More than 3,000 children have been rescued from child labor on campus

At the age of 20, Isaías Bonfim Novaes de Almeida remembers what he thought six years ago, when he collected cardboard to help his family. “I looked at the school dropouts and wanted to be one of them,” she says The young man, who is currently studying in an aircraft maintenance technical course offered by Azul Linhas Aéreas, was rescued from child labor at the age of 16 and was part of a group of 3,807 children and adolescents who were eventually removed from the situation. 11 years on campus.

These figures are from the Municipal Service for Social Approach to Children and Adolescents – Better Life Movement and were published yesterday at the Campinas Seminar on Combating Child Labor, which will be held tomorrow to mark World Day Against Child Labor.

This year alone, in 225 actions, 69 teenagers and children have been rescued. This account also includes children who come into contact with the sun and rain on their parents’ laps while working in an informal situation. For the whole of last year, the number reached 385, up 37% from 2020.

The black and brown boys, from the sales service and the southern region of Campinas, were among those rescued while at work.

The statistics further indicate that the most identified activities are: product sales (dishes, food, etc.), characterized in 45.66% of cases; This is followed by leafletting (19%), begging (12.16%) and burial (11.44%). Areas of the city that have more access are: East (36.23%) and South (34.57%). Data show that boys represent 75.64% of cases and girls 24.36%. Among races, blacks were the most affected: 54.59% of children were self-proclaimed black or brown.

However, it is believed that more and more incidents are taking place in private spaces, making it impossible for authorities, care services or programs to know, creating under-reporting.

“We have a huge challenge in tackling the child labor situation,” said social worker Veronica Aparesida Gibardi Rosa, technical coordinator of the Better Life Movement (MVM) Social Vision Services for Children and Adolescents. “Many people still consider child labor to be a normal condition that makes a teenager or child disappear at a traffic light or in other activities, such as working with recyclable materials. This myth that it is better to work than to steal is still very much present in public discourse, when in fact we should say that it is better to study than to work. Children need to study, play and work only when they are old enough. “

Opportunity after redemption

Isis was found selling benches with his brother and father at a point in the Jardim Amoreiras neighborhood. That day, he says, he left the house with a pile of benches and walked down a street in the Jordim Amoreiras from Oro Verde district, where sales would begin.

The tiring routine was a fate he had been carrying since he was 12, when his family moved to Campinas from Rio de Janeiro. With no resources for home maintenance, they occupied an area in Ouro Verde, where they built a hut for five people: he, two brothers, father and mother. In those days, Isaiah shared a bunk bed in the kitchen with his brother, from which he felt the air enter through the wooden cracks that supported the space. In another room her parents and another sister slept.
With no formal job for his parents and no income, he and his one-year-old younger brother went under the headlights, where they accused the cars of selling packets of candy.

“I did dirty work. Many adults will say, ‘Wow, I’ve been working since I was a kid,’ which is something to be proud of. But the kids looked at me differently. It’s even a little worse to remember, ”he said.

From the lighthouse, Isaiah began collecting cardboard, until he and his family were able to build a brick house on the same land. With a little more security, his father invested in bank purchases, and began selling furniture in a neighborhood far from home.

It took four years of strange work until a team from MVM found him one afternoon. “It was a woman and a man and they explained to me about a program. They asked a lot of questions and said I could participate. I thought it was a lie, that it doesn’t exist, why would they offer me this? “I was studying in the army.”
Isaías said the program gave him the opportunity he never wanted. Last year, he was also invited to present a booklet on the fight against child labor at the Campinas Municipality. In it, he depicts, on the cover, the moment, while picking up the cardboard, he saw the kids leaving school.

Today, Azul Linhas Arias, one of the 12 selected in a selection process, noted that no child should have a story like his. “Children need to play sports in school, in courses. I miss it so much. It was part of my story and to this day I feel when I see a child in a situation where I was alive. Everyone needs to be given equal access to education. ”

Leads to program specialization

The program in which Isaiah was mentioned is an arm of the program Building Autonomy for the Future (ProCAF), MVM. Created in 2014, it welcomes teenagers aged 15 to 17 and provides them with training in chocolate, pizzoli and salgidiro assistants, offered by the military, an office package course, and a module that includes preparation for the job market. By

Classes are held three times a week, and for each, teens receive R $ 50, which guarantees R $ 150 per week. The wealth is because, without it, many return to work on the streets and with it, there is a guarantee that they will stay in training. On the other hand, they need to be admitted to regular schools.

Since 2014, 280 teenagers rescued from work have graduated from this program Currently, there are 32 students in Procaf training.

Teenagers are invited to join the program, but many resist and stay on the streets, said Anna Pala Fregoso Pink, Procaf’s educational coordinator. According to Anna, adolescents come from education gaps where they do not recognize themselves as the subject of their own rights.

“We find it difficult to see ourselves as subject to the law. Many say ‘I’m really stupid, I don’t know how to do anything’. Some cannot even read or write. We have to deconstruct the issue of child labor with them because, culturally, they come from families where it is clear that they have to work very early, everyone has worked very early, so it is normal for them. I think we plant seeds and they discover other possibilities, “he added.

The program lasts six months and also has a partnership with the Company-School Integration Center (CIEE), where profiles of students directed for small apprenticeship programs are sent, where the work coexists with the study.

At the end of the program, students are also invited to write a letter that is part of the book “Resignation of Writing: The Sign of Each.” In the last three editions, students have been able to tell their stories. However, this sounds almost unanimous in the texts: what the child needs is to study.

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