Education International Calls for an End to Child Labour

    BRUSSELS, June 10 /CNW/ - Every year at this time, members of Education
International (EI) join with other trade unions and concerned citizens around
the globe to mark the World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June.
    "Ten years ago, the international community adopted the landmark ILO
Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour. As we celebrate the
important progress that has been made since then, we must not lose sight of
the ongoing challenges - especially exploitation of girls. Ultimately, though,
our goal is to eliminate all forms of child labour," said Jan Eastman, Deputy
General Secretary of EI, which is the global union federation representing 30
million teachers and education workers in more than 170 countries.
    Around the world more than 200 million children - half of them girls -
are forced to labour in fields and factories, in households and on the
streets. Because of gender discrimination in the family, the community and all
levels of society, girls are more likely to be deprived of education than are
boys. Girls endure additional hardships and face extra risks, often hidden
from the public eye in situations of domestic servitude. Girls are also more
likely to be victims of trafficking and extreme exploitation through
prostitution, pornography, bonded labour and slavery.
    To address these issues, EI member organisations are planning a wide
range of activities including television advertising and other
awareness-raising campaigns, rallies and marches to Education Ministry
offices, workshops and research projects. Teachers' unions will be active in
Albania, Bulgaria, Burundi, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, India,
Kenya, Morocco, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere.
    EI and the ILO have collaborated to produce lesson aids for classroom use
and a new publication entitled Give girls a chance: End child labour. It aims
to educate teacher trade unionists, civil society and governments about the
urgent need to take action against child labour, in particular the multiple
disadvantages faced by girls. EI has also produced other materials for
teachers, including posters and pencils for use in its awareness-raising
campaign with governments and the public. All materials may be downloaded
    "Quality public education is the best solution to the scourge of child
labour," Eastman said. "Teachers have a key role to play in helping to bring
about a world in which all children - both girls and boys - can claim their
universal right to free quality public education. This is our goal, on World
Day Against Child Labour, and all year round."

    For more information: Nancy Knickerbocker, EI Senior Coordinator,
Communications, +32-476-85-07-01 or

For further information:

For further information: Nancy Knickerbocker, EI Senior Coordinator,
Communications, +32-476-85-07-01 or

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