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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO, 2000, 356 p.)
close this folder8. Awareness-raising
close this folderINTRODUCTION
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAspects of communication
View the documentProcess of communication


"Child labour touches on the livelihood and survival of many millions of families and communities, as well as the comfort and prosperity of others. It inspires conflicting feelings and reactions and these are best resolved if regulatory action is complemented by dialogue, education, and information-sharing among all concerned. Hence the importance of public awareness-raising efforts in the prevention and elimination of child labour. If society as a whole recognizes that child labour is a problem, the stage has been set to stigmatize and then eradicate its most abusive manifestations. Government policy, especially the enforcement of national laws, requires public backing."

ILO: Child Labour: Targeting the intolerable (Geneva, 1996)

Given that child labour problems are ingrained in the socio-cultural and economic structure of society, the process to solve them effectively is complex and diverse. That is why the ILO aims at simultaneously facilitating both policy reforms and a change in attitudes within countries, among those directly concerned with the problem - children, parents and employers - and in society as a whole. These two aims are closely related. Extensive awareness-raising and social mobilization lead to a shift in attitudes about child labour in society, which in turn creates public demand for policy reforms, and thus to changes in legislation, programmes, budgets and institutional structures.

This chapter illustrates positive experiences in awareness-raising and advocacy on child labour issues emerging from recent initiatives around the world, many of them with support from the ILO and its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). It highlights important messages that can be used to overcome misconceptions and constraints posed by established socio-cultural patterns which lead to or perpetuate apathy, resistance or inaction. It focuses primarily on the communication process in the fight against child labour.