Video documentary launched
No to child labour! Yes to education!

June 12, 2008

(CTF News Service – Ottawa) On the World Day Against Child Labour, June 12, teachers in Canada and around the world are calling on governments to ensure quality education for all children, and decent work for their parents.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), as a member of Education International (EI), is raising its voice along with those of educators everywhere to say that quality education is the right response to the scourge of child labour.

“Children are meant to stay and to work in school,” says CTF President Emily Noble. “As global citizens and teachers, we must raise public awareness about the importance of education as a fundamental human right. Children’s future depends on their right to education now.”

Worldwide, a shocking 200 million children are forced to labour in fields, factories, mines, sweatshops, and even the streets. While the number of children exploited in the worst forms of child labour has declined in recent years, the problem remains enormous and teachers are determined to do their bit to tackle it.

“As educators, we have a clear responsibility to defend the right of every child to quality public education. That means seeking solutions to the problem of child labour, and developing strategies to move children out of the workplace and back into the classroom, where they belong,” said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of Education International (EI), the global union federation representing 30 million teachers and education workers worldwide.

To mark the World Day Against Child Labour, EI has created a new video documentary featuring a highly successful program implemented by the National Teachers’ Union of Morocco. In that country alone an estimated 320,000 children quit school every year to work in domestic service, agriculture, handicraft industries and worse forms of child labour.

For the past three years, teacher union activists have been working to prevent child labour by reducing the drop-out rate at five elementary schools in poor neighbourhoods of the city of Fez. Through a combination of school improvements, education for parents, professional development for teachers, community outreach and political advocacy, they have succeeded in dramatically increasing the number of children staying in school.

The first release in EI’s new Video for Union Educators project, the documentary is entitled “No to child labour! Yes to education!” To view it, please visit: http://www.ei-ie.org/childlabour/en/calendarshow.php?id=146&theme=childlabour (available in English only)

CTF speaks for 220,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on education and related social issues. CTF membership includes Member organizations in every province and territory in Canada as well as an Affiliate Member in Ontario. CTF (http://www.ctf-fce.ca) is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education International (http://www.ei-ie.org).

Comments:
Emily Noble, CTF President, 613-688-4300
Media contact:
Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314
Information on international programs:
Barbara MacDonald, Director of International Programs, 613-688-4304
For more information about Education International’s work on the issue, please contact:
Nancy Knickerbocker, Communications Coordinator, at (+32) 2-224-0681