Working children in Peru

In Peru one in four children under the age of 14 has to work in order to finance living and schooling. This work is often done under degrading conditions. Instead of closing their eyes to this reality, the Peruvian organisation IFEJANT supports working children in their self-organisation and in claiming their rights. The focus is on the decriminalisation of working children/child labor, the promotion of school education and the preservation and restoration of the dignity of children who have to work.

Arbeitende Kinder in Peru

Working children in Peru

In Peru one in four children under the age of 14 has to work in order to finance living and schooling. This work is often done under degrading conditions. Instead of closing their eyes to this reality, the Peruvian organisation IFEJANT supports working children in their self-organisation and in claiming their rights. The focus is on the decriminalisation of working children/child labor, the promotion of school education and the preservation and restoration of the dignity of children who have to work. IFEJANT supports up to 120 children in Lima, Sullana und Piura every year. José, Natalia and Christhian are three of them. We have accompanied them in their daily life together with the photographer Christian Jaeggi. 

Photos Christian Jaeggi 

Photo report about the project in Peru

WORKING CHILDREN IN PERU
Every day after school José sells ice cream on the market. Without this additional income his family wouldn’t be able to make ends meet and his regular school attendance would be at risk.

José isn’t the only one; (one child out of three) one child in four has to work in order to survive. Instead of closing their eyes to this reality, IFEJANT fights for better working conditions for these children.

In the case of José, clear working times and clear periods of leisure time were negotiated with the parents. José doesn’t have to work late at night anymore.

THE PROGRAMME OF IFEJANT
Twice a week Natalia and Christhian participate in the programme of IFEJANT after school. In the bakery they acquire practical knowledge and learn more about their rights. Thus they become capable of defending themselves against exploitation and can preserve their dignity in their working environment.

In the courses of IFEJANT the children learn more about their rights. They are empowered to resist exploitation and claim dignified working conditions.

The muffins are ready to be sold at the school kiosk and in the community. The earnings are given to the children and their families once a year. For many families this is an important additional income to finance school books, school uniforms and transport.

CHRISTHIAN LIVES IN PRECARIOUS CONDITIONS
Christhian is on his way to school. In Villa Maria del Triunfo (Lima) most roofs are made from asbestos, the paths are poorly maintained and most households lack electricity.

Christhian has to fetch water for his family every day. There are no water pipes.

Christhian’s father is a taxi driver. Christhian stays home by himself very often.

REGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AS A CONDITION FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAMME
Twelve-year-old Natalia attends 6th grade. Regular school attendance is a requirement for being allowed to take part in the courses of IFEJANT and is the key to a successful future.

Natalia walks one hour every day to attend school and the courses of IFEJANT. In the evening the unlit path scares her.

Natalia’s home is located at a great distance from Villa Maria del Triunfo. There is no light or electricity here.

PROMOTING SELF-DETERMINATION AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
José knows how to hold his own ground in the adult world. A main aim of the IFEJANT project work is to empower children to achieve more self-determination and active participation.

Beside school and work, every child has the right to have some leisure time. IFEJANT negotiates these time slots with the children and the parents.

Empowerment of Women experiencing Violence

SIEDS strengthens the position of women in Bangalore and fights domestic violence. Every year 300 women seek advice in the Crisis Intervention Centre and 500 burn victims are documented and assisted in the burn unit of Victoria Hospital. In the suburbs of Bangalore more than 250 women are supported in self-aid groups. In the women’s shelter in Kolar up to 30 women and their children find temporary protection.

Empowerment of Women experiencing Violence

SIEDS strengthens the position of women in Bangalore and fights domestic violence. Every year 300 women seek advice in the Crisis Intervention Centre and 500 burn victims are documented and assisted in the burn unit of Victoria Hospital. In the suburbs of Bangalore more than 250 women are supported in self-aid groups. In the women’s shelter in Kolar up to 30 women and their children find temporary protection. Furthermore, SIEDS regularly organises courses on topics like empowerment of women, violence connected with dowries and selective abortion of female foetuses in 25 districts.  

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in India

SIEDS works in Bangalore, a city of 8 million people, a city of contrasts, rapid economic growth, a booming IT industry and a permanent increase of social inequality.

A marriage hall in Bangalore. Because of the rapid economic growth the pressure on women to bring a large dowry into the marriage is growing especially in the cities. The men also suffer from this increase of the pressure.

A poor dowry, a wedding that doesn’t meet the high expectations, excessive consumption of alcohol, high social pressure, frustration, all this can lead to physical and psychological violence against women. Acts of violence like intentional burnings are mostly explained as domestic accidents.

A SIEDS counsellor is pointing out possible strategies to escape the cycle of violence. In the Crisis Intervention Centre counsellors offer support to women affected by violence and encourage them to work out suitable solutions for their problems – if possible in interaction with their families.

Members of SIEDS make interventions in families and communities encouraging women to be active agents. If necessary, SIEDS negotiates with the responsible authorities.

The students are listening attentively to every word of Mamtha, a member of SIEDS. Violence must not be prevented only in the short term. Gender roles have to be reconsidered, discussed and negotiated from an early age. SIEDS organises awareness campaigns in schools, neighbourhoods and with public authorities.