or national governments. Make a special effort to address the specific • Awareness raising around the issue challenges faced by children from discriminated • Law enforcement to back up existing and marginalised groups so that they can make legislation the transition from work to school. 1.FAQ 7. Governments and Donors (such as the 5. or of everything they buy and curtail the global offer them alternative suitable employment. We all have a role to play recommendations to businesses to assist them in their – governments. Ensure that any children currently employed at any education to all children is the key to eliminating stage in the supply chain are transferred to full-time child labour. What can be done Stop Child Labour Campaign about child labour? and CSR recommendations Eliminating child labour is within our reach The Stop Child Labour campaign have developed 15 and it can happen. corporations must enforce core labour transparent policy and practice. a robust monitoring system. Ensure that company policy is based on own country [Canada] and other countries international conventions and complies with made it clear that child labour is both illegal and national and local legislation. Whenever possible. into the incidence and type of child labour in • All industries. Collaborate with other sectors of society – trade Development Assistance. work is needed. • Labour inspection to monitor work-places 9. ‘What this is all about is political will. monitoring and verification. Involve your own staff and your suppliers: inform classroom – and keep them there. education. where they shop. organisations must ensure that they are not 14. the provision of 4.’ 3. 8. code of conduct that all forms of child labour are unacceptable. to ensure that The International Labour Organisation former child labourers return to school and stay (ILO) has identified 6 areas in which additional in school. If our 2. unions. elimination of child labour as part of their Official 7. transfer the jobs done by demand total transparency in the supply chains children to their parents or other close relatives. Make it explicit in contracts with your supplier(s) Craig Kielburger that child labour will not be tolerated at any point Put simply: if children are in full-time education. to help them • All government and international keep their young children out of work. teacher unions. they are not working. Participate in efforts to combat child labour in industries where child labour is common through multi-stakeholder initiatives and where appropriate. Plan and implement pro-active investigations engaged in or perpetuating child labour. • Co-operation with international initiatives 10. communities and you. Efforts to eliminate child labour must comply with the ILO’s recommendations on fundamental labour Consumers around the world can also take standards and other agreed workers’ rights. unacceptable. trade unions. supply of cheaply produced products. then this problem wouldn’t exist. community and faith-based organisations. action. join an ‘International Framework Agreement’ with one of the sectoral global unions. and involve those • Consumers everywhere should ‘look behind directly concerned and/or affected. If necessary. communities. teachers. the label’ of all the products they buy. Make explicit in your company’s formal policy or parents. international organisations. . Therefore. 15. that aim to get out-of-school children back to the 6. Where feasible. third-party standards. sell are not made by children. along the supply chain. NGOs. Pay a price to suppliers that enable them to avoid labour and then make informed decisions about child labour and hire adults instead. Verify the authenticity of age certificates and and whole industries • Support to education in developing countries advocate for the establishment of reliable birth • Direct support to children and their families registration systems. business and multinational your supply-chain.

It does not “police”. 28/21 28/28 28/29 Campaign Resource ≥ Child Labour . the enjoy the same human rights as adults. labour and civil society to initiate These rights include protection from economic and share substantive action in pursuing the exploitation and work that may be dangerous to principles upon which the Global Compact is their health or morals and that may hinder their based. the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative. It is a framework for businesses that are Principle 8: Undertake initiatives to promote greater committed to aligning their operations and environmental responsibility strategies with ten universally accepted principles Principle 9: Encourage the development and in the areas of human rights. of knowledge. of association and the effective recognition of the labour. enforce or measure the Global Compact advises: “Although children behavior or actions of companies.   The global compact. but they are specifically addressed to child losing his or her educational opportunities. experience and power means that transparency and the enlightened self-interest they also have distinct rights by virtue of their age. the private sector – in partnership with other respect of employment and occupation. when several dozen Human Rights business leaders came together at UN Headquarters Principle 1: Businesses should support and to join an international initiative that would bring respect the protection of internationally proclaimed companies together with UN agencies. human rights abuses. Environment Principle 7: Businesses should support a What is the global compact? precautionary approach to environmental challenges 1. 2. Through the power of collective and compulsory labour action. is the UN framework for Labour Standards businesses that are committed to aligning their Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom operations and strategies in the area of human rights. Over right to collective bargaining 4. their lack Global Compact relies on public accountability.000 organisations from 116 countries around the world have subscribed to the Global Compact and Principle 4: The elimination of all forms of forced its 10 principles.  partners in support of the UN Global Compact goals. labour human rights and civil society to advance universal social and Principle 2: Make sure that they are not complicit in environmental principles.The Global Compact The Ten Global Compact Principles The Global Compact was launched by the United Nations on 26 July 2000. the environment and anti-corruption. development…” 4. In this Principle 6: The elimination of discrimination in way. Global Compact on child labour In elaborating on Principle 5 (quoted above) the 3. diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. including extortion b. social actors – can realise the UN’s vision of a more sustainable and inclusive global economy. of companies. Its principles are based on UN declarations that have been agreed by government heads from “Employers should not use child labour in ways around the world and as such the principles are that are socially unacceptable and that lead to a not new. Facilitate cooperation among business and bribery. the Compact seeks to advance responsible Principle 5: The effective abolition of child labour corporate citizenship so businesses can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalisation. Mainstream the ten principles in business Principle 10: Businesses should work against activities around the world corruption in all its forms.    the environment and anti-corruption. labour. It is a purely voluntary initiative with two Anti-Corruption objectives: a.” business leaders in order that they may fulfil their duty as good “corporate citizens”. Rather.

adding that companies. is a happy-go-lucky club” has the power to improve our world fundamentally Ramesh Singh.” the document says. because it is a voluntary action Compact Leaders • Social Accountability 8000 (SA 8000) – seeks to create an “auditable” code of conduct that can be applied in the sourcing of all materials across all consumer products. apply agreed principles to business practice. . Levi-Strauss. While the UN Global Compact represents a serious attempt to engage business and government leaders “Business. it is not the only attempt to enormous force for good”. On child labour the ETI simply states.N. communities and markets everywhere”. For more information on The Global Compact. Globalisation can code of conduct defining working standards for thus act as an accelerator for spreading universal the apparel industry including a standard on child principles. health and education and development of children who have been subjected to child labour…and are dismissed.unglobalcompact. “No person shall be employed at an age for a “race to the top”. CHILD LABOUR SHALL NOT BE USED. by committing themselves to corporate citizenship. Nestle. Critics Fuji. The U. top executives of taken by companies. the Declaration says. Where child labour has been used.Criticism of the Global Compact The Geneva Declaration Perhaps the single biggest criticism of the Global In July 2007 at the second United Nations Global Compact is that. can be an at the highest levels.” Read the Geneva Declaration at www. or participate in and contribute to policies and programmes which provide for the transition of any child to attend and remain in quality education until the age of 18. Nations Global Compact participants. younger than the age of completing compulsory education. companies shall develop. which spells out concrete regulations that will force business leaders to comply actions for business. if rooted in universal principles. the UN has no power in corporations such as Coca-Cola. creating a values-oriented competition labour. enforcing compliance with the principles.” • Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) – based on the International Labour Organisation’s conventions on labour standards.’s Global Compact with international big The Geneva Declaration expresses the belief that business “at the moment is so voluntary that it really “globalisation. The SA8000 standard requires that companies “provide support and actions to ensure the safety. chief executive of ActionAid – delivering economic and social benefits to people. “Poverty. can create and deliver value • Fair Labour Association (FLA) – agreed a in the widest possible terms. governments and United with the principles.unglobalcompact. protectionism and the absence of decent work opportunities pose serious Other global initiatives threats to world peace and markets”.org “The need for action is urgent. and L M Ericsson adopted the 21-point state that it is vital for governments to impose stricter Geneva Declaration. as a key agent of globalisation. Xerox. visit www. income inequality.

Marks stor es in the UK and an add M&S operates 600 ambitious five year.CASE STUDY Marks and Spencer – Plan A ition al 240 stores For more information. to be achieved h pillar has a corresponding target goa improve their business operations.2 million Fairtrade • increased Fairtrade food sales by more closely to ur standards to ensure they work even • Updated their commitments on labo support their suppliers. the company: ately a third of the world’s Fairtrade ified products and purchased approxim • extended its use of Fairtrade cert cotton. impact on efforts to eliminate child labo . This is an and Spencer launched its ‘Plan A’ (“be ness and our world.marksandspencer. including Irela nd. In 2007. six ethical model factories to identify • Assisted its suppliers to develop dards and this will have a direct with suppliers to improve labour stan M&S continues to work in partnership ur.plana. please visit www Campaign Resource ≥ 30/31 Child Labour . safeguard natural resources. reduce was working with its cust ome in which M&S have committed to ally and build a heal thier natio n”. It will see M&S kle som e of the bigg est challenges facing our busi plan which seek s to “tac te. The plan details 5 areas (or ‘pillars’) trade ethic l. cotton garments 20% and sold 3. M&S commitments. and share best practice. 100-point cause there is no Plan B”). rs and supp liers to combat climate change. Eac by 2012: Pillar Target by 2012 Climate Change Become carbon neutral Waste Send no waste to landfill Raw Materials Extend sustainable sourcing Health Help customers and employees live a healthier life-style Fair Partnership Help improve the lives of people in our supply chain Plan A and Child Labour al trade and labour standard has committed to a number of ethic Under its pillar on ‘fair partnership’. By the end of 2007.

Nike around 20% of the workers are creating Nike products. In both cases. and working with the Global Alliance to review around 21 of these factories. CASE STUDY Far and away. Any auditing carried out by Nike should be made to approximately 19. As for wage rates. observe that this does not add up to a great deal. consistent with government minimum wage increases. within which company to resolve challenges.” www. suppliers. It sells there. equipment and suggested that Nike should publicise all of its factories. Taiwan. less of a cost. The use of child labour within What do the critics say? the Nike ‘supply chain’ seems to have been eliminated. commonplace harassment and of wage rates in US dollar equivalents. The Global Alliance was quite complimentary. the following was reported: 30. and remain in Taiwan and Korea Indonesia gave the following workforce profile: 58% despite the higher wages and labour rights. Nevertheless.8% Nike had acted in good faith.4% of workers are satisfied through the Global Alliance assessment process. and reasonable remediation plan. contractors with footwear products in particular being but critics contend that this does not actually constitute manufactured in developing countries. and 56. 73. clothing. They point out that they have not abandoned The Global Alliance report on the Nike factories in countries as she claims. produces footwear. the status of the worst offender in this area. They related skills when they arrive at the factory. What does Nike say? Nike accuses Naomi Klein of peddling inaccurate and old Who works in these factories? information. They admit of them are young adults between 20 and 24 years that the 1996 photo documented what they describe old. feels that establishing what constitutes a “fair” wage Conditions for these workers have been a source of is by no means as easy as its critics would have the heated debate.8% had has over the last few years.2% of the many of them have taken the kind of measures that Nike workers had personally experienced. Nike argues that NGOs used this information in a negative way. Nearly half of these workers as a “large mistake” when they began to order soccer have completed senior high school.000 retail accounts in the US. supported by detailed countries as they developed better pay and employment reports on its corporate website. although a subsequent investigation was upon learning of the alleged violations that surfaced unable to confirm this. in her widely read book “No Logo” deals However. In addition. Nike responded to the in society. Mexico as well as in the US and in Italy. and Does anyone else support Nike? 3. Just about company’s suppliers. By and large. and developed a serious are satisfied with management. human rights and conditions for workers in factories in developing countries. accusing them of abandoning developed a considered response. the issues are those of audit reports with a detailed remediation plan. She points to a photo published in 1996 showing children in Pakistan stitching Nike footballs as Nike the company an example of the use of child labour. and 83% are women. the main concerns expressed by workers Nike in the news relate to their physical working environment. members of the Operating reported by at least two workers in each of two different Council unanimously expressed their judgement that factories. and in public. when these abuse. audits have found all of its products are manufactured by independent that wage rates are above the national legal minimum. 95% of the now operate stitching centres where the non-use of child workers in the nine participating factories have received labour can be verified.3% reported being physically abused.theglobalalliance. verbal . pay or wage increases in the last year. Naomi Klein. in the face of constant accusations. It and allow independent inspection to verify conditions is the largest seller of such garments in the world. It said sexual trade practices in recruitment and promotion were “Upon due consideration. Few have work. Korea.8% of workers reported receiving unwelcome sexual comments. making further attacks instead of What are the issues? using the information to facilitate a dialogue to assist the Nike has around 700 contract factories. Other critics have Nike Inc. observed. The company a fair living wage. However. targeted by a broad range of campaigning NGOs and which has experienced serious problems leading to journalists as a symbolic representation of business labour disputes. and with small Nike provides a list of the factories it uses and their exceptions the base wages in these factories are above locations to a number of independent 3rd parties who the region’s minimum wage – although critics would can then monitor. In Nike’s case. where these are criticism of the company continues unabated. investigate and audit these factories. A lot of focus is given to wage rates paid by the approximately 140 countries around the world. the rights in favour of countries like China. balls for the first time from a supplier in Pakistan. 67. manufactures in China. that with their relationship with direct line supervisors. Nike has quite extensively with Nike. A further Nike has become one of those global companies report has been produced relating to a site in Mexico. and to pick up and respond Nike are also visibly dismayed at how they have attained to issues. Nike has sought to respond to these allegations are meaningless given the different cost of living in the by putting into place a code of conduct for all of its countries concerned. An average of 7. They request that people look towards their competitors and see how In Indonesia. accessory products for the sports and athletic market. with campaigners making allegations public believe – and disparages the constant quoting of poor conditions.

g y o u r s hoppin Is ur free? d l a b o chil s y o u wear? th e The clo buy? o d y o u The fo ts l l t h e produc A ? you use 32/33 .

(1929 . eating. or that the check-out is the new ballot Child labour will only be eliminated when box. business general . For example. This way. community development and healthy conditions for a child labour-free world. It doesn’t mean deluding We can also create demand for transparency yourself that shopping can solve all the world’s and accountability in all supply chains. They As consumers. behind the label’ of everything they buy to ensure ‘Boycotts are something that may make the that no child labour was used. boycotted. It means taking the time to learn a little We believe that child labour is not just an issue about how your lifestyle affects people. chambers of commerce and politicians. A signal that retailers. Instead of consumer decisions. groups.and ethical consumerism in directly to the company. The Rough Guide to Ethical Shopping: vii No one action will eliminate child labour. environmental sustainability. respect should use their power to support those for labour standards. Such pressure can range from asking questions. child the world we want to live in. retailers. on shelves and on clothes consumer pressure so we can put pressure on hangers has been produced without exploiting them to guarantee that no child labour was used the planet and without exploiting people. decisions about what we buy and who we buy from children could be forced from unsafe factories and in doing this we send a strong signal about to even more unsafe streets. but it make it clear to retailers that they must ensure that doesn’t necessarily make conditions any better no child labour is used anywhere in the manufacture for the child. We should all work together constitutes an ethical or unethical purchase. and making your own decisions about what issue for all of us.. Clark D. it is possible to make ethical one company’s record over another. of UNICEF) Purchasing power along the supply chain Consumers Retailers Manufacturers Suppliers Producers demand no child demand no child demand no child demand no child demand no child labour from labour from labour from cotton labour from labour from retailers manufacturers traders producers farmers . we have power.’ towards the elimination of child labour. Instead. We can make could even make matters worse. Ethical consuming is about buying things political mobilisation and public action is needed that are made ethically by companies that act and to be successful. Consumers everywhere can also ‘look involved. ’ Martin Luther King Jr. Should we boycott? ‘Before you finish eating your breakfast this morning you’ve depended on half the world. in the making of their products. all stakeholders must be ethically. to-day impact on the about taking responsibility for your day. the planet and for a single industry or company alone. consumers about a range of issues including fair trade. Ethical consumption can be refusing to buy certain products. 2004. are so difficult to follow. Furthermore. organisations and initiatives that are creating the animal welfare.1968). but an animals.’ Carol Bellamy (Former Executive Director of the products they are selling. it is hard to promote With information. ≥ Section Five The consumer and child labour Introduction FAQ 8. Boycotts are not helpful given that they often hurt the people that they are trying to help. And it doesn’t mean following a prescriptive systems are put in place to prevent one group list of evil companies and countries that need to be of child labourers being replaced by another. problems. writing letters ‘Ethical shopping . labour is so widespread and supply chains manufacturers and businesses can not ignore. Consumers can demand that everything in Brand manufacturers are very sensitive to our shopping baskets. consumers person who’s boycotting feel better.

industry Chocolate includinghas meant many a standard things to many on child people. attendThis process was developed by Henri Nestle who wanted to make his chocolate and remain in qualityextra rich by adding education until themilk worshippedand cocoa as aRead foodthe ofGeneva the Gods. how they address child labour. the Spanish made their own improvements onsubjected the New to Worldchilddrink—they labour…and replaced the chilli” with sugar and vanilla. Like coffee. and Venice. roll. and L M Ericsson adopted the 21-point Geneva Declaration.” thefrom cocoasays.asFor “Business. Brazil and Cameroon. adding that companies. cacao so much SA8000 that they used thefor standard beans asto a “race currency the top”. theagent a key Aztecs. widest possible know that Cacao beans Globalisation can (used to make to create chocolate) code an “auditable” grew of wild on thethat conduct Yucatan can peninsula thusinact Mexico. simply states. has the power to improve our world fundamentally attempt to engage business and government leaders – delivering economic and social Eachbenefits to people. it was force a signthe for good”. Other countries that grow cocoa include Ecuador. ” which means a values-oriented “warm competition drink. But we sometimes forget that Following is just a short list of other initiatives and is the final “The a chocolate bar bought in our local newsagents product needinfor a long actionchain of events is urgent. OCEAN PACIFIC OCEAN INDIAN OCEAN The top cocoa growing countries are: the Cote D’Ivoire. slightly crumbly. Indonesia.Declaration at www. ” The Aztecs all consumer valuedThe products. Forenormous the French.Spanish “No person Monks drank shall it to promote be employed at an good age health. thechocolate became all the rage among the fashion- conscious French. mix. programmes which and melts in your mouth. protectionism and the absence of decent work opportunities pose serious • Fair Labour Association (FLA) – agreed a History of Chocolate code of conduct defining working standards for threats to world peace and markets”. we doterms. health and education org Following the arrivalofofchildren and development Christopher Colombus who have been in the new world. of us consumes communities and markets everywhere”. Nigeria. Papua New Guinea. across called the creating drink “chocolatl. the highest welevels. Columbia and Mexico. Fuji Xerox. Chocolate-making companies buy these seeds and then crush.and the Mayan people who lived in thethat requires areacompanies that is now“provide Mexico. Throughout the apparelhistory. Malaysia. Theyprinciples. and mould them in machines to make chocolate bars and sweets. can be an money. at In Ireland. toapproximately 10kg of chocolate apply agreed principles to business per practice. In 1615. governments and United ATLANTIC Nations Global Compact participants. taste. labour. corporations such as Coca-Cola. been bakers used were also experimenting with cocoa in cakes and rolls. BE USED.Other global initiatives The Geneva Declaration expresses the belief that Focus on: Chocolate While the UN Global Compact represents a serious “globalisation. Campaign Resource ≥ 34/35 Child Labour . Soon on (ETI) – based after. Nestle.unglobalcompact. and the Indians as an accelerator there used for spreading cacao universal tobemake a spicy applied drink in the flavoured sourcing with of all chilli and materials pepper.” to corporate citizenship. On child labour the ETI By the mid-1700’s. • served Ethical theTrading drink at Initiative her royal wedding. if rooted in universal principles. companies shall develop or participate in and The chocolate contribute we knowand to policies is hard. International Labour Organisation’s conventions on labour standards. in theHowever. income inequality. actions to ensure the safety. top executives of to grow well.hence the creamy milk chocolate that we eat today! The Geneva Where Declaration is the chocolate? In July 2007 at the second United Nations Global Chocolate is best grown in countries on the equator. Levi-Strauss. This is all a result of special processes provide forthatthewere developed transition of anyinchild the to 1870’s. annum and spends over €100 per year. have ittheis third not the highest per capita consumption only attempt of chocolate in the world. of wealth and good Declaration says. . can create and deliver value • We do not Social know where and Accountability when 8000 (SA chocolate 8000) – was seeks first invented. Chocolate younger than theisage alsoofthe national dish completing in Switzerland. by committing themselves compulsory education. Princess Anna of Austria are dismissed. it was used as of globalisation. London. Where By this child labour hastime. “Poverty. document tree to chocolate bar. Ghana. CHILD chocolate LABOUR housesSHALLthat NOT served the “excellent West India Drink” in pots were common in Paris. How chocolate is made Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao (kah KOW) tree. it requires high temperatures and humidity Compact Leaders Summit. which spells out concrete actions for business.

org/ . Examples of the jobs children do on plantations include pesticide spraying.GHANA A cocoa farmer lays out beans on giant tables made of rush matting to dry in the intense Ghanaian sun. Lizzy Noone of Concern and the Stop Child Labour campaign met Alice at the Children’s World Congress on Child Labour. Photo: Karen Robinson/Panos Pictures Chocolate and Child Labour There are almost half a million children between the ages of 5-17 working on cocoa farms in the world today. which not only pays the farmers a fixed rate for their cocoa beans. fermenting. she is now 16. From the age of 7 she has worked picking up garbage on the streets of the capital after her father could not make ends meet because he wasn’t being paid enough for his cocoa beans. regardless of fluctuating market prices. http://www. where Alice got the chance to ask the World Cocoa Federation to work towards their goal of eliminating child labour on the Cote D’ The World Cocoa Federation are urging multinational chocolate producers to ensure that ‘the worst forms of child labour’ are abolished on cocoa farms.dubble. pod breaking. She is very shy and self conscious as a result.papapaa. but a ‘social premium’ of $150 a tonne which helps fund community projects. In many cocoa producing countries children have never tasted the chocolate that their labour produces. Alice’s Story Alice is from the Cote D’Ivoire. transport and drying. The villagers of Domebra sell part of their crop under a fair trade initiative. pod collection. With assistance from a local NGO. After six days they will have developed a full flavour. and asking them to pay a fair price to cocoa farmers like her father. fertilizing. harvesting. she has recently started school and is learning how to write but can not yet read.

state-imposed quotas force children out of the classroom and into the cotton fields. • 99% of cotton farmers live and work in the developing world where 70% of the world’s cotton supply is produced. Therefore. producing hybrid-seeds. Consumers must create demand for ethically and sustainably produced cotton. Two thirds of these farmers live in India and China. In China. in Uzbekistan. This would significantly increase family income. For example. send their children to school. the US cotton industry was subsidised by $4. For more information visit: www. applying pesticides and pest control. students are removed from school during harvest season and children are sent to work in cotton fields under the guise of ‘summer camps’. • One third of textiles coming into the EU come from China followed by Turkey and India.continentalclothing. Focus on: Cotton Cotton is one of the most traded agricultural raw materials in the world today and child labour is widespread in the cotton-producing industry.3-5. difficult labour – all at the expense of their education. the cotton industry is denying consumers the option to make informed choices about their Campaign Resource ≥ 36/37 Child Labour . Children are involved in harvesting. allowing farmers to. • European and North American consumers account for 75% of world clothing imports. A global demand for cheap cotton is forcing children into the cotton field and out of the classroom.’ The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) Some cotton facts • There are four main types of cotton: genetically modified. conventional. Children also migrate across boarders during harvest season.2 billion in 2004/5. Cotton and Education Cases of children missing out on their right to education can be found all over the world.7%. Poor quality education sees a high drop out rate and an increase in the number of children working to supply the cotton industry. Without labelling and completely transparent supply chains. • 60% of the world’s cotton is used for clothing. these consumers can influence how the cotton industry operates.’ (EJF) It is entirely possible and feasible to establish the source of all cotton. 35% is used in home furnishings and 5% is used in industrial products. are under-funded and teachers are not paid. 6 of the world’s 7 cotton producers have reportedly used children in their fields. Consumers must demand to know who is handling cotton at every stage of its production. • Cotton uses more insecticide than any other crop. • Child labour subsidises the cotton industry through free and cheap labour and the bargaining power of adults is greatly reduced. missing out on their education for most of the school year. fair-trade and organic. However. In central Asia. They are exposed to hazardous and dangerous conditions and hard. For examples.ejfoundation. The UK and Germany are the biggest EU cotton importers. among other things. the cotton producing industry will only take responsibility when it is pressurised to do so through political will and consumer action. According to the Environmental Justice Foundation. Take action ‘Consumers are fuelling a false economy that deprives children of their childhood and developing countries of an educated future generation. Labels must indicate both the country of origin plus the country of manufacture. sub-Saharan Africa lost $350 million as a result of reduced artificial world prices. ‘The link between children in fields and consumers in the west cannot be www. • It is estimated that the removal of cotton subsidies would see an increase in household income by 2. schools in the cotton-producing region are forced to undertake “work-study” programmes. • Subsidies to farmers in rich countries drive the price of cotton downwards.

Photo: Dieter Telemans/Panos Pictures Cotton exports in 2005 Asia is a major recipient of Uzbek and African cotton exports. while 19% of Uzbekistan’s cotton exports end up in the EU. www. Source: Russia EU 25 14% USA 15% Uzbekistan 4% Turkey 11% ATLANTIC 19% OCEAN PACIFIC OCEAN Francophone Africa Mexico 15% Asia 60% 55% INDIAN OCEAN 91% 43% Australia . UNCTAD. Kurdistan Young workers picking cotton in a cotton field. TURKEY Harran Plain. Anatolia Region.

Students Michala Davey-Borresen and Aoife Jennings at the international day for the elimination of child labour – June 12th 2007. Photo: Steve Ryan Photography 38/39 .

. All child labour is unacceptable The Convention on the rights of the Child along – School is the Best Place to with a host of other international agreements unequivocally affirms the right of all children to Work’ campaign live in freedom from exploitation. It is the duty of all Governments. chance to have a decent standard of living. Efforts to eliminate Why a campaign on Child Labour? child labour should focus on all its forms. it is a problem that affects us all. ‘developed’ or ‘developing world’ have a duty Europe accounts for less than 1% of child labourers to ensure that they do not permit or allow child worldwide. embracing the right to organise. The Stop Child Labour campaign is guided by the the International Labour Organisations standards following four principles: on the minimum age of employment (15) and 1. must be enforced. agreed by nearly all governments around the world… yet nearly 218 million children still work as child 4. Child Labour is not just a problem for Africa. because of where they were born. or hazardous industries education can provide. along with the with the CRC and other international agreements Convention on the Rights of the Child. a chance while helping to cast a spotlight on the worst to live free from exploitation and a chance to have fun. labour to exist within their state. Approaches to the issue have tended to segregate different types of child labour into categories ranging from All children everywhere deserve the chance that only children working in mines. ≥ Section Take action against Six child labour The ‘Stop Child Labour 2. abuses. International Organisations and Corporate Bodies to ensure that they do not Child Labour was a problem during the industrial perpetuate child labour revolution in Europe until governments made All governments whether in the so called education compulsory for all children and today. child labour and discrimination. freedom from forced awareness and taking action. and enforced The eradication of child labour is closely linked Child labour can no longer be considered a to the promotion of labour standards in the ‘necessary evil’ for millions of children merely workplace. as well as supporting the removal of all barriers to local schools and ensuring the necessary financial and infrastructural support for the provision of quality education. Experience has Our guiding principles shown that child labour is highly unlikely to exist when a free trade union is present. have been protecting the right of the child. Labour undermines the opportunities for adult employment and decent wages. a chance to escape poverty. we can eliminate labour. Child Labour is a violation of human rights and 3. As a minimum. Core labour standards must be respected labourers. Child child labour. Furthermore they have a duty to ensure that state agencies. International agreements and conventions such as corporate bodies. suppliers and trading partners the Minimum Age for Employment and the prohibition with whom they do business are fully compliant of the worst forms of child labour. Child labour is the denial of a child’s right most hazardous forms of child labour (convention to education 182). By raising collective bargaining. tend to be too narrow in their focus and offer only partial solutions. The focus of attention must be to actively integrate all ‘out of school’ children into formal education systems. India or China. therefore. a The campaign believes that such distinctions. a chance to enjoy better health and a longer life. The elimination of child labour and the provision of full time formal education are inextricably linked. to those working as full time domestic servants.

become an informed. trade regimes and bilateral agreements. in turn. As citizens and as consumers. Photo: Steve Ryan Photography ‘The future belongs to those with the vision to Why campaign in Ireland? shape it. Indirectly. We need to move beyond narrow • Organising an awareness-raising event definitions of benefit. people can demand positive change and hold policies and attitudes of governments. gain. corporations and other individuals to institutions and individuals. Campaigning is about changing the practices.’ IPEC report 2006 • The Irish government and the EU are our voices in the international community. The first step is to know the ethical consumer issues you are talking about and also. make stop child labour kites on June • Policies at an Irish and EU level have a direct 12the 2007. We need to let Everyone has the potential to change our world! them know what we want them to say on our behalf. We against child labour? have a responsibility to those who have not had access to the same opportunities. As Irish. nationally and around the world. • Getting your friends. have a very good quality of life. One of the best ways to campaign is to inform and change the attitudes of people around you! Campaign Resource ≥ 40/41 Child Labour . This way. Campaigning can take many different forms and there are many ways to campaign. We should know where and by whom they were made. they are not accurately Students from Griffeen Valley Educate Together representing us.. You can take action against child labour by: • We live in an increasingly interdependent • Learning about the ‘school is the best globalised world where the local and global are place to work’ campaign closely linked.S. European and Global citizens. How can I take action the most part. Campaigns can be local. national or international. people can change the world. power and wealth (kite flying for example) toward a more holistic appreciation of our shared global humanity. we should be involved in these processes and our voices should be heard. It is an acknowledgement account. linked by our common humanity and that we have a responsibility to be agents for positive change – locally. Knowledge is power. organisations. • Our lifestyle and level of consumption has an impact on the environment which. that the choices we make have consequences far beyond ourselves and that we live in a global community. the Irish government and the EU play a role in determining the social. Lucan. that our actions (or inaction) can have an impact on the lives of others. school and community involved Where to start? • With your family. • We are in the minority – we are wealthy and for FAQ 9. • The majority of the products we buy are imported from countries around the world. has an impact all over the world. Photo: Steve Ryan Photography impact on countries and peoples of the developing world through Overseas Development Assistance. Otherwise.What is campaigning? Why campaign? People have power. the actual change you want to come about. N. through international financial institutions and inter-governmental mechanisms. governments. political and economic structures which impact on people all over the world.

Taking action . Generate a list of your key campaign Design a programme of activities with goals. pages. explore and debate Generate ideas about how to raise awareness Form a campaigning committee with roles and tasks Set clear objectives and draw up a campaign plan What action? Decide your exact message and what action you want taken Raise awareness Involve Media Lobby for change Decide how to get your message Research local Identify local decision-makers across to a wide and diverse audience media outlets – – business. Ask for a clear assurance of their commitment to the issue and details Design and print information flyers & Post messages on your own web of the plans to address it. clear objectives. Request relevant documentation. activities and events. MEPs. political. strategies which address your issue. are great! Request a meeting to discuss your Contact local radio to promote your issue in person and present your Invite a speaker to your events and/or interview your campaign campaign objectives. Examples Organise a public discussion forum Invite media to attend and cover your Write a letter introducing your group. and web. SMS and flyers.Organising a campaign! Planning Research the issue Discuss. etc. Unions and NGOs. request meetings. Identify key contacts in media outlets. – promote via web. Visit website for more Identify key national policy-makers information Research existing media coverage of – TDs. your activities to date and the action you would like Arrange an event or activity Write articles & letters and them to take. feet and wallet! Don’t forget… Make people listen! Be passionate and enthusiastic! Don’t give up! Keep us informed: tell Concern about your achievements! stopchildlabour@concern. build on this? Request information from international Investigate consumer organisations organisations dealing with your issue. outline your concerns. school. community in your local community. Use your consumer Circulate resources. Be creative – new ideas Don’t forget to include Source: Concern & Sorcha Ní Dhúill . Look for good examples from other Follow-up all media communication Research government initiatives or countries and organisations. large and ideas. Make contact. and initiatives. community or workplace. blogs. radio there an opportunity to corporations. Create a list of email addresses and power – locally and send campaign updates and requests nationally! Vote with your for support/action. with a phone call or email. posters. send to print media. newspaper. group. involving a large group. your issue . political parties.

ness rais w realities a ing (so th here worldwide a l Labour Organis nd poss at more a ction is n ation - law e nd more eeded: or nforceme ibilities) people a ips f nt (so tha re faced r a l t immediate ly t the wors with the Gene aigning - labou ) t forms of r in abuse are p af - educa spection (to prote tackled cam dia g r a m overle - suppo tional sup port (so a ct those at risk to n’ day) ‘t a k in g actio uide to rt for chil dren and s to offer a produc e g compuls 1. - co-op eration w ling poss ib o as to m rnative to work) igning ith intern le) ake the a campa about . g is about ssive. to concerns d debate raise the with as m the issue ques 2 Work with a sm a n y people a a n d to share tion the issue all gro round yo your of child la up to find ways to u as pos sible. e tc . s overnme come fro nd traveller. organisa ti tions to d them. What you There ar e 3 things you nee 1 Be in d to do: terested with othe e n o u g h to learn can do! rs about the ideas and and to discuss an issue. ple’s m 4. together a ti o n a lternative of a r e t aking h ly - full im for the sa m e re l initiative s (m at you g sults) aking sure horou plementa . re p our photo op child lab s t to the Campaign Resource ≥ 42/43 Child Labour . as well ur and to challen lic a 3 Lobb a s th e opport g e others to wareness of y gove unities off eng issue and rnment as well as ered by th age with the their resp internatio e campa onses to nal institu ign. n in e mpaig t aggr 3.g. C o mm u n o r t s and le c a m p aign te 5 s. find o chools. Ca istent but no so it is pers s time issue e take ith the any Chang t to stay w m an t in as ossible import e your poin people as p ak y with and m d to as man n is met y s a n p a ig wa ur cam rtened U P – if yo ’t be dishea s and IVE don ind N’T G ence. Als ons abou o more a o lobby n t e. Be an in nt structu res m and if child labo ut about where p formed Indian org ur has be roducts o an en involv r services internatio isations. includin ed. Th tep-by-step o ry schoo th e ir families (s ti ve alte is a s . wom en’s grou sw on-govern the consume ps. nal organ g the MV isations s F have iden tifi uch as th oundation as well - aware ed the key areas e Interna tiona as other. K n ow wh our issues t inion protect c hildren fr tion of IL O Conve we all wo rk 2 ch y d op n ti o resear e an informe om the w orst form n 182 (w hich wou a v s of explo ld legally and h being itation). ic ate yo t te am . t a k e I S P O – it IT d your es but s! Sen edia and attitud c e s s e ur suc rs to local m . challenge bo raise pub s. youth ell as other non-g mental ra groups. DO sition or sil hange peo oppo s time to c SSI B L E.

Photo: Concern . Bertie Ahern.June 12th 2006 – campaigners present Stop Child Labour petition to An Taoiseach.

unicef. To learn more about the MV Foundation in India visit www. Visit www. 11. The Global March is an International coalition campaigning against child labour has a comprehensive section in child for more information on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the UN’s Global Compact framework for 8. UNESCO Global Monitoring Report: www. For more information on the ‘school is the best place to work’ campaign visit www. 9. 15. For more case studies on child labour visit www.globalmarch. For more information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) visit This is an annual report that tracks global progress towards Education for All and the 6 Dakar education 13.htm and for information on the Irish Coalition for the campaign visit www. UNICEF at www. To view videos and news clips that explore and discuss the issue of child 12. Visit the UN programme for You can download copies of this resource and keep up to date on campaign activities.freethechildren. 5. The world’s largest network of children helping children www. Visit www.right-to-education. To learn more about the right to education visit www. enter ‘child labour’ on www. WEB LINKS 4.FURTHER INFORMATION Here are some links to help you find out more about Child Labour and for their fact sheet on child labour visit Campaign Resource ≥ 44 Child Labour . For more information on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) visit www.unesco.knowchildlabor. For more information on the Global campaign for Education visit www. For more information on child labour and the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (in the International Labour Organisation) visit www. For more information on Concern and its education programmes visit or visit the international site at and www. Visit for a photo exhibition and case studies on child labour. Concern Camden Street Dublin 2 t: +353 417 7740 e: . Contact details: every child in school EUROPEAN UNION Supported by the European STRUCTURAL FUNDS Union www.