© Gelberta Neziri Gashi
Should children above 10 years of age help their parents working in agriculture? How can you support your friend if you find out he/she is involved in child labour? What can teachers do to support the eradication of child labour? When and how can you legally employ young people? These were some of the questions students and teachers discussed during the classes dedicated to the World Day against Child Labour. Teachers also explained why education helps to eradicate child labour.
The school day against child labour in Kosovo received support from the ILO MAP’16 project (Measurement, Awareness-Raising, and Policy Engagement to accelerate action against child labor and forced labor). MAP’16 covers more than 20 countries and territories around the globe including Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia from South East Europe. For an intro on MAP’16 see here„Every individual has his rights which he should enjoy, no one has the right to deny them. But not every time a voice is raised when rights are violated, especially among children. No one should deny us the rights just because we are children, have no physical strength or high intellectual abilities. No one has the right to abuse children, force them to work or direct their lives.”
Erisa Xheladini, aged 15, ‘’Green School’’, Prishtina, Kosovo
Kosovo also joined the global initiative „End Child Labour 2021” through five pledges to accelerate the end of child labour during the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. The objective of this campaign is to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 (worldwide eradication of child labour) by 2025. The five pledges include raising awareness about child labour; mobilisation of agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Development to identify and prevent child labour in forestry and agriculture; increased monitoring and support by Education Inspectors and Municipal Directorates of Education; training of teachers on the prevention and identification of child labour.
According to latest KSA-UNICEF data (2020), 5 per cent of children aged 5–17 years in the general population living in Kosovo, and 7 per cent of children of the same age living in Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities are involved in child labour. Many of these children are working under hazardous working conditions.
The ILO coordinates the worldwide activities on the occasion of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour (2021). ILO estimates that child labour globally decreased by 38 per cent in the last two decades, with almost 100 million children removed from child labour. But, 152 million children across the world are still in child labour, concentrated in agriculture, services and industries. The global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening these achievements. For many children and their families, the consequences have been disrupted education, family illness and loss of household income, augmenting the risk of child labour.