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Global conference, including teachers, commits to fight child labour
an article by Education International (abridged)

Over 1,200 representatives of governments, workers, employers, and civil society from across the globe gathered at the Third Global Conference on Child Labour, held from 8-10 October in Brasilia, Brazil. Thanks to a successful advocacy effort by the education union delegation and the support from other stakeholders, social dialogue and teacher training were included in the final declaration. . . .

click on photo to enlarge

A strong delegation of education union representatives from 14 countries highlighted the key role of universal free quality education, as well as the need to involve teachers in the elaboration of education policies as indispensable tools to effectively eradicate child labour.

The Conference was opened by Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, and Guy Ryder, General Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The global number of child labourers had dropped from 246 million to 168 million over the last decade, said Ryder, referring to the ILO’s recent report, ‘Marking progress against child labour’.

The “bad news”, he explained, is that this will not be enough to achieve the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016, as agreed by the international community through the ILO.

Ryder highlighted the importance of states working to “fulfill their obligation to ensure universal access to compulsory, formal education for all children up to the minimum age for work, and to improve the quality of education”.

Significant investment is required to achieve this. “We need 1.7 million more qualified teachers, at least”, he said. “We need to train and qualify the huge number of teachers who are unqualified. We need to make schools safe and joyous places for children.” . . .

Panellist Kailash Satyarthi told that conference: “We won’t eliminate child labour until we have universal education. And we won’t get every child into school until we eliminate child labour.”

A tireless activist and co-founder of the 80,000km long Global March Against Child Labour, Satyarthi has played a significant role in linking the fight against child labour with the efforts for achieving Education for All. . .

On the last day of the Conference, former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva delivered a vibrant closing speech. “There is not a lack of resources, but a lack of political will to end child labour worldwide”, Lula pointed out.

The Declaration of Brasilia, a final statement expressing the commitment of the countries to the sustainable eradication of child labour, was outlined. This document will guide and support future efforts to eliminate child labour worldwide. . . .

To read the full declaration please go here

To see the picture gallery of the conference please go here

[Note. Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article]

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article or here for a version in French )


Question(s) related to this article:

Rights of the child, How can they be promoted and protected?

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Latest reader comment:

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, as an important addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This report was posted on October 27, 2013.