Training of Trainers’ on Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media successfully concluded

The CLEAR Cotton project built the capacity of 30 masters trainers on eliminating child labour in the cotton value chain thanks to the SCREAM methodology

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 23 May 2022
At the Training of Trainers (ToT) on the ILO's SCREAM, Pakistan. © ILO
ISLAMABAD (ILO News): The ILO under its project “Eliminating Child Labour and Forced Labour in the Cotton, Textile and Garment Value Chains: An Integrated Approach” (CLEAR Cotton) co-funded by the European Union, organized a weeklong ‘Training of Trainers’ (ToT) on SCREAM (Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media) methodology from 9 to 13 May 2022. This hybrid ToT was organised in collaboration with the NGO Rights Studio and attended by 30 participants representing national Trade Unions and Civil Society Organisations. The ToT was delivered online by Dr Ben Cislaghi, lead author of the SCREAM agriculture module, and his team, and moderated in-person by Mr Muzammil Habib Sheikh.

The ILO’s SCREAM program aims to promote awareness among young people about children’s rights, with a focus on child labour, so that they in turn can speak out and mobilise their communities to act. Ultimately, SCREAM seeks to change social attitudes to promote a culture of respect for children’s rights and to strengthen the worldwide movement against child labour. Agriculture remains Pakistan’s largest employment generating sector and substant contributor to the national income. However, the national child labour survey of 1996 also highlights this sector as the one where the majority of Child Labour cases are found, with a share of 74 per cent.

Against this background, this ToT focused on the SCREAM special module on child labour in agriculture, to help in raising the awareness of children and young people from rural communities (especially those subject to or at risk of child labour). The objective was to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to implement the SCREAM methodology with children and youth, with a focus on child labour in agriculture, contributing to the elimination of child labour in Pakistan. Children need to understand that they have the right not to be engaged in child labour, the dangers associated with child labour in agriculture, and the crucial importance of promoting decent work in this sector for the well-being of humanity.

The ToT helped participants to learn how to express themselves through the arts and the media to improve their technical and pedagogical competencies, enabling them to facilitate SCREAM workshops in the future. Over the course of the five days, participants were introduced to the situation of child labour in Pakistan, the ILO’s and the CLEAR Cotton project’s work to eliminate it. Activities from the SCREAM core Education Pack, the SCREAM Special Module on Child Labour in Agriculture and the SCREAM Music Module were held and led to the development of a SCREAM action plan for Pakistan. The last was marked by an activity with children and youth from a school dedicated for workers’ children education was organized. The participants praised the trainers from the Rights Studio and vowed to take the learning to other trade unionists, teachers, and children.

In his welcome address, Mr Mahandra G. Naidoo, officer-in-charge, CO-Islamabad welcomed the participants and highlighted the significance of the agriculture sector for Pakistan, in particular in regard to child labour. Recalling the need for children to be aware of their rights, he welcomed this training that would allow participants to play an active role for meeting the ambitious SDG Target 8.7.

Following, Mr Choudhary Muhammad Yasin, General Secretary, Pakistan Workers Federation, highlighted the crucial role of trade unions and Civil Society Organisations in the elimination of child labour from Pakistan and invited the participants to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Dr Ulrich Thiessen, First Secretary, Development Advisor – Rural Development & Economic Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Pakistan, who attended the closing ceremony, lauded the ILO’s innovated approach of using Art, Media and Culture to tackle the issue of child labour. He encouraged participants to use the knowledge gained from this ToT for mobilizing society and children against child labour.