Education International
Education International

Albanian Unions receive award for efforts on child labour

published 12 February 2007 updated 12 February 2007

At the National Education Exhibition (NOT) in the Netherlands held in Utrecht from 23-27 Jan 2007 Stavri Liko, Coordinator of the Child Labour Programme of EI affiliates in Albania, picked up a cheque for € 17,750 in support of the programme.

Every two years the "Nederlandse Onderwijs Tentoonstelling" (NOT) or Dutch Education Exhibition takes place in Utrecht to showcase information and services provided by the education sector in the country. It also gives recognition to outstanding initiatives in the field of education. This year it was attended by an impressive 58.000 individuals and hosted over 500 organisations.

At the event, EI and the Albanian unions organised an exhibition of photos vividly portraying the harsh conditions experienced by young child labourers in Albania. Shining shoes, gathering rubbish, constructing roads and selling car parts, the children do whatever they can to get by. In doing so they are being denied their right to education. The photos also depict the more hopeful side of the story where teachers are working to reintegrate child labourers into the education system.

In Albania, EI member organisations - the Trade Union Federation of Education and Science (FSASH-TUFESA) and the Independent Trade Union of Education of Albania (SPASH-ITUEA) have cooperated with the Dutch teachers' union AOb on a range of initiatives against child labour. These include capacity-building and training for teacher members, advocacy work, publishing materials and programmes bringing together teachers and working children.

For its part, in 2007 EI will be stepping up efforts to monitor child labour across the globe. A child labour mapping exercise is now underway and should serve to provide activists with a clear picture of the forms of child labour prevalent today, and the efforts being made by teachers unions to keep children in school.