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Role Of Unicef And The International Labour Organization In The Working Children’s Movement

3127 words - 13 pages


This paper deals with the role of transnational actors like UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the working children’s movement. It examines the role of development communication in empowering working children, and its impact on the movement. The paper begins with a brief introduction to development, linking it with issues concerning working children. It then goes into a brief overview of UNICEF and the ILO, and talks about the role of each in the international working children’s movement. It evaluates one program executed by each of the organizations in dealing with a development situation, in terms of intent and purpose, policies and procedures, obstacles faced, and the outcome of each effort. I then present my critique of strategies followed by both actors and my conclusion from this comparative analysis regarding the effectiveness of each actor. As this is a topic that has been of concern to me for a while, this analysis might appear to be a bit subjective to the reader, but I have tried to bear in mind objectivity, and did extensive research on both organizations to make sure that I was looking at a wide enough body of work. The research consists mainly of information I found on both websites as well as a few books and journal articles. It also comes from the first hand experience of a non-profit organization that works with issues concerning working children, who have worked closely with the ILO and the United Nations. A transnational actor can be defined as a person, business or organization that operates across borders and has some impact on world societies and environments. It became apparent to me as I was doing my research that transnational actors often have admirable intentions, and may follow through with them in some cases. However, development is a complex and subjective process and eventual outcomes may be vastly different from initial objectives. Development can be defined as a wide participatory process of social change in a society intended to bring about both social and material advancement including greater equality, freedom and other valued qualities for the majority of the people through gaining greater control over their environment (Everett Rogers, 1976, Moemeka, Pg.8). I believe that development needs to start at the grassroots, and it needs to begin with children. This is not to say that this is the only kind of development that needs to take place, but this is the best kind of development for the future, as it is a fresh learning process vs. an ‘undoing old methods and re-learning’ process. Issues concerning children therefore need to be addressed immediately. Child labour is one of the primary concerns in developing countries. Child labour has been defined by the ILO as all economic activities carried out by persons less than 15 years of age (regardless of occupational status, wage-earners, own-account workers, unpaid family workers etc.) Child labour is illegal in...

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