Social Mobilization for the eradication of Child Labour Benedito dos Santos, & Vesna Bosnjak
Social mobilization is term widely used in Brazil to refer to different forms of advocacy, persuasion and alliance building. These efforts go beyond ensuring law enforcement and/or beneficiaries' participation in service delivery. They are undertaken with the intention of enhancing the adoption of socially responsible behavioural patterns and social demand for it.
It is generally assumed that the results of social mobilization depend on the social credibility of the mobilizers, on the efficiency of the chosen communication methods for each audience and on reinforcement of initial results through actions which generate longer term commitments for the actors involved.
Brazilian practice can be seen to fall at all stages of a hypothetical continuum from conventional to more advanced forms of social mobilization. This includes mobilization efforts that are similar to commercial marketing (i.e. based on un-reflected assimilation or adherence to a product), those involving more complex socio-cultural interaction (through negotiation and dialogue) and finally those which manage to contribute to behavioural change in terms of actors' positioning vis-a-vis violations of human rights (civil, political, economic, social and cultural). These efforts at the end of the spectrum involve risk-taking, conflict- mediation and resolution and the modelling of ethical behaviour.
This study looks at a part of the new know-how developed in relation to social mobilization of entrepreneurs, decision makers, NGOs, journalists and citizens at large. The forms of mobilization referred to were crystallised in awareness-raising campaigns mainly used for changing attitudes of the public at large, labelling and social clauses mainly used for mobilizing entrepreneurs, social pacts used for mobilizing different actors whose joint action was deemed necessary for dealing with complex social problems, and rewards and competitions to mobilize social actors (NGOs and journalists etc) to set the standards for their performance and create networks to strengthen their action. The particular challenges of mobilizing against sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents is examined in the penultimate section of this chapter.
The common denominator for these courses of action are :
- the deliberate intention of an organization or group of organizations to communicate with a particular audience in order to provoke adhesion to the idea of change in a specific situation.
- systematic work to define audiences and elaborate information messages and/or criteria and standards for performance.
- development of incentives for participation and formal frameworks for the expression of commitments, dialogue and/or internal and external pressure for further action.
definition of follow-up actions in order to institutionalize results achieved and/or reinforce other actors for multiplication of results.
Discussions on the various forms of social mobilization in this chapter repeatedly point to the lack of tools for qualitative studies of the impact of social mobilization on attitudes. The chapter therefore concludes with material from a study conducted in 1992 on the impact of social mobilization on social policy professionals, pointing the way for future studies.
1. Research as a prerequisite for mobilization activities
Research on child labour now has a significant place within the body of specialized literature on children and poverty. Over the years, along with studies on the institutionalization of the so-called ''minor'', it is one of the issues on which there has been most research and publication.
An analysis of this research indicates that the approval of the Children's Statute in 1990 and the adoption of the child rights paradigm was a watershed. Until the 1990s research concentrated on showing the levels of exploitation of children, but given that child labour was tolerated, there was no emphasis on its elimination. From the 1990s research is more instrumental, guiding interventions, and examining prevention issues including forms of regulating self-employment, co-operatives, and street selling by street children, and issues related to vocational training and education through work.
From the 1990s attempts to implement child rights legislation and a focus on denunciations of contemporary forms of slave labour, gave visibility to the issue of child labour and the need for greater research on the phenomenon and solutions to it. UNICEF and the ILO's IPEC program stimulated and made investments in government statistical organs, university studies and those carried out by trade unions and non-governmental organizations. The beginnings of a research base in public and private universities and NGOs can be dated from the 1980s, with the setting up of research centres, which significantly increased research on children and adolescents and social policies, including research on child labour.1
Summarizing the results of research prior to 1990, Fukui et al 2(1994) concludes that ''whilst child labour had been widely noted throughout the country it was little studied or debated.´´ Studies were broad, generic and fragmentary ''but lacked theoretical elaboration, syntheses and an overview of the issue'' or any evaluation of the results of government and non-government programs in this field. The authors conclude that whilst research regularly denounced the situation of child labour, it ´´did little to defend children and adolescents' interests, because it failed to contribute with proposals for public policies aimed at eradicating child labour and giving priority to schooling''.
In the 1990s the picture changes significantly, after NGOs and trade union movements began to try to formulate more general proposals for public policies. Research can be analyzed as follows:
eg. Studies produced by the CUT on children working in the babaçu nut harvest (1994); in the shoe industry (1994), in sugar-cane cutting in the Serãzinho region of São Pulo (1994); and in tea cultivation (1994); and studies and research by the Josué de Castro Centre on child workers in sugar-cane cutting in Pernambuco.´´
specific aspects of the problem - such as child socialization in relation to work
eg. by Dauster 1992, on the social construction of school failure in the favela of Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro; by de Souza 1993 on concepts of work in the periphery of Goânia; and by CEAP 1991 on children,adolescents, work and trade unionism.
or in registering child labour situations not encompassed by official statistics (for example children under 10 years of age) eg. De Souza on working children in the shoe industry in Franca, and by the Instituto de Estudos Especiais of the Catholic University of São Paulo on myths and dilemmas of adolescent work
iv) evaluation of program methodologies
A predominance of sociological studies gave way to more anthropological and psychological approaches, and a return to case-studies
Studies become more instrumental, examining concrete situations to provide support for concrete interventions.
eg. In addition to the CUT studies already mentioned, the Forum for the Prevention of Child Labour produced a situation analysis and series of recommendations in relation to the shoe manufacturing industry in São Paulo, and the Sugar-Alcohol industry in Campos, Rio de Janeiro.
1.2. Relevance and challenges of research studies
The mobilization of governmental statistical organs was an important strategy. This enabled knowledge of the profile of child labour, and of ever more specific and detailed studies of it. A fundamental initiative was the development of integrated inter-sectorial information systems on children and adolescents, which were able to improve statistical production in this area.3
There still remain gaps.
little is known about child labour of those under 10 years old
little is known about child labour in rural areas, even though this accounts for almost half the child workforce
methodologies for measuring child and adolescent labour in the informal sector are lacking
the production of statistics at national level hinders knowledge of child labour in each municipality
indicators and variables remain very generic. At present child labour can be examined according to
family socio-economic and cultural conditions (size, structure, income level, level of schooling, migrant or fixed status)
regional or urban/rural characteristics (large, medium and small towns)
age, gender and race
the invisibility of certain forms of child labour still need to be challenged. These include forms in which child income is absorbed in family income, in family work systems, in domestic and home work and in contract work.
Statistical organs still need to be encouraged to improve information collection systems and interpretation, including of already available data.
Better organization of research demand to support intervention strategies may help avoid repetition of exploratory studies, which though useful for mapping child labour in Brazil, have not responded to the deficiencies outlined above.
Commentated bibliographies mapping the available literature have contributed to information sharing on study topics and to the diagnosis of research gaps.
Case studies and evaluations of particular interventions have greatly contributed to
increase knowledge of the worst forms of child labour;
register and share good practice in child labour eradication.
In relation to evaluation studies, two areas need follow-up:
checking whether there has been a migration of children from ''eradicated labour'' to other more dangerous forms, as suggested by some of those critical of policies to eliminate child labour; and
examining application of laws and norms in relation to child and adolescent labour.
2. Mobilizing the Media
Organizations specializing in mobilizing the media, and other NGOs dedicated to eradicating child labour were the principal agents who contributed to putting child labour on the media agenda, increasing its coverage and improving the quality of reports linked to child labour.
According to Children and the Media 1999 (ANDI,2000),4 whilst there has been uneven coverage of the subject since 1996, the press has been a great ''ally'' in all child labour eradication projects. Although in 10th place in relation to all child-related media coverage, ''material published on exploitation of child labour is of strong impact and is generally placed on the front page''.
In relation to the content of coverage, it seems that Fukui's (1994) comments have been heard by the media. According to Fukui, who analyzed 512 reports in three São Paulo newspapers (O Estado de São Paulo, Folha de São Paulo and Notícias Populares.) in the 1970s, there was very little interest or coverage of the issue in the media at this time, although it was in the 1970s that mass entry of children aged 10-14 into the labour market occurred, even though this was prohibited in law. Child labour was ''tolerated because it was seen as a means of preventing delinquency''. Coverage increased somewhat in the 1980s. Yet further research by Fukui on reports in print media aimed at different classes in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre between 1990 and 1992, revealed that child labour was not problematized in reporting, and that there was a great distance between research work and information in the media. She concluded '' the media, as a sounding box for society, is caught between denunciations arising out of research efforts and the ambiguities of the law, it is unable to problematize the issue of child labour, because it is not guided by citizenship actions that affirm child rights''.(1994).
Research by ANDI confirms Fukui's thesis, and shows a change in media behaviour from the mid 1990s. At the same time as denouncing situations of child labour the media began to report on the various mobilization efforts by government and non-governmental organizations to find solutions to it. ''It is not rare to find alongside denunciations (on the same page or in the same report) news of successful experiences in combating the problem). To illustrate : of all reports on child labour in 1999 31.78% were denunciations of the exploitation of child labour and 42.99% were on the search for solutions. From the 1990s the issue of ''problematization of child labour'' began to be resolved in contrast to the situation in the 1970s and 80s. A turning point was reached when investigative reporting began to examine the exploitation of child labour at the end of the production chain and those who benefit from it.
ANDI and its partners in the states, has been doing basic daily work qualifying the work of journalists and setting the press agenda with issues related to children and adolescents. Since it is not linked to governments, a media outlet or company, ANDI is able to achieve autonomy and independence in disseminating information.
The lessons learned from these experiences mobilizing the media in relation to children and adolescents include :
The credibility of those leading mobilization is fundamental. Organizations or individuals leading mobilization should command respect in journalistic circles. If they have been journalists themselves and ''know the other side'', this is a plus.
Maintaining an information base of up-to-date research is important for agenda setting and for analyzing trends and evaluating work of mobilizing agents. It is therefore important to continuously research coverage in the main newspapers and feed these into a data bank
Agenda setting for newspapers and magazines involves a strategy of selecting good information for the right vehicle. One of the methods uses is ''passing a good lead'' to the right paper. This involves providing concrete and substantiated information in writing, that can generate a good report. Knowing the profile of the vehicle, and daily follow up on the types of issues being suggested, are fundamental and influence the choice of whom to send material to. Credibility of the source and consistency of information are two basic premises, so that the agency becomes as reliable reference, guaranteeing continuing of its services.
Information should be provided to the most appropriate inter-locuteur. Evaluations need to be made as to who in a newspaper should receive the first contact (journalist, scheduler or editor). The most defining element relates to who is the most sensitive to social questions affecting children and adolescents.
Mobilizing agents may offer support in preparing reports and should be aware of issues of timing in media vehicles. In general journalists refer to agencies seeking diagnoses, examples of successful experiences, identification of specialists, contacts and important references for their reporting. However an important factor in improving the quality of reporting, is emergency support given by such agencies to help the journalist finish their report at the time of going to press.
Setting up web-sites with press-clippings of reports published in the main newspapers, helps not only to provide support to journalists in preparing material, but also serves to share information with the public.
Giving public recognition to journalists or companies with outstanding coverage of children's issues can help improve performance of journalists and media outlets. The ranking of media outlets in terms of their children's coverage and awards to journalists, including financial incentives, have proven important in stimulating increased coverage and improvements in its quality.5
Organizing journalists networks is extremely productive. The articulation of networks of journalists committed to the ''cause'' of children and adolescents has been an excellent strategy for i) increasing coverage, since members of the network are able to sensitize decision takers in their media outlets ii) setting the agenda with new issues iii) capacity building and keeping journalist winners of the "friends of children'' award updated.
Mobilizing Children, Adolescents and Youth
There are many initiatives that involve participation of children adolescents and youth. According to ANDI (Infancia na Midia 1999) they have been involved in many actions involving health, communication, social mobilization and education, revealing the potential creativity of youth. ''The principal characteristic of these initiatives is that they are developed, co-ordinated and implemented by the adolescents themselves. The role of adults is to guide, but not direct them. Whilst there has been little repercussion in the media (18.26% of reports are on child and adolescent behaviour) this child and youth protagonism has translated into political participation which can be seen as one of the great conquests for youth in the last century. There is a growing movement to mobilize children, adolescents and youth who want to change the country's reality and their own way of being in the world.
It is true that when you ask working children, they say that they want to work.... But research has demonstrated that when you offer them alternatives, like the chance to only study and play, a large percentage of them readily leave work. Creating alternatives to work, and betting on cultural changes where the need to work is not ''proposed as a virtue'', is an innovative strategy being developed with children and adolescents themselves by some Brazilian organizations, with the perspective of involving them in the debate and seeing them as part of the solution.
Two experiences of mobilizing children and youth merit attention for their direct relation with strategies and policies for eradicating child labour. These were undertaken via the National Movement of Street Boys and Girls and by different organizations within the trade union movement. They both sought to see children as protagonists of their own mobilization and organization, and aimed to promote and defend their rights as citizens.
In contrast to other types of organizations that seek to organize children and adolescents as workers, the National Movement of Street Girls and Street Boys, sought to organize this sector by age group. The subjects were poor children and adolescents, in the main street children, but it didn´t matter whether they were working or not. The focus was on their condition of social exclusion. Child labour was thus one important dimension of their life, among others, and the organization sought to approach the child as a full person.
The general strategy was to group children and adolescents by type of activity, workplace, or those that had the street as their main locus of survival and struggle. These groups were co-managed by the boys and girls themselves. It was here that they could debate their social condition, acquire knowledge, consciousness of their rights and of the public services available, as well as arriving at alternative solutions for their own lives. These groups had two aims : education for citizenship and developing forms of collective solidarity, through the exercise of mutual help and solidarity.
In relation to child labour, actions developed aimed to eliminate child labour and protect the work of adolescents, through discussion and building alternatives solutions to work with the children and working adolescents.
The Brazilian trade union movement only began to seek the involvement of child and adolescent workers in its own mobilization and organizational activities from the first half of the 1990s. From the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 90s, trade unions allied themselves to the broad social movement in defence of children and adolescents rights. From that period a number of activities were organized to mobilize children, adolescents and youth themselves, to hear their opinions about work, discuss alternatives for the problems they were encountering and how they might be able to defend their rights.
Results. The principle ´product´ was the very process of mobilization and the participation of children and adolescents in the process of making decisions about social issues relevant to their lives. This arose from the construction of a concept of childhood and adolescence, where children and adolescents are political subjects that can be mobilized and make up an important part of discussion about policies and strategies for the eradication of child labour. Trade unions that had been sensitized by the awareness-raising activities of the Trade Union Centrals, began to approach them in two ways : first as children and adolescents and secondly as workers. The articulation of these two dimensions is fundamental when we are talking of ´human beings in the special condition of being in development´´.
This involved the creation of a methodology for mobilizing children and adolescents that is different from traditional forms of organization used with adults in popular and trade union movements. With children and adolescents emphasis on ludic and cultural activities takes up more space on the agenda of meetings and activities than more formal and openly political discussions.
Challenges. One of the challenges is the still small number of organizations involved in child and youth protagonism. This is still an emerging concept in Brazilian society, largely limited to the most progressive sectors of the child and adolescent rights movement. The majority of organizations do not involve children and adolescents, or treat them as ´´objects´´.
The MNMMR experience also reveals some of the challenges that youth protagonism and organizing children and adolescents sets for organizations that take on this task. What is at stake is not so much the participation of children and adolescents in the complex administrative and bureaucratic aspects of an organization, which may require adults and specialists, but their participation in the planning of pedagogic activities and formulation of strategies for achieving the implementation of their rights. Evaluations of these practices have shown that the search for more democratic relations between children and adults implies that adults have to rethink what it is to be an ´´adult´´, and reflect on at least three questions :
the first relates the nature and quality of participation of children and adolescents in the building organizations : should they be involved in both consultation and decision-making fora ? If involved in decision-making fora, should they be given full or relative powers ?
the second relates to methodology : if the basis of the relationship and the form of joint construction of the organization is that of co-management, or a process of negotiation between adults and children, how do you resolve the question of inequalities in the accumulation of knowledge, given that this is fundamental in the decision-making process ?
the third is a legal question : how do you resolve legal issues limiting children´s capacity to legally represent themselves, which prevents them from occupying leadership posts in the organization ?
For the MNMMR the answers to these questions derived from experience "the path of the MNMMR in this field is new and the process of training and organization of boys and girls is entirely new (...), The very path is created in the making, where basic references are being developed, in which the available parameters are from other experiences which are almost totally from the world of adults. Following this path implies "walking a tightrope": not belittling children, believing in their potential, and capacity for participating and organizing, without transforming them into mini-adults; providing minimal organizational references, without imposing models. These efforts at creating new forms of management whilst still having to rely on old parameters, have undoubtedly lead to failings, mistakes and reproducing known mechanisms. The challenges must be overcome as the movement itself matures."
4. Social Clauses and Social Labeling as Strategies for Eliminating Child Labour.
The social function of private enterprise or business citizenship is currently a recurring issue in the media. The political profile of entrepreneurs and their companies are marked by it. Thus the most advanced and modern entrepreneurs run companies that are the most engaged in finding alternatives to social problems and making them feasible
The mobilization of private enterprise in the eradication of child labour in Brazil is a relatively new phenomenon and can be dated from the early 1990s. Whilst the Abrinq Foundation was the pioneer in this field and lead the most important initiatives in both awareness raising and organization of the the business sector, it is no longer alone in this task. Other organizations and foundations have been created, such as the Pro-Child Institute of Franca in the state of São Paulo, and the Ethos Foundation which brings together some 100 companies committed to more socially responsible forms of action.
Two innovative strategies have been used in this mobilizing strategy. One is the granting of labels for companies that do not use child labour, and invest in implementing social policies for children and adolescents. The label provides a differential in a competitive market. The other is advocacy for social clauses in commercial and labour contracts, through which companies make the commitment to combat child labour in their particular chain of production, not purchasing goods and services from companies that use child labour or exploit adolescent labour (Santos 1996b).
Three innovative and fundamental strategies underpin these two initiatives.
Entrepreneurs as part of the solution. If entrepreneurs are part of the problem, they are also part of the solution. Child labour exists on the one hand because parents decided to supply child labour or not; and on the other depends on employers who decide to accept child labour or not; and finally on the State, which has the role of formulating, implementing and monitoring social policies aimed to prevent the need for child labour and curb it when encountered. Very little had been done to mobilize employers to reduce or eliminate their ´´search´´ for this kind of labour.
Actions to eliminate child labour must target the full chain of production. This was one of the most important strategic concepts in combating child labour. It stemmed from
an analysis that whilst the largest companies probably did not involve children in productive processes, they did benefit from purchasing cheap raw materials which used child labour,
the awareness that if measures did not encompass all productive chains and were not accompanied by social policies, child labour eradicated from one productive area would migrate both internally within the production chain or to other production chains.
That conscious and educated consumers could participate in combating violations of human rights and in intervening in public and private policies through the selection of products and services. The challenge is in discovering mechanisms for influencing consumer habits through information and awareness-raising to achieve a social stand in relation to violations of human, civil political and social rights. For the Abrinq Foundation, ´´in a era in which society is aware of problems of childhood and adolescence, this label will surely be a differential that the consumer can take into account in choosing a determined produce or service´´ (Child Friendly Company, Launch leaflet, 1995).
4.1. Social Labels
The label "is a kind of ISSO-9000", and can be used on the packaging, dissemination and advertising materials of companies receiving it. There are currently two types of labels used as a mobilizing strategy among companies for the eradication of child labour : one for the company and one for the product, distributed by two different organizations (see table below). The granting of labels is dependent on the following requirements :
i) non-employment of children;
ii) a statement that the use of child labour has not been found in the production of goods and services a
running or funding social programs (part of the money from sales is directed to actions benefiting children and adolescents).
Table 1. Social Labeling Initiatives
**Source : Third Sector Administration Study Centre, University of São Paulo (CEATS-USP) and International Labour Organization Program to Eradicate Child Labour (ILO/IPEC)
Results. Studies have indicated that one of the principle results has been the mobilization of entrepreneurs. Labeling and other types of campaigns to increase business citizenship, have slowly and gradually contributed to an increase in social action by companies. (Claudia Feb 2000), but this is far from having any significant effect on social inequalities. The financial and technical potential of organizations and foundations that invest in social projects through companies, has been enhanced particularly in relation to promoting and defending children´s rights and implementing social policies for this sector. There is still some difficulty in obtaining information about the scale and relevance of this funding both in terms of its proportion of company spending and in relation to solution of priority problems.
Results among certified companies.
According to the companies, the label adds value though it does not generate increased profits. Whilst they allege that they already made contributions to resolving social problems prior to receiving the labels, companies believe that the label helps to legitimate and give visibility to their social programs.
Another unverified and undeclared, but possible benefit relates to using the label to protect business against external pressure from competitive sectors and exporters, within a globalized economy.
As far as consumers are concerned, it appears that considerably more education work is necessary. According to specialists (CEAT-USP/IPEC/ILO) 1999) the label is only recognized by a minority of consumers. Another study by Kanitz & Associates and the University of São Paulo indicated that 84% of Brazilian consumers would chose a product associated with a good social cause. In relation to expensive products 34% choose products associated with a cause. These percentages are 65% for cheap products and 95% for very cheap products (Claudia 2000).
Issues arising in evaluating labeling:
Collecting information on the process by which labels have been created and used has been relatively easy : background, chronology of action, criteria, operation and results for certification agencies.
Evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of labels in reducing or eliminating child labour is a much more complex and difficult task, particularly when one questions whether it is possible to reduce child labour with a single strategy. Indicators point to a reduction in child labour in Brazil, but in order to understand the causes of this a number of other variables must be taken into account :economic measures and performance, the implementation of social policies, the profile of child labour in certain production activities not yet measured such as agricultural work; and cultural factors such as the increase in awareness of the negative impacts of child labour.
A contradiction may be observed between the principle objective of the use of social labeling as proposed by the Abrinq Foundation and the focus of studies of its efficiency and effectiveness. For the Foundation, the label is a strategy for raising the awareness of companies and mobilizing them to take action in favour of children and adolescents rights in general, with a consequent contribution to eliminating child labour. Studies of its efficiency and effectiveness ignore the importance of evaluating the increase and quality of company mobilization.
Developing systems, methodologies and indicators for monitoring and evaluating results could improve evaluations of efficiency and effectiveness, and target the social mobilization impact of this type of action. Certifying agencies are in the process of developing this system. The Pro-Child Institute in Franca has been undertaking audits in certified companies.
Studies of consumer attitudes in relation to "added value" are still scarce. The only such study encountered (Kanitz and Associates and the University of São Paulo) showed that Brazilian consumers do prefer products from companies associated with a "good cause" (Clauda February 2000).
Dilemmas and challenges
One of the central challenges for social labeling strategies relates to how to balance the need to expand their application - in order to produce the desired political impact - involving increasing the number of certified companies, whilst ensuring the quality of services offered.
Given that efficacy depends fundamentally on the credibility of those awarding the label, and the singularity of those who receive it, the following challenges must be faced :
the label started out small, focusing on a few areas and regions and at modest cost, and was presented as an interesting and promising alternative to traditional social policies. However in order to be effective and sustainable it must be expanded and publicized. The need to expand label granting to thousands of companies, raises the issue of how ´´quality control´´ for certification will be maintained ? If efficacy of the label is dependent on the credibility of the conferring agency, it is therefore also conditioned by the capacity of that agency to certify, monitor and evaluate its use. Monitoring and evaluating imply developing appropriate indicators, methodologies and indicators. The question remains as to how to develop this system at cost-benefit ?
The second problem relates to the singularity of those receiving the label. If the label marks a "differentiation" between those who are engaged in social programs to attend children´s rights, and those who aren´t would its mass distribution result in the loss of its "distinctive" character ? Is it possible to reconcile the distinctive nature of the label, which is part of its objective, with a more generalized application ?
4.2. Social Clauses and Pacts to Eliminate Child Labour
4.2.1. Basic principles
The insertion of social clauses in commercial and labour contracts as a means of guaranteeing benefits for workers and their families has been debated for almost a century. Information on the use of social clauses to defend the rights of minority or marginalized groups in Europe and the United States dates from the 1980s. In Brazil the Abrinq Foundation was a pioneer in proposing the use of social clauses as a strategy for eliminating child labour. This is a polemical issued between developed and developing countries, within developed countries, and in Brazil even between sectors considered progressive.
4.2.2. Arguments against the use of social clauses :
For the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
There is no evidence that countries with low levels of implementation of labour rights have better levels of global exports than countries with high implementation of labour rights;
There is no truth in the affirmation that commercial liberalization is always accompanied by violations of the right to freedom of association. On the contrary, there is a positive association between successful commercial reforms and better basic labour standards;
Disrespect of core labour standards has not been an important factor in decisions relating to location of the operations of multinational companies.
For some sectors of government and workers 6
Setting labour standards to regulate international trade could open the path to innumerable measures and practices of an entirely protectionist nature. The clauses could be used as an instrument by which social issues are used to justify abusive protection by sectors threatened by competition from products from other countries, and as a means to secure the continuation of trade cartels.
In one evaluation the punitive effects of these measures could affect areas which do not have low labour standards - companies and workers in competitive sectors could pay the price for abuses by other sectors or specific regions. The punitive effects could bring harmful economic and social effects on workers in general, affecting their living conditions even further.
4.2.3. Arguments in favour of social clauses :
Social clauses would be an instrument for impeding ´´ social dumping´´ - the use of very exploitative labour relations to achieve advantages in low production costs. Such clauses would contribute to improving working conditions in Third World countries, where child and forced labour is frequently encountered.
This position, supported by the CUT and others, goes beyond economics to issues of ethics and morals. The adoption of social clauses is seen as an instrument to define standards of ethics and solidarity within the market. Child labour and or any type of forced labour would enter this field where only ethical principles could put a break on savage competition. In this sense the recreation of ethical standards and threat of economic sanctions against companies violating human rights on the one hand and the organization of consumers in awareness-raising and boycott campaigns against offending companies on the other would prevent companies from offering work to children or benefiting from child labour through low production costs.
Some of those supporting social clauses, including the Abrinq Foundation propose a number of conditions for their use. These include : the reformulation of international financing organizations such as the IMF and World Bank to give priority to social issues, the rejection of any kind of forced leveling of social costs removing advantages of developed countries, limiting the application of social clauses to child labour and the violation of fundamental rights, limiting the application of commercial sanctions to the ´´ last resort´´ to be supervized by international investigation committees with trade union representation, and finally not allowing salary differences, social benefits and health and safety conditions to be used to justify sanctions.
In Brazil social clauses have been used within a movement of pacts and commitments made between companies, governments and non-governmental organizations for preventing and eradicating child labour. Social clauses are inserted in purchasing contracts between companies and their suppliers. Various sectors have signed pacts and included social clauses in contracts for a range of motives, but they converge in the objective of eliminating child labour.
Pacts have been signed in important productive sectors in Brazil. These include : the shoe manufacturing industry in Franca, São Paulo; the citrus producing sector in São Paulo; the tobacco producing sector in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul; the sugar-alcohol sector in the states of São Paulo, Goias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Pernambuco and Alagoas. However it is worth noting that the main companies in the sugar-alcohol producing region of the northeast, which continues to have a high incidence of child labour, have not signed such pacts.
Governmental motives for promoting such pacts are related to the state´s role guaranteeing that norms and laws prohibiting labour of people under 16 are complied with and that adolescents work in conditions that are not arduous, dangerous or unhealthy. From an official perspective this kind of mobilization has pedagogic importance in consolidating the rule of law, and the implementation of children´s rights as expressed in law. For the workers, fighting child labour can also be seen as a fight against unemployment among parents and a chance to qualify the labour of their children through schooling. Entrepreneurs were motivated to seek labeling and assume public commitments from a new conception of their role, making them assume social responsibility and seek solutions for problems affecting them and their families. Another factor has been the importance of the increase of social marketing, and consequent demand for visibility of social actions supported by private initiative. Parts of the business sector see their engagement as a way of seeking to change the image of the company or productive sector, to increase productivity and commercial relations, to attend more demanding consumers and citizens through social responsibility of companies and a vision of development ´with a more human face´´ for excluded sectors.
This kind of mobilization started in 1996. As yet has been very little systematic evaluation of efficiency and efficacy of these pacts, given difficulties in establishing monitoring and evaluation systems for this purpose. The main reason given for this lack of evaluation is the "pioneering" and "embryonic" nature of these interventions and lack of clarity about how they can work. Some studies are being undertaken, but to date these lack a systematizing methodology.
There are problems with each member inspecting and controlling their own production chain. In the sugar-alcohol sector, there is fierce competition for raw material, which makes the rejection of sugar can cut by child labour difficult. Contracts between industry and suppliers are verbal, limiting the possibility of legal sanctions against suppliers who do not abide by legislation. These are some of the difficulties in sugar-cane production for sugar-cane-alcohol industry. Control of the use of child labour is even more complex in other sectors. Companies count on the fact that cases of child labour will be reported to them for them to investigate.
There are two practical challenges. First is for companies to take a simple internal decision - ensuring that social clauses are effectively written into contracts to give legal scope for not buying suspect products. Second is the need to create mechanisms for inspection and control of the agreements entered into. To date very few companies, including those who have signed pacts and commitments, have done this.
Those taking part in pacts emphasize that their principal value in is political pressure. Those who refused to sign them get a bad image among producers. The spirit driving businesses to keep to agreements and clauses is thus largely connected to fears in relation to their image, than to fears of inspection and punishment.
Authorities have stated that child labour has reduced in areas where this kind of mobilization has taken place. In the state of São Paulo, for example, the use of child labour accounted for 25% of the labour force employed in sugar production in 1992 and was practically 0% in 1999.
Since reduction of child labour cannot be explained by a single strategy alone, it is necessary to mention other elements, even if these have not been fully evaluated: i) economic and technical changes in productive sectors; ii) the possibility that child labour has migrated to other crops;7 iii) links made between the adoption of the label, the inclusion of social clauses, and wider public policies, if maintained may be one of the most efficient strategies for eliminating child labour in Brazil, particularly if extended to other productive sectors and chains.
The possibility that child labour is migrating to other areas is real. When analyzing the viability of the social clause strategy as a solution for child labour in Brazil, Oded Grajew (founder of Abrinq Foundation and the Ethos Foundation) has pointed to its limits and potential. The strategy is limited by the fact that social clauses apply to the private sector, when other sectors must also intervene. A potential is the multiplier effect that the social clause may have for other chains of production. The efficacy of the strategy depends on its combination with the actions of other forces, and especially of government and social policies.
4.3. Some considerations on the action of companies in eradication of child labour
So far we have examined commitments made by companies to reject the use of child labour and refuse to buy goods and services which have used it. When looking at the contribution of companies to social programs at least two recurring doubts arise both in academic circles and within the child rights movement. These relate to the apparently low monetary value of the investments made, in relation to the high social impact of programs supported and developed by companies.
The first doubt relates to whether companies are getting more benefit from social marketing than they are effectively investing in improving the situation of excluded children. Little is known about private enterprise philanthropy. It has only just reached the university research agenda. My own study (Dos Santos 1996) found that companies were not transparent about the volume of resources invested in the social sector.
The second doubt relates to different perspectives of the roles of government and society in the formulation and execution of social policies for children. The question is ´to what extent does the ´´adoption´´ of schools or education and social assistance programs by companies relieve the government of responsibility for funding the implementation of social programs ? Arguments of those interviewed included that companies really should be called upon to contribute to solutions, and that action by companies can have a demonstration effect, and stimulate the development of similar initiatives.
Everything suggests that to date social labeling and social clauses are still a restricted instrument for benefiting children - with little direct effect on reducing child labour. It is companies that benefit most directly from the initiative. However the rise in social investment has increased the potential of certifying agencies and other private enterprise foundations, to broaden social programs that attend a considerable number poor children and adolescents. Little is known about whether these include working children. The label should be used as one element in a collection of combined strategies and policies for eradicating child labour. According to professor Antonio Carlos Gomes da Costa ´´ the label is not a solution ( that is its limit), but is is part of the solution (that is its efficacy)´´. It is worth highlighting that from a symbolic point of view the distinctive nature of the label provided an "emblem" for new entrepreneurs identified with social causes.
Lessons Learned and Methodological steps taken in mobilizing companies for the eradication of child labour.
Planning and structuring mobilization. Mobilization should be preceded by a phase in which institutional conditions for launching the process are created : exposition of the reasons for convoking companies; strategic and situational planning; and production of awareness-raising material
Awakening the desire/consciousness for/of the need to take a stand/ and for change. This is followed-up by ethical commitments, political decision and will to change the situation of children.
Information, communication and mobilization of the media: in the first phase documents and investigative reports showing the gravity of the problem may be used. In the second phase materials provided should indicated "what can be done", a "menu" of possible actions, so that alternative solutions to exploitation of child labour can be shared.
Convoking companies, identifying other actors and building a network of partners and exchanges. Companies can be invoked to combat child labour through three courses of action (social labels, clauses and pacts), all of which must be preceded by awakening their conscience and desire to do so. Then the label is offered as a ´´differential´´ in winning over consumers.
Joint definition of priorities. The network of certified companies must be put in contact and establish partnerships with other networks and sectors seeking alternatives to child labour. In this way proposals are shared, proposals from other sectors may be incorporated and new priorities be jointly defined.
Events and Visibility Campaigns. A range of visibility events and campaigns have been conducted, which have been an important part of mobilization activities, but not the sum of them. Events can be used to
demonstrate indignation, protest against situations or call authorities to fulfill their responsibilities;
give public recognition to people, companies and authorities that have an outstanding position in combating child labour and protecting adolescent labour;
disseminate actions developed in relation to social policies for attending the rights of children and adoelscents.
Implementing commitments assumed. This phase includes the institutionalization of methodologies and policies.
Registering and systematizing experiences. This is fundamental to evaluation and dissemination of experiences.
The Abrinq Foundation further asserts that the objective and pragmatic vision of business has contributed to increasing investment in evaluating the results achieved in the social programs supported. Nevertheless companies tend to be more reactive than proactive and support has been to atomized and often overlapping social programs, pulverizing resources and action, rather than to overarching social programs.
End of Box and section
5. Campaigns against the Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children and Adolescents
As explained in previous chapters, various Brazilian organizations included the issue of children on their agendas and created space for institutionalizing this concern.8 This included trade unions and business sectors, which joined forces with other organizations specifically dedicated to defending child rights, in order to find solutions to the issue of child labour.
These organizations undertook scores of mobilization activities and education campaigns about child labour. One of the National Child and Adolescents´ Rights Council´s guiding principles ´´ the place of children is in the family, the school and the community´´ became a theme for many campaigns. For example ´´ Say no to child labour´´ CUT/CEAP; and ´´A child´s place in is school not at work´´ CUT/ShoeMakers Union Franca. The CUT also established a telephone hotline, among other initiatives. The Força Sindical issued a leaflets on Children and adolescents at work, and two others on children´s rights for trade unionists, including. ´´Brazil : go to school now´´ The Agricultural Workers Confederation, CONTAG, issued two special publications including a Children´s Buletin with 2,000 copies, and produced six radio programs, which were transmitted by more than 160 radio stations via rural workers trade unions and federations in most states. A symbolic National Independent Tribunal on Child Labour was held in October 1995 in response to the appeal of the Daca Conference against Child Labour and in preparation for the Fist International Tribunal held in Mexico in April 1996.
The objectives of these actions can be classified as follows
denouncing violations of human rights and the impact of arduous and unhealthy work on children
raising awareness of their own members and of the external public with whom they have relations
generating forms of eradicating child labour and protecting the work of adolescents eliminating arduous and dangerous work.
From 1991 to 1994 campaigns sought to give visibility to the issue of child labour in general and place its elimination and the protection of working adolescents on the national agenda. From the mid 1990s these campaigns became more focused and targeted : combating child labour in charcoal camps in Mato Grosso do Sul, in sugar-cane cutting in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco, in shoe manufacture in Franca; and against the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
Isolated actions against neglect, ill-treatment, physical and sexual abuse of children and against child prostitution had been taken within society since the beginning of the 1980s but it was only in 1994 that campaigns against sexual exploitation were initiated. The first National Campaign against Child and Juvenile Sexual Exploitation was launched in 1995 by a collection of governmental and non-governmental organizations lead by the Children´s Rights Defence Centre of Bahia (CEDECA/BA). Other campaigns inspired by the Salvador campaign were launched. In 1995 the Federal Government launched a campaign through the Justice and Citizenship Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice on the same theme. In the same year a Campaign For the end of Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Sexual Tourism of Children and Adolescents was launched with the slogan ´´Child and Juvenile Sexual Exploitation : Don´t stomach it´´. More than 100 non-governmental organizations and 10 governmental bodies took part in various states. The Brazilian chapter of End Child Prostitution in Asia ECPAT was launched in association with it.
These campaigns had various objectives : to give visibility to the phenomenon and put it on society´s agenda; seek mechanisms to break the cycle of impunity that allowed violators to benefit from impunity; and advocate for the implementation of relevant social policies. In strategic terms the first phase sought to give visibility to the issue informing and training activists and members of organizations. This had two aspects, one of convincing institutions internally of the importance of the issue and two of projecting the issue externally for other segments and the media. By the end of the 1990s there was demonstrably more concern with developing service networks to attend child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
5.1. Cultural aspects hindering actions combating sexual exploitation
A paradox or ambivalence in the vision of children and adolescents involved in sexual abuse : victimization or blame. For Leite (sd) ´´ public opinion on the phenomenon of sexual violence is contradictory and is presented in a conservative manner, making children and adolescents doubly responsible, as victims of the condition of violence to which they are submitted and for defending and guaranteeing their violated rights. Popular prejudices treat violated subjects as in some way co-responsible for the violence and transform the violated into a co-participant of the crime´´ 6, According to Leal, this ambiguity can be explained by the Brazilian context which calls for a new a new vision of the issue of child prostitution to be built alongside ethical, moral, religious, social, cultural and civilizing values.
Institutional practices are governed by the adult paradigm. The attitude of public agents and their procedures for investigating and judging cases of sexual violence are both fundamentally run by adults.
Discrimination in both the formulation and application of the country´s laws generates a culture of impunity, which in turn contributes to the banalization of violence. Two factors affect the vision of public agents at the moment of dealing with cases of sexual violence.
Macro intervention strategies used have sought
for the phenomenon to be understood and possible solutions attained
exchange of ideas, proposals and existing methodologies
actions to raise awareness of public opinion and stimulate denunciations
organizing efforts to develop proposals for public policies to eliminate sexual exploitation, capacity building for advocacy, legal defence, the functioning of the Rights Guarantees System, and programs for attending victims
establishing mechanisms for social control and demand for the implementation of the proposals presented.
Whilst there have been no systematic evaluations, those participating in social mobilization activities have made the following empirical observations
the phenomenon has achieved greater visibility and there have been advances in presenting the characteristics and dimensions of the problem;
there has been an increase in critical mass on the issue, to be measured though people´s reaction to the lack of response by the authorities, to the impunity for cases such as the emasculation of children in Pará
national and local networks to combat sexual exploitation have been developed
the number of denunciations made has increased
the number of relevant programs and the process of articulation of service networks has increased.
5.2. Putting Sexual Exploitation on the Agenda and broadening debate about its causes
The campaigns tried to both raise awareness and mobilize the media so that in turn it could help draw the issue out from previous invisibility, educate and mobilize the opinion of policy makers to formulate policies and programs to combat sexual exploitation.
Print Media. According to Children in the Media (ANDI 1999) the issue was among the principle foci of news items related to children and adolescents in 1999. In 1996 it ranked among the 5th most discussed items in the press, and remained ranked 8th in 1999. Among the topics studied, sexual exploitation is the one with more denunciations than solutions covered. Paedophilia through the internet was the most discussed in 1999. In relation to the political tone of items, Leal (sd) notes that there has been a significant change from a sensationalist focus of cases denounced, to a process of greater awareness raising of society and dissemination of mobilizing actions and alternative solutions to the phenomenon.
Advertising campaigns were developed in partnership with advertising agencies and media personalities, aiming in large part at the general public, calling on the population to say no to prostitution through the use of telephone hotlines. The general message showed the ´exploiter´´ as a criminal, who should be brought to justice. Some campaigns were directed to potential clients (tourists, truck drivers), alerting them to the legal repercussions of involvement in child and juvenile prostitution.
Leal (sd) points to a paradox in the media which ´´ at the same time as facilitating the insertion of the issue in public debate and recognizing the right of children not to be sexually violated, has also permitted the continued advertising for sexual services of adolescents in their classified pages, in the erotizazation of children on television and in advertizing, and a parallel market of pornography in videos and on the internet´´.
5.3 Building networks and systematizing existing information
Networks of organizations involved in combating sexual exploitation needed to be created as a minimum structure for conducting the campaigns and were at the same time one of the most immediate results of these campaigns. Campaign strategies involved
articulating a range of organizations with a possible role for intervention, as means of potentializing their action (optimization of a range of resources)
creation of minimum management structures based on the model of commissions and committees with the participation of civil society and government organizations;
drawing up a common work agenda, in relation to each sphere (national, regional, state and municipal), resulting in relevant policies to combat sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
The main challenge facing members of the network has been in building indicators and developing systems to monitor and evaluate campaigns.
Advances in the conceptual discussion of these indicators has included the recognition that their construction is not neutral and must arise out of :
i) . inter-disciplinarity
ii) . the theoretical conception of explanatory factors
the design of macro intervention strategies
the objectives of the activities developed
They need to combine situational analysis with statistics and subjective data in relation to the abuser and the victim. Indicators can serve for describing the situation, social accounting, definition of priorities, and evaluation of policies and action planning (Faleiros 1998)
Some of the indicators so far defined were :
Media mobilization : number of news items published, according to character (denunciation or solution), type (abuse and violence, commercial exploitation, paedophilia, prevention campaigns and care organizations) and by geographic region; compared with an index of all news items published about children.
Denunciations of sexual exploitation : number of denunciations received, raking of first ten states, content, response by the authorities in some states, links between recruiter and victim (linked, not linked).
Investigations of denunciations and measures taken : number of police investigations opened and concluded; number of prosecutions in the courts; number of inspections/raids on massage parlous and brothels closed.
Policies and services produced : number of programs created in existing institutions, number of new programs and services.
Another aspect relates to the use of social indicators and inclusion of indicators on sexual abuse and exploitation in existing information and statistical systems. A brief examination of the way indicators were conceived in relation to campaign objectives, shows that :
there are practically no indicators for evaluating social mobilization itself;
the indicators created demonstrate concern with efficiency and efficacy (impact) for campaigns in relation to law enforcement to eliminate child and juvenile prostitution;
whilst care services for victims have been increasing in recent years, little has been published on indicators for this;
the importance of incorporating subjective information in indicators has been recognized, but not yet applied.
5.4 Monitoring methodologies or systems
It remains a challenge to set up adequate monitoring systems to test both the process of mobilization and its results. There have been some advances in the division of labour between member organizations to facilitate the partial and decentralized evaluation of actions undertaken. Thus tasks such as that of executive Secretariat, media mobilization and setting up a data base on sexual abuse and exploitation have been allocated to different organizations depending on their specialization. The Coordinating Commission has monitored the achievement of work plans. There have also been advances in monitoring the phenomenon itself through the setting up of a national information network on sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents. This data bank has helped in the characterization of the phenomenon and of relevant interventions.
5.5. Denunciations, investigation and measures against abusers
Telephone hotlines have resulted in an increase in the number of denunciations made. This is an indicator that campaigns are having an effect. However, the problem of how to respond to demand given the low level of coverage of social programs and policies for the poorer sectors of the population, the low quality standards in these programs, and the lack of professionals trained to deal with the specific task of attending cases of sexual exploitation remains. The qualification of demand however, has helped exert pressure on the Rights Guarantees System, and for more specialized services for child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
5.6 Law enforcement action and denunciations :
Partnerships between police organs and INTERPOL, highways police and children´s rights defence centres and other non-governmental organizations have been effective in dismantling some sexual exploitation and pornography networks.
There is a demonstrable need for specific training of teachers, social educators, and health personnel in order to make early diagnoses of negligence, ill-treatment, physical and sexual abuse There is also a need to improve registration systems in hospitals and to encourage denunciations to the relevant authorities.
5.7. Investigation :
Guardianship Councils have undertaken inspections of massage parlours and other prostitution and leisure centres to ensure children and adolescents are not present. They have also been important centres for denunciations of negligence, ill-treatment, physical and sexual abuse of children and adolescents. These are the main type of cases attended by Guardianship Councils in all regions. Denunciations of commercial sexual exploitation to these Councils have also increased. These Councils still lack a common code of ethics and procedures for investigating denunciations, adequate infrastructure for attending demand, and relevant programs and services to which to refer victims and abusers.
Police stations are not well prepared to deal with child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse and exploitation. In the course of taking testimonies victims are themselves blamed (´´the victim ends up being held responsible for the crime´´). The process is taxing, humiliating, and therefore violent. This does not facilitate the breaking of family secrets and taboos, and allows for re-victimization.
One solution found for this problem has been the creation of police stations specializing in crimes committed against children and adolescents. Such specialized police stations have been set up in an effort to overcome the difficulties of lack of police training in this regard, and of priority given to such crimes, which normally are buried among the general case-overload in normal police stations. The majority of cases dealt with by these specialized police stations have been cases of negligence and ill-treatment within the family.
There has been general resistance within the police to this kind of police station. In addition they are still faced with problems of infrastructure and the need to adopt more appropriate and ludic forms of collecting testimonies from children and adolescents. This is a real limitation, particularly when considering the need to apply this solution more broadly in small municipalities which will not have specific structures for this end. Training programs to ensure more appropriate methods for dealing with children and adolescents in any kind of police station, has been seen as a way of stimulating better response to denunciations received.
There remains a central problem in investigation work : that of obtaining evidence. One solution proposed by experts is in improving crime registration methods and setting up forensic pathology outposts in police stations so that physical examinations can be undertaken at the moment when denunciations are made. Another solution tested by the Children´s Rights Defence Centre of Bahia (CEDECA/BA) is the presentation of "psychological reports" to the courts.
A significant result of these efforts and new procedures has been that many denunciations have resulted in the initiation of police investigations, whereas previously cases of sexual abuse and exploitation did not get so far.
5.8. Judicial proceedings and trials
The judiciary also lacks institutional capacity to deal with the problem. In some urban centres specialization and training of juvenile courts has been the solution. The setting up of specialized juvenile courts with branches specializing in crimes against children and adolescents, changes in the culture of prosecutors and judges, to give more priority to violence against children, and increased application of information technology have brought the following results :
a growing reduction of the number of cases in which the statute of limitations runs out before they reach court ( previously a significant problem)
legal representation of victims
increased speed with which cases proceed from investigation to trial. While there are still bottlenecks in judicial proceedings, the majority of cases are now resolved within a year, and within three years at the most
more closing of cases through judicial decision (instead of earlier in the process)
more rigorous sentences
infrastructure and personnel problems being overcome.
Partnerships between specialized non-governmental organizations and the courts have contributed developing an operational framework which respects children as the subjects of rights and as people in the special condition of development. They have also contributed to the creation of integrated juvenile justice networks.
Despite improvements within the justice system, there remains a high incidence of acquittals due to : incomplete forensic examinations, lack of witnesses and the absence of the victim at trial. An initiative to overcome the latter problem has been the development of services for the protection and psychological follow-up of victims from the moment of denunciation. This has helped victims overcome the traumas generated by fear, shame, blame and terror, and helped them continue to maintain their denunciations through to trial. Another initiative has been the development of witness protection programs, which are timidly being set up in Brazil.
There is no information about the monitoring of sentences or case studies of people who have been found responsible for sexual abuse or exploitation of children and made to serve protection or custodial sentences.
5.10 Social Policies and Programs for Girls and Boys
Work undertaken with children and adolescents includes:
Psycho-social care (individual and group counseling, music therapy and support for court appearances);
Mobilization and follow-up with non-abusing members of families, seeking to strengthen them to provide emotional support to victims (home visits and group work)
Stimulating their insertion in community service networks and programs for example return to school, extra-curricula activities and cultural and leisure programs.
Specialists affirm that there remains cultural resistance and popular disbelief in psycho-social care, even when this is ordered by judges. The experience of CEDECA/BA has shown that this can be overcome when mobilizing the family.
There has been an increase in the number of educational and care programs for vulnerable children. Campaigners insist that individual services are not effective in resolving problems, and advocate the development of service networks for children and adolescents, their families and abusers. The steps needed include : optimizing the potential of existing services, creating new services when needed, and connecting them in networks as a new way of managing social programs and policies. As these are new initiatives, monitoring and evaluation methodologies have not yet been developed.
At a national level a National Plan to Combat Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children and Adolescents is being drawn up. This has been lead by the National Campaign, the National Children and Adolescents´ Rights Council and the Children and Adolescents Department in the Ministry of Justice.
To date priority for funding has been given to projects and programs in prevention, campaigns, mobilization, national and international seminars and workshops, training and building of national networks of organizations. International agencies have provided technical and financial co-operation for projects fighting commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.9 New investment for psycho-social care of victims (shelters and professional training) is very limited, and there are practically no monitoring and evaluation systems.
5.11 Final Considerations on Social Mobilization to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents.
Despite the lack of monitoring and evaluation systems, there is empirical evidence that social mobilization has generated a significant impact. Modest advances in evaluation have concentrated on the efficiency and efficacy of campaigns in terms of reducing the phenomenon, rather than in evaluating whether campaigns have met their objectives in terms of changing the views, behaviour and attitudes of the relevant population.
In relation to efficiency and efficacy, and despite the limitations and challenges presented, the best results have been achieved in relation to sexual abuse. Both in relation to the rights guarantees system (guardianship councils, general and specialized police stations, specialized juvenile courts) and social polices, the greatest number of cases attended have related to intra-family violence. "There is a lacuna in relation to prostituted (sexually exploited) girls". This lacuna is believed to derive from two types of factor:
the institutional capacity of organizations to operate in this field
the daily forms of resistance on the part of the children and adolescents, clients and exploitation networks that benefit from juvenile sexual services.
In relation to the first it is necessary to train institutions and their staff to be able to deal with the phenomenon in its various aspects and intervene effectively. In relation to the second it is necessary to study strategies for confronting factors such as the camouflaging of prostitution in bars, nightclubs or isolated in ghettos and neighbourhoods or run down parts of towns, and in the case of middle class girls in ´modeling agencies´ and escort advertising; links with drugs trafficking and violence in relation to prostitution; the falsification of age and birth data for children and adolescents to appear older than they are; the constant mobility of those caught up in prostitution, and others. The study of these daily forms of resistance could contribute to developing a more effective strategy to confront the problem.
So far interventions have had more of a demonstrative effect than in producing an impact on child prostitution in Brazil. The basic challenges are
qualifying current interventions in prevention, education and care for sexually exploited children and adolescents, through differentiated strategies for each modality of abuse, profile of victim and abuser;
broadening knowledge, intervention and re-education in relation to clients of child and juvenile sex
breaking the cycle of impunity for agents involved in commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.
developing monitoring and evaluation systems.
Studying the impact of social mobilization on attitudes
The lack of methodologies for qualitatively assessing the impact of social mobilization in terms of effecting changes in attitudes and behaviour has been repeatedly referred to in this chapter. As a contribution to debate in this area the results of a study conducted in 1992 (V. Bosnjak, L. Tepavac, L.Galeano)10 is presented.
The study looked at the impact of the social mobilization process in Brazil on professionals in the area of social policy. Three hundred and eighteen individuals in a range of organizations in nine states participated in the survey. The results revealed the remarkable effects of previous social mobilization for children´s rights in terms of raised awareness, enhanced knowledge and changes in attitude and behaviour.
Responses to most survey questions directly reflect the main goals of social mobilization. For example, respondents considered that the most important public sector initiatives for improving child welfare included : continued awareness-raising among politicians and citizens; priority allocation of federal resources to services directly benefiting the poor and poorest; improving the quality of the work of both NGOs and public institutions; and decentralization of decision-making and service provision to municipal level.
Whilst respondents attributed NGOs with greater influence on positive changes in public opinion than top politicians, they still believed that the real power for inducing notable changes in children´s status lay in the hands of high ranking political decision makers.
The study found that the effects of both social mobilization for children´s rights and survey participants´ individual moral and religious values were not independent, but most likely interactive. It found it plausible that the ideas propagated by the key actors of the social mobilization movement had instigated the moral and religious principles which, in turn, have reinforced the struggle for the goals set. This interactive and mutually reinforcing relationship between the two sources of attitudinal change was illustrated by several of the study´s results. For example, respondents with a positive orientation to others and that highly valued harmony and equality between people, tended to attribute great importance to actions aimed at improving the status of children. They had positively altered their attitudes towards children´s issues and believed that citizenship participation was a viable mode for social change. Interestingly the participants in the survey that reported greater attitudinal change and demonstrated more distinct moral and religious values tended to be better educated, have higher self-esteem, and generally had less work experience in the area of social policy.
Comparison of readiness to response to children´s rights in 1993, as compared to 10 years´ previously
Respondents were asked to rate the readiness of their state, institution/organization and themselves to respond to children´s rights then as compared to 10 year´s previously.(See table). Participants thought that the readiness of their state and their institution or organization was generally greater than 10 years before. Their personal readiness was much greater (66%), more often than the readiness of their institution (41%), and particularly of the state (13%), which was frequently described as ´´slightly greater´´. These results strongly suggest favourable self-perceived changes in the behaviour of professionals and other individuals working in relation to children´s needs and rights.
Table 1. Readiness of the State, Organization and Respondents to Respond to Children´s Needs and Recognize their Rights compared to tem years previously
Ratings of the Influence of Various Organizations on Public Opinion regarding Children´s Issues
In a U.N. poll carried out in 1993 Brazilians were asked to rate their interest in a variety of social issues. Interestingly, concern for the situation of children in society received the highest rating (84%). Historically this represented a change in public opinion. Respondents in the 1992 survey were asked to select three organizations or individuals that had in their view most influenced changes in public opinion. . Table 2 suggests that almost three quarters of participants thought that UNICEF and the mass media had a great influence on public opinion with regard to children´s issues in Brazil. Two thirds believed that NGOs and other organized citizens groups exerted great influence on public opinion. Interestingly, 42% indicated that top political decision makers did not have any influence on what people thought about social issues concerning children in Brazil.
6.3. Events and experiences influencing attitudes towards Children´s Issues
Table 3 indicates the variety of events and personal experiences that participants attributed with having influenced their attitudes to children's issues. The responses were sorted into three categories : results of social mobilization; severity of the problem; and moral values. Publicity about the brutal circumstances and frequent killings of street children in Brazil in the 1980s contributed to creating citizens' awareness and attitudes to this social problem. Also it was not surprising that respondents moral and religious orientation reflected in their philosophy of life had shaped their attitudes. However, all the additional events and experiences mentioned could be directly linked to the goals of social mobilization. The study therefore left no doubt about the strong influence of social mobilization on the attitudes and beliefs of professionals and other individuals working with children.
6.4. Important Characteristics of Service Providers
Respondents were presented with a list of attributes that may be characteristic of service providers carrying out social programs with children. They were asked to rate the importance of each characteristic and select the three most important ones.
Except for the ratings of professional competence and work discipline, more that 2/3 and sometime more than 3/4 of the participants rated all other listed characteristics as very important. Interestingly, less than half of the respondents considered a high level of professional competence as very important and less than 1/4 of them thought that strict work discipline and accurate execution of orders were very important.
The three characteristics chosen as most relevant for service providers were : commitment to social change, a liking for the profession and an understanding of the structural and political dimensions of poverty. Other significant choices pertain to ´´ belief in autonomy and independence of clients as a final outcome of professional help´´, and ´´readiness to help regardless of financial rewards.´´ The attribution of the importance of these specific traits of service providers can be associated with the goals of social mobilization.
Participants were encouraged to add other attributes important for service providers. A summarized and categorized list of these added qualities is shown in table 4. All three categories of additional characteristics reflect the moral and religious orientation of the surveyed population.
Given that social mobilization aims not only to create socially responsible behaviour patterns but also longer term commitments by actors involved, the responses to the 1992 survey provide some interesting insights. It is also worth noting that a number of the personal characteristics identified by respondents as important for service providers are similar to those identified, in the study on institutional capacity building in Chapter 3, as the most important qualities required for making effective the new institutional fora for combating child labour.
This chapter has sought to analyze some of the main components in recent social mobilization for the eradication of child labour in Brazil. It has also demonstrated the need for further study of the impact of such mobilization on public attitudes and behaviour.