Hivos believes all people have the right - and the ability - to shape their lives on the basis of personal choices. When the choices of some hold sway over the destiny of others, as in the case of child labourers, Hivos feels it is the role of concerned organisations to help create structures that will get these children full-time into school and to change the attitudes of those who keep children in work, preventing them from realising their full potential as human beings.
For this reason, Hivos coordinates the coalition ‘Stop Child Labour – School is the best place to work’. Stop Child Labour advocates for good formal education for children and a decent income for adults. We cooperate with local organisations in Asia, Africa and Latin America that are committed to getting all children out of work and into school. We promote the area-based approach to create child labour free zones: areas where the inhabitants are convinced that child labour should be eliminated and are prepared to take the necessary steps to get all children out of work and into school.
We work with frontrunners (parents, children, employers, teachers, unions, NGOs, civil society and governments) in child labour affected countries that support the right of all children to an education. People who realise that poverty is not the main cause of child labour and want to change the attitude in their area. Our strategy is to push for change by showing that these kind of innovative local solutions are realistic and attainable.
In Europe, the coalition advocates towards consumers, companies, governments and international organisations to be part of the solution. In addition, we promote child labour free products by drawing the attention of businesses and CSR initiatives to the need to eliminate child labour and, where possible, collaborating with them. We lobby with the government, the EU and national and international organisations for a more proactive policy against child labour, and call on citizens to make their voices heard. This way, we aim to encourage active involvement and commitment by all stakeholders worldwide. Together we seek new ways to remove persistent obstacles to a world without child labour.