Children have inalienable rights.
Virtually all countries have pledged support of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and every community has an obligation to uphold the rights of their children.
This is why the ECLT Foundation leads efforts to raise awareness about child rights that result in community mobilization and concrete actions, for example, to identify child labourers.
Child labour is a clear violation of child rights.
To help end child labour, we raise our voice to advocate for child rights with multiple stakeholders and audiences – in Geneva and in our Project Countries – because it takes concerted action at all levels to respect the rights of children. We work to promote obligations that have demonstrated success in helping keep children safe from child labour and to maximize their potential.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child represents a comprehensive vision for children. Knowing that we cannot focus on some rights and neglect others, the ECLT Foundation works with all child rights in mind, and child rights is a “cross-cutting” theme for all our programmes. This rights-based approach strengthens our programme interventions and proposes the following things for all children, with no conditions.
The right to:
- Be educated.
- Play and be healthy.
- Be safe from hazardous work and exploitation.
- Survive. Because their bodies are developing and they have limited perception of risk, children need proper nutrition and health care, birth registration, and nationality. They have the right to live with parents or guardians and to be taken care of.
- Develop – physically, intellectually, and culturally.
- Be protected. This includes being protected from physical and mental abuse, war, disasters, exploitation, neglect, discrimination, and being separated from their families.
- Participate. They have the right to be involved in issues influencing their lives, including accessing information, communicating points of views, and being listened to.
The ECLT Foundations works to build a generalized understanding of these rights, and raise awareness of how child labour is an infringement on those rights. We let people know about the harm child labour does, and the urgent need there is to address it.
In all our Project Countries, we work with our partners to incorporate awareness-raising activities including:
- School parliaments
- Parent and teacher committees
- Songs, poems, speeches, and theatre plays
- Calendars, publications, radio talk shows, radio dramas
On a larger scale, we create opportunities like the Malawi National Conference on Child Labour for national government, sectoral leaders – and children – to come together to discuss how to end child labour. We also actively participate in key awareness-raising events like international conferences and World Day Against Child Labour.
Child labour, particularly in its worst forms, has harmful consequences for children and for society as a whole.
Being aware of the problem is the first step.
- In Kyrgyzstan, we taught farmers about the negative consequences of child labour on children’s health.
- The focus on child labour in agriculture is now stronger in Malawi, where we convened more than 350 stakeholders to effect change.
- Children are speaking out at debates and awareness-raising activities in Mozambique.
- By 2015, we will have spread the word to 20,000 people about the hazards of child labour in Tanzania.
- In Uganda, 14 extra-curricular school clubs will have been formed to raise awareness about child labour by 2016.
Pledge in Action
The ECLT Foundation’s efforts to raise awareness are bolstered by the Pledge of Commitment by ECLT Foundation Board Members. In this historic document, the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA) pledges to take an active part in the challenge of eliminating child labour in the tobacco-growing sector by raising awareness with its membership, disseminating the Pledge, and promoting, respecting, and realizing the Pledge’s child labour policy and requirements. ECLT Foundation Members Pledge