The Stop Child Labour movement is growing from strength to strength. On April 16th - 19th, child rights defenders came together in the Ugandan capital Kampala. 120 delegates from 24 countries, within and outside the African continent, gathered together at the Conference "Out of Work, Into School - Working towards Child Labour Free Zones". During this conference, organized by Stop Child Labour and her local partners, the area-based approach and the Child Labour Free Zones were promoted as the most effective and successfull way to combat child labour in Africa.
>> Watch our video on Child Labour Free Zones:
Experiences were shared and field visits organized to inspire and motivate even more stakeholders, including governments, to get involved.“Child Labour Free Zones are emerging and the movement is growing in confidence and impact. Communities have embraced the concept and I am encouraged to see them stand up for themselves. They are now demanding quality education and government ownership to sustain this process,” said Sofie Ovaa, the International Co-ordinator of the Stop Child Labour campaign.
According to Major (Rtd) Jessica Alupo, Uganda’s Minister for Education and Sports “No distinction should be made between different forms of child labour in this process because every child has the right to education. The process of creating Child Labour Free Zones should involve all stakeholders like children themselves, teachers, parents, unions, community groups, local authorities and employers."
“Schools should be instruments to create citizens, eliminate disparity and put children under scrutiny. Children become public when they are in school. Schools need to be prepared to handle the challenges placed before them. There are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts,’ children should be in school,” said Professor Shantha Sinha, India’s Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
Also Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Ploumen supports the Child Labour Free Zones. In her speech, she called Child Labour Free Zones a most successful initiative to combat child labour. Furthermore, she stated that the Netherlands will ensure that the outcomes of the conference will be followed up at the Global Child Labour Conference in Brazil in October 2013. >> Watch her video message:
Kampala Declaration "Working towards Child Labour Free Zones
"The conference was concluded by the signing of the Kampala Declaration "Working toward Child Labour Free Zones". By supporting this declaration unanimously - with International Labour Organization (ILO) as witness - all delegates have shown their commitment to the creation and strengthening of Child Labour Free Zones in their own local, national and international contexts.