The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), a member of Global March US affiliate the Child Labor Coalition, has published an article highlighting the link between the ongoing incidence of child labour worldwide and the need to advance the development goal of Education For All. The article was published in the AFT’s flagship publication, American Educator, the Fall 2010 issue.
It is a poignant article that highlights the paradox of 50 million American children returning to school in the US while 215 million toil in situations of child labour around the world, many of whom have never been to school. It highlights the powerful role of education as an intervention to eliminate and prevent child labour, while acknowledging that it is not the sole solution but is a key element of a holistic approach to the problem. It goes on to highlight some of the statistics that appeared in the 2010 Global Report on Child Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The article also includes an excerpt from a book by David Post entitled “Child Labour: A Public Health Perspective” published by Oxford University Press 2010. David Post is a professor of education in the Higher Education and Comparative and International Education programmes at Pennsylvania State University in the US. In his article, Mr Post describes the role of education in ending child labour and improving children’s health. It is a very informative and useful article to Global March members and partners, and we would strongly recommend downloading it from the AFT web site (see below).
The AFT has illustrated the article with some powerful images of child labour in different parts of the world, including the USA itself. In addition, it provides ways in which teachers can take action both in the classroom with their students and also as social activists.
Commenting on the article, Kailash Satyarthi Global March Chairperson, welcomed the example set by the AFT to other organisations in raising awareness through reaching out to grassroots members and in mobilising their political and social support to multiply the impact of awareness-raising. “The AFT calls on their members to take action in whatever they can, including through teaching their students about child labour. Children and young people need to be informed and understand what is happening not only in other parts of the world, but in their own countries. Child labour touches us all in different ways and we must recognise this in everything we do.”
A copy of the article “Education for All – Child Labor for None” can be downloaded from the AFT web site by clicking here