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. This is why IPEC aims at simultaneously facilitating both policy reforms and a change in attitudes within countries, among those directly concerned with the problem – children, parents, employers and others – 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 this to changes in legislation, programmes, budgets and institutional structures.
Awareness-raising and social mobilization are integral components of the education process. Creating awareness about child labour to bring about positive changes within society starts with awakening the minds of individuals – and consequently of the social structures within societies – by, in the first place, identifying it as a problem and then as an unacceptable state that has to be changed.
More information than ever before is available, as are means for communicating it to wider communities. Information must be put to work to raise awareness among politicians, the public and parents, teachers, to motivate adult workers, employers and trade unions, to protect children from exploitation, and to mobilize all sectors of society, including children, to put an end to child labour.
In addition, by forging alliances with key social actors in education, IPEC aims to contribute to a new vision in education policy worldwide whereby the prevention of child labour is seen as one of the objectives of the education system itself and the barriers between education programmes and social protection programmes are broken down. IPEC works with other social partners and civil society organizations, including Education International, Education For All, the Global Campaign for Education and the Global March Against Child Labour at the national, regional and international levels in giving momentum to and gaining broad support for EFA and the progressive elimination of child labour.