June 12, 2015

World Day Against Child Labor : Latin America



In Ecuador, PMI has been partnering with the Desarrollo y Autogestion Center  since 2011.  The Center’s program addresses the main obstacles for rural children to enroll in, continue and complete their basic education.  The program have five core objectives, namely to:

  • Develop and implement a child labor prevention program through the use of workshops and campaigns (attended by a total of 2,157 people in 2014);
  • Encourage the enrollment of older children in school;
  • Improve teacher performance and teaching methods to encourage first time enrollment and prevent early drop-out;
  • Provide adolescents with access to improved technical/vocational training to equip them with wider labor market skills; and 
  • Involve key stakeholders, particularly from government (i.e., the Ministries of Labor, Social Welfare and Education).  

The program equally offers tutoring and mentoring for children in tobacco-growing areas where the incidence of child labor is high. Last year, 700 children participated in the Center’s activities thanks to 19 after-school programs and the provision of extra-curricular activities, which included lunchtime meals to ensure children could stay at school throughout the day.

In Argentina, PMI has been partnering for over a decade with local NGO, Conciencia , to help prevent and eradicate child labor through the Porvenir program.   The program is built around three main pillars:

  • Improving living conditions by providing technical assistance to underprivileged families (through the provision of seeds, poultry farming training and in order to provide water sources, etc.)
  • Supporting education through the strengthening of school activities to retain primary school students and improve the quality of teacher training, financing school retention projects, reintegrating adolescents into the education system and providing school supplies (stationary) and meals for children (breakfast and lunch).
  • Raising awareness of the need to tackle child labor and education by working closely with government agencies from the Education, Health and Labor Ministries.

In 2014, 1,500 children from tobacco-growing families enrolled in 11 Centers for childhood and adolescent development, where access to sports activities, arts and technical training was provided.

Over the past 13 years, the Porvenir program has helped provide access to education for 30,000 children (13,000 in the North West of Argentina and training for 600 teachers, and 17,000 children in the North East of the country).

In Mexico, PMI has been partnering with Save the Children Mexico  & Rural Development of Nayarit, Civil Association since 2008 to rollout a program which has created seven centers for nearly 450 children from agricultural farmworker families in the tobacco growing regions of the State of Nayarit.   Operating across a number of the State’s municipalities, the program offers children healthy school meals, medical services and government-sponsored education services (both primary and secondary school levels) as well as recreational activities. Recently, together with Save The Children Foundation, efforts were made to extend the Centers’ opening hours to include evening workshops for the parents of participating children.  The centers also provide basic education to migrant children coupled with an intercultural focus to help respond to the needs of this target population during their stay in Nayarit.  As a result, a higher number of migrant children have completed their basic education and the program has helped strengthen the ability of the schooling system in the area to respond to the specific educational needs of migrant children.