Education International
Education International

Aob/GEW/EI Conference: combatting child labour through the right to education

published 4 October 2012 updated 11 October 2012

Strengthening the teacher unions’ role in combatting child labour and achieving Education For All is the aim of the International Conference on Child Labour, convened by EI and GEW, a teacher union in Germany and AOb from the Netherlands, on 5-7 October 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

The conference is entitled “School is the best place to work: Education unions against child labour”.

About one hundred participants representing teacher unions from developing and developed countries, will be joined by experts from other sectoral and national trade unions, NGOs and UN agencies, for a highly interactive and practical conference. Teacher unionists will exchange good practices and experiences in the fight against child labour by promoting the universal right to education.

“Child labour is a violation of fundamental human rights. And as teachers we know that children who receive an education of quality are more empowered to escape from poverty and, as adults, are more likely to send their children to school”, Fred van Leeuwen will tell participants of the conference in his opening remarks.

Historically, unions have played a central role in campaigning for the extension of free, compulsory education and against child labour. There is an abundance of research, some of it produced by EI with its partners, which shows overwhelming evidence that education is the most significant factor in the prevention and elimination of child labour and in breaking the poverty cycle.

The most recent resolution adopted by the 6th Congress calls on member organisations to adopt specific policies and a programme of action on child labour as well as support for unions in developing countries fighting child labour. The resolution is very comprehensive and sets out strategies and specific aspects of the campaigns teacher unions can undertake.

The Conference is organized jointly by EI and its affiliates GEW and AOb, with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), the ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) and the German Trade Union Confederation DGB.

The Picture Gallery of the Conference can be found here