Save the Children centres help working children realise their rights
Save the Children is helping children as young as seven to escape child labour in Lebanon by teaching them about their rights at three recently opened centres in Akkar, North Lebanon.
Some 200 children, who work in a range of occupations, including painting, mechanics, butchery and construction, come to these centres in Bireh, Mounseh and Akroum where they can spend time relaxing after a long, hard day’s work.
The children engage in purposeful games and activities that focus on how to protect them from harm, and teach them about child rights, child labour and road safety.
Hanine Ibrahim, Child Protection Manager at Save the Children, said: “Through these activities, Save the Children aims to reduce the risks facing working children, using an approach that focuses on offering psychosocial support and disseminating knowledge amongst the children on the dangers of child labour, and how they can protect themselves during work.’’
Save the Children also works with parents and employers to inform them on the harmful impact of sending children to work at a young age. Parents are financially supported and encouraged to take their children out of the job market, while employers are advised to reduce children’s working hours and ease their workload.
Ibrahim said: “We support parents to ensure they understand the importance of protecting their children from unsafe work. The main aim is to limit school dropouts which take place because of parents’ limited financial resources, and support working children to be able to return to school.
"The main aim is to stop any children from dropping out of school for financial reasons and support working children to be able to return to school. When that is impossible, we help them find other types of work that are less dangerous and more suitable for their capabilities.’’
The activities come as the world marks the 27th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989, which sets out children’s rights including the right to life, health, education and protection. Through this project, Save the Children contributes to the National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Lebanon.
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