Hivos International

Stop Child Labour

The ‘Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work’ (SCL) coalition consists of the Algemene Onderwijsbond (AOb), Mondiaal FNV, Hivos, the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), Kerk in Actie, ICCO Cooperation and Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland. Stop Child Labour is coordinated by Hivos and cooperates closely with local partner organisations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Stop Child Labour advocates for good formal education for children and a decent income for adults. We cooperate with local organisations in Asia, Africa and Latin America that are committed to getting all children out of work and into school. We promote the area-based approach towards creating child labour free zones: areas where the inhabitants are convinced that child labour should be eliminated and are prepared to take the necessary steps to get all children out of work and into school.

In addition, we promote child labour free products by drawing the attention of businesses and CSR initiatives to the need to eliminate child labour and, where possible, by working with them. We lobby the Dutch government, the EU and national and international organisations for a more proactive policy against child labour and call on citizens to make their voices heard. This way we aim to encourage active involvement and commitment by all stakeholders worldwide. Together we seek new ways to remove persistent obstacles to a world without child labour.

Together we can stop Child Labour

No child should have to work. Every child has a right to be educated, to play and to enjoy his or her childhood. A world without child labour is possible if everyone abides by these principles. By working together, seemingly insurmountable challenges such as poverty and inadequate or inaccessible education can be overcome.

Child labour perpetuates poverty. In areas where child labour is prevalent, wages remain low and there is less work for adults. Furthermore, children who do not go to school have fewer opportunities later in life. When children receive good education, this vicious cycle of poverty can be ended.

Child Labour Free Zones

To achieve this, Stop Child Labour advocates an area-based approach involving all children who live in a certain area. Focusing only on children who work in certain sectors or on the worst forms of child labour does not bring lasting change. As long as some forms of child labour are accepted, children will continue to work and they will continue to be denied the right to education.

In the child labour free zones created through the area-based approach, the focus is on all forms of child labour that stand in the way of education, health and development. The people living in these areas are convinced that all children should go to school and so they work together to make that happen. Experience shows that where children no longer perform labour, adults can negotiate better wages and working conditions, and they also become more conscious of their income and expenditure. In child labour free zones, everyone's rights are advanced.