OVERVIEW: Throughout the world, 250 million children are working to earn money for their families, 125 million work full
time. The conditions under which they labor are often brutal and because they work, they are denied an education
to improve their condition, they are denied the protection of the law, and are denied the opportunity to be a child.
The International Labour Organization is the arm of the United Nations that deals with this issue, but how accurately
have they defined the problem, and how effectively are they dealing with it is the measure of the fulfillment of ILO goals.
CORE QUESTION: How effective is the international response to child labor problems?
TIME REQUIRED: One 40-minute period. Extension activities could add 3 more 40-minute sections/periods.
SUGGESTED GRADE LEVELS: Grades 8 - 12.
INTERDISCIPLINARY CONNECTIONS: Social Studies and Visual Arts.
NEW JERSEY CORE CONTENT STANDARDS: 6.1: 10-13; 6.2: 9-11;
6.3: 9,12,14; 6.4: 9-13; 6.5 13-5; 6.6 13-15; 6.7: 11-12; 6.8: 12-17.
- Students will describe the extent of the problem as the international community sees it.
- Students will evaluate the analysis of the ILO.
- Students will evaluate the tactics in the response of the ILO.
- Students will determine whether national sovereignty is a valid
answer to not allowing international agencies to monitor or remedy the problems.
- Students will synthesize responses to the critical needs of developing
countries that are troubled by child labor problems.
STRATEGIES: (A computer lab is needed to do this to work in the form intended.) This lesson is intended
to be one of several possible lessons to sum up / close the unit on child labor. Previous background or case
studies is required and those lessons are located on this site.
Click here to access the
worksheet that goes with the web research. It will
bring up a MICROSOFT WORD document. Saving it to your
disk or network folder will allow you to modify it. Print out enough for your classes.
When in the computer lab, direct students to the follow web address:
Have the students review the questions on the worksheet and
answer them on the sheet or on a word processing document
that they can print for you at the end of the period.
If the class cannot complete the assignment in class,
issue its completion for homework. Collect the questions,
grade them, and use them for the basis of a discussion
that could take up another 40-minute class period. The
issue of national sovereignty ("stay out my country—who
gives you the right to interfere?") comes into play when
the ILO or other agencies nose their way into other country's governments.
EXTENSION ACTIVITY – 2 more 40-minute periods, one in a computer lab, one discussing.
Direct students to the WORLD BANK web site (http://www.worldbank.org).
Ask each student to go to "Country and Regions" on the
left side navigation. Have them select a developing country
in any region of the world that might be a candidate for
child labor problems (example: Mali). Click on either
"LENDING PROJECTS" or "PIPELINE PROJECTS" and look for
a recent education initiative. Be patient—not all countries
will have them, some will have many, and those that do
may not have the data files on the project (which are
key to evaluate whether that education initiative will
put kids in school and take them out of the factories
and off of the farms). The Mali example is a good one
in case you just want to focus the activity on one country.
The PROJECT INFORMATION DOCUMENT is available in either
text or Adobe PDF formats. DO NOT HIT PRINT!
NOTE: Please go through this process before you set your students
to it! Have the students sift through the important
information before they write a synopsis of the program
and evaluate the effectiveness of it in remedying the
child labor abuses. Having guided several classes in
examining World Bank and International Monetary Fund materials,
it is vital that the teacher know what is there, how to
get to the heart of the issue, and how to get the most
out of it. Please take the time ahead of time for the
extension activity. The main part of the lesson can be
done with some prior preparation.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER LAB--the ILO web
document that you view is 15 pages of printed material,
and counting the one page worksheet, that is 16, which
makes 8 two-sided pages. If your photocopy room
allows it print up packets for classroom use and go over
it in class.
Computer lab or research packets
The child labor worksheet
If a computer lab is unavailable, research packets can be
compiled from the following sources:
CHILD LABOUR: WHAT'S TO BE DONE? Document for discussion at the
Informal Tripartite Meeting at the Ministerial Level,
International Labour Office, Geneva. First published June
1996. (The ILO document listed above. There
is another part to this document. Change the number 2
at the end of the web address to 1 and hit ENTER and the
first part of that document comes up.)
The World Bank. Click the
links to visit their site.
The child labor worksheet can be found by clicking the link.
Child Labor Worksheet
Answers to the worksheet questions are graded. Summary and evaluation
of the extension activity could be graded on thoroughness
and staying on the topic of alleviating child labor problems.