20 November 2017 – Geneva – Twenty eight years after the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), there are still 152 million children trapped in child labour according to the latest ILO statistics. Today, November 20th, is World Children’s Day and the anniversary of the adoption of the CRC, the most widely accepted international human rights treaty in history, which guarantees every child’s fundamental rights to be healthy, protected from exploitation and access education.
Based on the rights enshrined in the CRC, the ECLT Foundation works with children, communities, businesses and governments to fight child labour sustainably in agricultural communities where tobacco is grown.
This year, UNICEF and organisations around the world are raising awareness and supporting children to “taking over” key roles in media, politics and entertainment. But how can we go beyond this day-long #KidsTakeOver and prepare children for when it is their time to take over as parents and leaders in their communities and beyond?
Education and job-skills training can give children and young people the tools they need get out of child labour and get ahead. Everyday, the ECLT Foundation supports children like Aidah, who dropped out of school at the age of 15 when she got pregnant and worked as a single teen mother in tobacco gardens to support herself and her baby. Through ECLT’s work in Uganda, Aidah was given an opportunity to learn tailoring and garment cutting. Today, at 18 years old, Aidah has her own tailoring business and is able to meet her and her baby’s needs, as well as support her 11 siblings.
Stories like Aidah’s show the power of giving children and young people the skills they need to find decent work. ECLT is committed to combatting the root causes of child labour, like poverty and lack of access to education, working together from local to international levels for sustainable change. Last week, the ECLT Foundation joined over 3,000 leaders from governments, the UN, trade unions, employers and communities at the IV Global Conference on the Sustainable Eradication of Child Labour where a new declaration was adopted almost 100 pledges for action were made. This World Children’s Day, let’s build on this momentum to ensure that children can and do “take over” not just today, but as they grow into the leaders of tomorrow.
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