Counseling Refugee artisans on World Day against Child Labor

Venue: Barmer, Rajasthan
Date: June 12, 2013

Every year, on June 12th, the World Day against Child Labor is observed to raise awareness about the plight of child laborers world-wide. It was started by International Labor Organization (ILO).

On the occasion of World Day against Child Labor, SETU organized a workshop at their partner artisans in Barmer to raise awareness against child labor amongst the families of refugee artisans.

The town Barmer is located in west Rajasthan, very near to India-Pakistan border. It is shelter home to several refugees from Pakistan, struggling for their rights since many years. Being a dry, arid & drought prone region, agriculture & employment opportunities are very less. Therefore, to make ends meet, the women have been trained and are working as artisans engaged in mirror work, embroidery and other embellishments.

In most families, these women are the sole bread earners and their incomes often cannot support their large families. Due to lack of education and awareness among these migrants, their young children are forced to be engaged in tasks like working on tea stalls & restaurants, cleaning used dishes at catering parties, carrying heavy rocks at construction sites, pulling barrows, working as domestic servants, begging money at traffic signals etc. Thus, instead of receiving education & learning, these small hands are busy collecting few pennies to add to family’s income.

SETU received a request from their partner artisan group (SF) for organizing a workshop to make these refugee artisans aware of the cons of child labor. The aim of the program was to:

· Make the community aware about the ill effects of child labor.
· Make the families and children aware of the importance of child education.
· Advise relevant organizations & people on how to help eradicate this problem on personal, official and community levels.

About 97 people attended the camp involving men, women & children. A lot of them shared their grievances with our team. SETU’s program coordinator listened to the problems and advised them with solutions where possible. The team tackled many issues with relevant examples which helped in guiding them a lot.