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SOS-Kinderdorf setzt sich ein gegen Kinderarbeit
We create perspectives for familie

We say no to child labour

The main cause of child labour: abject, merciless poverty.

Children whose parents are too poor to feed them have to contribute to their livelihood. Children whose families have already been torn apart by poverty are left to fend for themselves. They often have no choice but to be exploited. Otherwise they would not be able to survive.

Viewed the other way round, however, child labour is also a cause of poverty. If children do not go to school and do not receive an education, they will hardly be able to feed themselves and a family sufficiently in the long term. Their chances are unequally worse compared to educated children and young people. This vicious circle must be broken.

Strengthening families combats child labour

This is where our work comes in. For more than 60 years, SOS Children's Villages has been fighting poverty and helping children in need. In doing so, the aid organisation relies, among other things, on educational opportunities to prevent poverty and child labour. Parentless and abandoned children receive schooling and vocational training in the facilities attached to the SOS villages.
Poor families, who often live in slums or run-down suburban settlements in large cities, are supported by SOS Family Aid. Prevention is the keyword here. Parents and children are supported before the family can break apart.

Helping people to help themselves

The example of our support programme in Kantché (Niger) shows how SOS Family Aid works. Through their work, our SOS employees support socially and economically disadvantaged families in 18 villages in the department of Kantché. Savings and lending groups are set up and existing ones are supported. In these groups, women give each other loans for emergencies or to set up a small business. The groups also set up small businesses themselves. For this to succeed, the women acquire basic skills in bookkeeping and management. By processing agricultural products and other raw materials, the women achieve greater added value. Together they make products such as baked goods, sesame paste or Marseille soap.

In addition, the centre offers vocational counselling and grants micro-credits for business start-ups. Educating children about their rights is also a task of the centre.

The goal here is always to help people help themselves. The aim is to create the possibility for the family to live independently one day. Unfortunately, however, not all families who send their children to work out of necessity can be reached through such projects. As long as there is extreme poverty in many countries, there will also be child labour. Families do not send their children to work out of heartlessness, but because they see no other way to survive.

Principles of child labour must be followed

It goes without saying that exploitative child labour cannot be tolerated. But if children have to work to ensure their survival, then the principles of Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child must also be followed. The physical and mental integrity as well as the right to education of children must be guaranteed. Otherwise, the vicious circle of poverty and child labour cannot be broken.