Campaign to raise awareness among youth, university students and Mexican society at large
Mexico City, Mexico – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) signed today an agreement with Mexico’s Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) to raise awareness within Mexican society about child labor. As part of this new agreement, PADF will carry out a campaign called "Tod@s Contra el Trabajo Infantil” (Everyone Against Child Labor) with additional support from the Telefónica Foundation, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Mexico and the Mexican Institute of Youth (IMJUVE).
Through this initiative, STPS seeks to engage Mexican society and to build on the work of the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to eradicate child labor throughout the country. The campaign is a partnership of the government, private sector and civil society organizations to raise awareness across all levels of Mexican society, particularly among young people, to encourage them to become agents of change.
As a result of the measures taken by Mexico’s current administration, more than 500,000 children are no longer engaged in child labor and have been integrated into schools. This has made Mexico a model country on this issue within the region. However, more than 2.5 million children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 continue to be affected by child labor, according to Mexico’s National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI).
"The Mexican government is taking important steps to combat child labor," said Alfonso Navarrete Prida, Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare. "We hope that through this new initiative we can continue to educate and influence the perception of Mexican society about this problem. Change starts with young people. They have a powerful and viral voice that can be part of the solution."
"Education is a fundamental right that allows the development not only of individuals but also of society as a whole. We want all Mexican children to remain in school and get an education, so they can ensure a good future for themselves, their families and Mexico,” said Caterina Valero, Senior Programs Director for PADF. “When children and young people are educated, the result is a society that is better prepared to promote economic and social progress. Children and young people deserve the opportunity to have a healthy and hopeful future. Victims of child labor face daunting challenges. The work interrupts their education unnecessarily, burdens them with responsibilities that do not correspond with their age, and has a negative impact by limiting their capacity and that of society to progress.”
Through this initiative, Telefónica Foundation in Mexico, which has been a close ally for several years, will continue to support the wellbeing of children and young Mexicans and facilitate access to better educational opportunities.
The new campaign, which is slated to launch in August of 2016, will include events in several Mexican states on the issue of child labor. The goal is to raise awareness among youth and society at large, encouraging them to be part of the solution. Activities will include university forums, documentary screenings, and concerts.
This initiative will also involve a national contest among university students to produce a video documentary about the issue of child labor. The winning entry will be incorporated into a longer documentary that will be screened widely in the media and across social networks.
In addition, the campaign will update the website "Your Voice Against Child Labor," which provides information, materials and multimedia resources for young people to learn about the negative effects of child labor and participate in discussions on this issue. PADF also plans to develop a curriculum about child labor for students of the Mexican Institute of Youth (IMJUVE), to help ensure that youth in this network have the tools to become agents of change regarding this problem.
PADF has a long history of cooperation with Mexico. The “Tod@s” initiative builds on the success of the previous “Mexico Without Child Labor” campaign. In 2014, PADF worked with the Mexican government, private sector partners and civil society organizations to launch a multimedia campaign and a road show to five Mexican states. The campaign reached more than 7.5 million people throughout the country and won the “Global Awareness Award” at the World Media Festival in Germany.