International Labour Organization –
International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) is active in
various countries, working in the field of child labor around the world. Since
its creation in 1992, it has taken countless different approaches using
education as a means of eliminating child labor. ILO-IPEC has acquired
considerable range of experience and knowledge through providing non-formal
education opportunities for child laborers and mainstreaming them into the
formal education system. Furthermore, it has done various interventions in the
education system and “built national alliances to make education policies and
systems more responsive to children at risk.” (ILO-IPEC, 2007) Below are the ILO-IPEC’s
effort to providing education to child laborers through intervention on various
actors.

 

1.     Policy Development and Reinforcement and Education Resources

 

Linking the Elimination of Child Labor to
the Education for All Initiative

 

Education is essential in eradicating and
preventing child labor, to establishing a competent workforce and to promoting
development justice and human rights. Therefore, the international efforts to
eradicate child labor and achieving Education for All are strongly linked with
one another. On one hand, education is a means in preventing child labor, while
children who do not have access to quality education are likely to end up
working on the street. On the other hand, child labor is one of the major
obstacle from achieving EFA because children who are working full time do not
have time to go to school. Furthermore, those children who combine work and
school are affected in terms of their attendance, performance and participation
(ILO-IPEC, 2007) as mentioned in the previous section. Therefore, incorporating
measures dealing with child labor is important in order to achieve EFA. Special
measures and needs must be taken care of, particularly for the vulnerable
children, girls, and children with disabilities coming from poor households.

 

The ILO and the IPEC programme support EFA
movement by working closely with the governments, employers, social
organizations, international and local NGOs and trade unions making it the
leaning UN agency in the Global Task Force on Child Labour and Education
established in November 2005. (ILO-IPEC, 2007) The founding organizations of
which also include the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Global March Against
Child Labour.

 

India was one of the countries involved in
the action programs. “The elimination of child labour through universalization of
elementary education with a focus on girl children in cotton seed farming in
the Kulkacharla Mandal of Ranga Reddy District, India” was implemented by the
Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiua Foundation (MVF), Andhra Pradesh, India. The MVF
aims the “eliminate child labor through universalization of quality formal
education” and “create awareness and demand for education among the poor.” (ILO-IPEC,
2007) MVF contends that children are supposed to be in school and are not mean
to work in exploiting environment. It targeted all children as making children
physically attend school deters them from joining the workforce. Furthermore,
the program also put emphasis on promoting that education is a part of the
fundamental rights of children. Despite of the limited financial support from,
MVF has been successfully effective, and the MVF’s bridge course have been
implemented in over 6000 villages, covering an estimated 45,000 child laborers
benefitting from it. (ILO-IPEC, 2007) MVF also played a significant role in
contributing to state-led educational programs by providing technical and
strategic support from its own experience. (Venkateswarlu, 2004)

 

Other strategies under policy development
and reinternment include working with ministries of education, engaging
governments to cover the cost of education, establishing education task forces
on child labor.

 

2.     Teacher Training and Mobilizing Teachers’ Organization

 

Teacher Training – Building the Capacity
of Institutions to Combat Child Labor

 

Teachers are considered a very important
actor because they are in direct contact with children and as well as the
community. They contribute significantly in improving the quality of teaching,
monitoring child laborers, increase awareness and provide school-based support
for children at risk. However, it is crucial for theses teachers to be equipped
with necessary knowledge and training to enable them to be sensitive to the
issues and needs of these children and be able to provide them with appropriate
teaching style or lesson for them. Furthermore, children who have left the
formal education system to work revealed in interviews that the attitude of
teachers towards them is one of the major “push” factor. Relationship with
other students and teachers is a significant factor for vulnerable children at
school. (ILO-IPEC, 2007) It is, therefore, important to pay special attention to
teacher training to increase enrollment and participation rate and 

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